March 5, 2024


During Creative Arts Therapies Week, the third week of March, we raise awareness about art therapy and other life-enhancing mental health professions.

Creative Arts Therapists are mental health professionals who use arts-based interventions and creative processes for optimizing mental health and wellness. They are trained and credentialed according to their distinct profession and each Creative Arts Therapy field is governed by a separate professional association with a unique scope of practice.

Art Therapy

Dance/Movement Therapy
Drama Therapy

Music Therapy
Poetry Therapy

If you’re an art therapist, please take a moment to talk about the work you do or help educate your lawmakers and your community about the importance of mental health. Have a conversation with a colleague or engage on social media using #CATsWeek2024. And, if you work with other creative arts therapists, invite them to join you!


7 Ways to Celebrate Creative Arts Therapies Week


Host an event with your art therapist colleagues at your work about what you do, or collaborate with other mental health professionals, including creative arts therapists from other fields. In past years, events have included in-person and virtual art-making, art exhibits, panel discussions, or simply a table with fact sheets and art to start a conversation.


Explain your own experience as an art therapist! Fill out the Voices of Art Therapy story form with your own story about the power of art therapy, or become an AATA Featured Member.


Share this fact sheet with lawmakers, people you work with who may not be aware of your work, and other people in your community.


Share this blog post about a young mom’s journey of healing with art therapy after her infant daughter’s cancer.


Write a Letter to the Editor to your hometown newspaper about the work art therapists do to support the community in recognition of Creative Arts Therapies Week. (Use this Template)


Get involved in an art therapy licensure campaign in your state!


Learn more about the six creative arts therapy professions. Check out Sloth Goes To The Hospitala kid-friendly book that introduces the creative arts therapies, by Olivia Dobson, MPS, ATR-BC, LPC.

Real Stories About Art Therapy for #CATsWeek2024

“For those of you who have never tried art therapy facilitated by a professional art therapist, art-making is an important technique that offers a place to put all the trauma, to make sense of it all. At first, I could not speak about my trauma, or what I was continuing to experience. There were only tears, so obviously, traditional talk therapy wouldn’t be helpful….

And through the art making, I found space to listen — to learn about why I was feeling these things — and eventually, I was able to talk about it.” 


— Anya Navidi-Kasmai, who is working
with an art therapist to cope with
her daughter Miley’s childhood cancer

(Read her story)



“I can attest to the mixed emotions that can be felt during a mask-making exercise: guilt, fear, and self-loathing/self-doubt at first, then, while moving through the making of the mask, feelings of exhilaration, freedom, resolution, and accomplishment can start to emerge…. I can also state unequivocally that art therapy has helped save my life.”


— Christopher Stowe, Master Gunnery Sergeant, USMC (ret.), who received art therapy services through the Creative Forces program at Walter Reed

(Watch his testimony before Congress)



Christopher Stowe wearing glasses after testifying before Congress

“Visual art helps give choices back to the patients who have lost the ability to make many of the choices in their care and empowering the patient to make decisions in art, to do things in art, to observe things in art, is important to their ability to cope with their circumstances.”



— Valerie Hanks, ATR-P,
Art therapist at UAB
and Children’s Hospital of Alabama

(Read her Featured Member profile)


“Especially among my children and teen clients, I am always inspired by their willingness to use art materials to discover novel and meaningful ways to create their own emotional language… experimenting with mediums that help them resonate with their feelings more clearly, and connect verbal and non-verbal language together.”

— Matthew Chernaskey, MA, ATR,
Art therapist 
working with children,
teens, and families
 at an outpatient clinic

(Read his Featured Member profile)


“Art-making encourages self-exploration and expression. It encourages more vulnerability simply through art being an expression of oneself. By externalizing their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors through art, they may feel less judgment and/or shame toward themselves. Art making may give clients an increased sense of control over what they disclose.”

 — Natasha Green, MA, ATR,
Art therapist in 
private practice at
Green Amethyst Art Therapy
(Read her post, Showing Up As An Art Therapist)