April 11, 2019


As the nation’s leading non-profit organization for advancing the art therapy profession, the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) provides our members and the public we serve with important content to support the wellbeing of all individuals, families, and communities.  The following resource offer information about the traumatic impact and aftereffects of gun-related violence in our communities, families, and schools, as well as in the media.


About Trauma, Gun Violence, and Coping

Art therapists are master-level clinicians who facilitate active art making, the creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.  Through the use of art, individuals can express, manage, and explore coping strategies to aid in managing strong emotions, reactions, and effects experienced due to crisis and trauma.  Art therapists are trained in trauma-informed care and are well equipped to support communities hit by tragedy and those who are distressed as a result of tragic events and experiences.  In addition to providing support in the wake of a tragedy art therapists promote safe communities and support violence prevention strategies through the life-affirming efforts of art-making and creativity.



The AATA will continue to advocate for a path forward toward comprehensive legislative solutions to firearm-related injuries and fatalities and for a stronger presence of mental health care providers, including art therapists.  To enhance our influence on federal legislation, the AATA collaborates with leading national organizations and coalitions to present a united and more powerful voice on national issues involving health care, the arts, and education.

National advocacy addressed in letters by the AATA and its partner organizations include:

  • Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States issued by the America Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School and Community Violence urging a public health approach to protecting children and adults from gun violence.
  • Letter to the House of Representatives and letter to the Senate urging a bipartisan path forward for comprehensive legislative solutions to firearm-related injuries and fatalities.


Additional AATA Resources: