Position Statements

AATA Sends Letter to Second Lady Reaffirming Inclusivity

AATA Sends Letter to Second Lady Reaffirming Inclusivity

February 6, 2019

We have heard and share concerns expressed by some of our members regarding the discriminatory admissions and hiring policies at the Immanuel Christian School, where Karen Pence has recently returned to work as an art teacher.

AATA Denounces Discriminatory School Policies

AATA Denounces Discriminatory School Policies

January 17, 2019

As the nation’s leading organization advancing art therapy and healing through art, the American Art Therapy Association is aware that Second Lady Karen Pence is returning to teaching art. While we support art education, we are very mindful that institutions still exist today that openly discriminate against LGBTQIA children, youth and families. The AATA would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our wholehearted embrace of the LGBTQIA community.

Message of Support during Government Shutdown

Message of Support during Government Shutdown

January 10, 2019 

In these divisive times, as the partial government shutdown approaches a record number of days, the AATA would like to share our support for those who are impacted. Our members who are furloughed government employees as well as their clients who rely on government agencies for assistance are both facing unprecedented challenges. Our thoughts are with all those feeling the effects of this shutdown.

The AATA Stands Firmly in Support of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Communities in Response to the Administration’s Proposed Definition Change

The AATA Stands Firmly in Support of the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Communities in Response to the Administration’s Proposed Definition Change

October 25, 2018

The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) firmly rejects a reported proposal by the Trump/Pence Administration to redefine sex in civil rights law to eliminate anti-discrimination protections for transgender people.  The new definition proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services in a memo reported by The New York Times on October 21, 2018, would redefine sex in Title IX of the Civil Rights Act as either male or female, based on a person’s sex organs at birth.  The claim that this definition would be “grounded in science” ignores findings of decades of scientific research widely accepted by the medical community.

The AATA and the ACA Issue Joint Response to the Attorney General’s Remarks on Mental Health in Higher Institutions

The AATA and the ACA Issue Joint Response to the Attorney General’s Remarks on Mental Health in Higher Institutions

August 2, 2018

On July 24th the Attorney General Jeff Sessions addressed an audience of high schoolers at Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit and accused many higher institutions of “doing everything they can to create a generation of sanctimonious, sensitive, supercilious snowflakes.” In his remarks, he listed therapy dogs, art materials – specifically coloring books and playdough – and art activities, such as encouraging students to “draw about their feelings,” as examples.  Read the speech transcript here.

The American Art Therapy Association and the American Counseling Association (ACA) collaborated in writing a formal response, asserting that his “remarks were highly misguided and they further stigmatize young people who seek mental health services and ways to manage stress at a critical transitional time in their lives.”

The AATA’s Statement on the Traumatic Impact of Separating Children from Parents and Caregivers

The AATA’s Statement on the Traumatic Impact of Separating Children from Parents and Caregivers

June 20, 2018

The AATA wishes to respond to the deleterious and traumatic effects that separating children from their parents and caregivers can have on their well-being. Of great concern is the appalling separation of children from their parents as a result of the Trump Administration’s enforcement of the “zero tolerance” policy for families crossing the US-Mexican Border (June, 2018).  Even as the separation practice is halted, steps need to be taken to re-unify the children with their families, ameliorate the trauma that has already been inflicted, and prevent future trauma. 

“Stop Border Separation of Children from Parents!”  — Sign the Petition

“Stop Border Separation of Children from Parents!” — Sign the Petition

June 14, 2018 

The AATA joined 10 mental health organizations and over 1,100 mental health professionals in signing a letter in opposition to the new Zero Tolerance policy that was sent to congresspeople on June 12, 2018.  The letter cites clinical experience and decades of research on the psychological impact disrupted attachment [parental separation] has on children and asks policy makers to “remember what it feels like to be a child” as they consider the plight of over 700 children who have been separated from their families at the border between October 2017 and April 2018 in what amounts to systematic traumatization of children. 

The AATA Supports the Affirmation and Healthy Development Across the Lifespan of Individuals within LGBTQIA Communities

The AATA Supports the Affirmation and Healthy Development Across the Lifespan of Individuals within LGBTQIA Communities

November 2, 2017

As asserted in our Association Values Statement (2017), the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) embraces and affirms individuals within the LGBTQIA spectrums of sexual orientation and gender nonconforming individuals.  The AATA supports therapeutic interventions that foster healthy development across the lifespan of LGBTQIA individuals, and equally admonishes treatment purported to cure or curb natural variations of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.