The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) is entrusted to provide leadership and assistance to engage a growing and diverse membership of professional art therapists whose services are valued and considered essential to the public in mental health, healthcare, education, arts, and community programs. The following articulates the core values of the Association.


Adopted March 2017

  • We believe art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.
  • We advocate for the dignity, self-worth, well-being, and creative potential of all people as well as in the development and provision of art therapy to the public.
  • We affirm a commitment to inclusivity; we embrace all people and honor each individual’s race; ethnicity; religious or spiritual beliefs; national origin; ancestry; age; abilities; sexual orientation; gender; gender identity; gender expression; socioeconomic, marital, immigration, or military status; political views; and new cultural identities as they emerge.
  • We maintain commitment to strengthening AATA’s cultural proficiency, awareness, and attunement and welcome art therapists of diverse identities and backgrounds to join our membership, staff, and to serve on our Board of Directors.
  • We endeavor to be an inclusive learning-centered organization that respects and incorporates the perspectives and contributions of our members, thereby integrating the needs and viewpoints of diverse communities into the design and implementation of our strategic plan.
  • We uphold social justice and sustainability through inclusion, awareness, practice, and affirmation that all people deserve equal economic, environmental, healthcare, political and social rights, and opportunities.
  • We maintain awareness of the social and environmental consequences of human actions on communities, ecosystems, and associations and strive to advance a sustainable and just society.

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