#WeAreArtTherapists

Honoring Native American Heritage Month

Honoring Native American Heritage Month

November 19, 2020

National Native American Heritage Month is a reminder each year to celebrate Native American people, arts, culture, and heritage. There are 3 million indigenous people in the United States, belonging to 574 federally recognized Indian Nations (variously called tribes, nations, bands, pueblos, communities and native villages) in the United States. (See map). This year, we want to join our mental health allies in a call to address the health disparities that Native American/Indigenous people are experiencing, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Art Therapy is Particularly Effective in Times of Crisis

Art Therapy is Particularly Effective in Times of Crisis

September 24, 2020

In the survey, we asked respondents: “As an art therapist, how would you describe to someone unfamiliar with the profession why art therapy is uniquely suited to support mental health during this pandemic?” The survey takers explained that art therapy is particularly effective during times of crisis, especially in coping with isolation, changes in circumstance, trauma, and grief. 

My First Art Therapy Job, at a Homeless Shelter, during a Pandemic

My First Art Therapy Job, at a Homeless Shelter, during a Pandemic

September 24, 2020 | By Jenelle Hallaert

Due to the inherent technological barriers that come with housing insecurity, all sessions with the guests are in-person — putting both the guests and myself at constant risk of contracting COVID-19. Even with these risks, the mental health services provided to our guests are essential for their wellbeing. Overall, the shelter has continued care as usual for this population.

Muddling My Way Through the Pandemic: A Visual Journal

Muddling My Way Through the Pandemic: A Visual Journal

September 3, 2020 | By Mindy Jacobson-Levy

I never had an extended period of time to just make art. Who would imagine that a “wish” to have a few months to do just that would turn into an ongoing altered book about my experience during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Mental Health Policy Implications during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mental Health Policy Implications during the Coronavirus Pandemic

August 24, 2020 

While the results of this survey of art therapists capture a particular moment during the Coronavirus pandemic—when 95% of Americans were under some sort of stay-at-home policy—the findings remain relevant as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise. We hope that these results will help inform how lawmakers address the ongoing mental health ramifications of the pandemic and better support mental health professionals.

Findings from AATA’s Coronavirus Pandemic Impact Survey

Findings from AATA’s Coronavirus Pandemic Impact Survey

August 14, 2020 

To better understand how art therapists are responding to the Coronavirus pandemic and coping themselves, the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) conducted an online survey of art therapy professionals, educators, and students in May 2020. The findings offer a look into the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on art therapists, the clients they serve, as well as access to mental health care. (Download the full report.)

Connected While Apart: A Communal Tapestry by Domestic Violence Survivors

Connected While Apart: A Communal Tapestry by Domestic Violence Survivors

August 11, 2020 | By Farah S.A.

During the COVID-19 pandemic domestic violence survivors have been experiencing many hardships. Domestic violence cases have increased since the shelter-in-place order took place. Some survivors were unable to leave an unsafe living situation, while others recently left and were trying to maintain their sense of security after experiencing financial abuse prior.

A Colorful Canvas

A Colorful Canvas

July 30, 2020 | Louvenia Jackson

Why do we need racial diversity, equity and inclusion? Let’s think about a muslin canvas frame. Many painting frames are created for white canvases. What if the creation existed on a colored background, with many colors depicted on it? The narrative of the art changes, allowing for different perspective to arise with complexity, intrigue, and without colonization. We must not just add color to a white base; we need to change the base. One perspective cannot be the base for all others to exist or be cultivated by.

Honoring Pride and BLM: An Art Therapy Perspective

Honoring Pride and BLM: An Art Therapy Perspective

June 30, 2020 | Gabrielle Cooper

As art therapists, it is our duty to stay up to date on social issues and how they affect our clients. Black people, LGBTQIA+ people, and those with intersecting identities are especially traumatized by the videos and knowledge of the what is continuing to happen in America today. Right now is a perfect time for art therapists to show how much we care and support this movement by centering the voices of the most marginalized, evaluating our personal biases, and advocating for our clients.

An Art Therapist’s Tips to Help People with Dementia Cope during Coronavirus

An Art Therapist’s Tips to Help People with Dementia Cope during Coronavirus

May 21, 2020 | Margaret Carlock-Russo

We’ve all had to adjust our lives in many ways to protect ourselves and others during the novel coronavirus pandemic. For people living with dementia, sudden changes in daily life, social distancing, and increased hygiene precautions can produce confusion, anxiety, and isolation that may be difficult to manage. Caregivers are also impacted by added responsibilities, concern for loved ones’ safety, and may experience difficulty explaining the pandemic to their family member in an understandable manner.