Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Art therapy, Social work education, Social workers-Training of, Social service-Field work, Interpretation, Clinical uses of art therapy, Art therapy training


This exploratory descriptive study surveyed clinicians and art therapists about their use of art in the therapeutic setting. The survey was done online eliciting both responses to a questionnaire and also collecting brief narrative elaborations of participants' questionnaire answers in dialogue boxes. A significant finding is that clinicians and art therapists who participated in this study reported the use of art in a myriad of clinical locations and types of practices, as well as using art for various mental/ emotional difficulties. One unexpected finding is that some participants were adamant in their opinions that art therapy should not be used by those not professionally trained in art therapy. There was a clear implication that those who do use art therapy without such professional training are practicing outside their area of expertise – a violation of many professional ethical codes. A search to find an evidence basis for the assertion that practicing art therapy without professional training causes harm found no such evidence. A suggestion for future research is therefore that studies might be done to support this assertion or refute it.




v, 38 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 29-30)