Art therapy is a merger of two disciplines, art and psychotherapy. Today it is used at many levels in particular as a treatment therapy and as a diagnostic process for psychological issues. General use includes its use as an escape from illness and the emotional effects of illness especially chronic illness, life threatening illness and terminal illness. Art therapy is beneficial to autistic spectrum people as well as the retired elderly. It has also been used to great effect for the bereaved, depressed, stressed and traumatized. Many people believe they cannot do art therapy because they do not know how to draw but art therapy does not require any previous knowledge of art or drawing ability. Many hospitals are now studying art therapy for inclusion in the treatments that they offer.
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Art therapy is a very valid addition for any treatment strategy for mental health, chronic, or serious illness, and is appropriate for any age group from children through to the elderly. Art therapists can make good coordinator therapists if their background includes medical knowledge in addition to their skills in psychology and art therapy.
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Rules Regulations and Associations
Art therapy is still considered a developing field and most countries do not regulate its practice and application. The following links will provide information on the individual country's registration requirements.
The Art Therapy Alliance is a non-profitable global umbrella organization that provides information on art therapy worldwise.
American Art Therapy Association http://www.arttherapy.org/
UK British Association of Art Therapists http://www.baat.org/
Netherlands Dutch Association of Art Therapy http://www.beeldendetherapie.org/
France French Federation of Art Therapists http://www.ffat-federation.org/
Spain Professional Spanish Association of Art Therapists http://www.arteterapia.org.es/
Italy Art Therapy Italiana Association http://www.arttherapyit.org/
Germany Germany Association of Art Therapy http://www.dgkt.de
Sweden The Swedish National Association of Art Therapists http://www.bildterapi.se/
Canadian Art Therapy Association http://canadianarttherapy.org/
The Chilean Association of Art Therapy http://www.arteterapiachile.cl/
Argentinean Association of Art Therapy http://www.asoarteterapia.org.ar/
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Australia and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association http://anzata.org/
Brazilian Union of Arts Therapy Associations http://www.ubaat.org/
The Israeli Association of Creative and Expressive Therapies http://www.yahat.org/
The Hong Kong Association of Art Therapists http://www.hkaat.com/
Korean Academy of Clinical Art Therapy http://www.kacat.co.kr/
The African Consortium of Art Therapy http://www.acatherapy.net/