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What do Art Therapists do?

Plan or conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients' physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.

What are the Main Tasks of Art Therapists?

  • Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of treatments or therapy approaches.
  • Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for art therapy.
  • Assess client needs or disorders, using drawing, painting, sculpting, or other artistic processes.
  • Communicate client assessment findings and recommendations in oral, written, audio, video, or other forms.
  • Conduct art therapy sessions providing guided self-expression experiences to help clients recover from or cope with cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments.
  • Confer with other professionals on client's treatment team to develop, coordinate, or integrate treatment plans.
  • Customize art therapy programs for specific client populations, such as those in schools, nursing homes, wellness centers, prisons, shelters, or hospitals.
  • Design art therapy sessions or programs to meet client's goals or objectives.
  • Develop individualized treatment plans that incorporate studio art therapy, counseling, or psychotherapy techniques.
  • Establish goals or objectives for art therapy sessions in consultation with clients or site administrators.
  • Instruct individuals or groups in the use of art media, such as paint, clay, or yarn.
  • Interpret the artistic creations of clients to assess their functioning, needs, or progress.
  • Observe and document client reactions, progress, or other outcomes related to art therapy.
  • Photograph or videotape client artwork for inclusion in client records or for promotional purposes.
  • Talk with clients during art or other therapy sessions to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to the artistic process.
  • Write treatment plans, case summaries, or progress or other reports related to individual clients or client groups.
  • Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
  • Coordinate art showcases to display artwork produced by clients.
  • Coordinate field trips for client groups to museums or other public displays of art.
  • Gather client information from sources such as case documentation, client observation, or interviews of client or family members.
  • Recommend or purchase needed art supplies or equipment.
  • Review research or literature in art therapy, psychology, or related disciplines.
  • Select or prepare artistic media or related equipment or devices to accomplish therapy session objectives.
  • Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns.
  • Teach art therapy techniques or processes to artists, interns, volunteers, or others.
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