Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Art Therapy and Autism

  • Pamela UllmannEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102047-1

Definition of Art Therapy

Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients, facilitated by the art therapist, use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. A goal in art therapy is to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being. Art therapy practice requires knowledge of visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms) and the creative process, as well as of human development, psychological, and counseling theories and techniques.

Today, art therapy is widely practiced in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, psychiatric and rehabilitation facilities, wellness centers, forensic institutions, schools, crisis centers, senior communities, private practice, and other clinical and community...

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References and Reading

  1. American Art Therapy Association. (2013). Art therapy as an intervention for autism. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 143–147. www.arttherapy.org
  2. Betts, D. J. (2005). The art of art therapy: Drawing individuals out in creative ways. Advocate: Magazine of the Autism Society of America, 26–27. Retrieved from http://www.art-therapy.us/images/art-therapy.pdf
  3. Dubowski, J., & Evans, K. (2001). Art therapy with children on the autistic spectrum: Beyond words. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, LTD. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.com/Art-Therapy-Children-Autistic-Spectrum/sim/1853028258/2.
  4. Emery, M. J. (2004). Art therapy as an intervention for autism, art therapy. Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 21(3), 143–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Martin, N. (2009). Art as an early intervention tool for children with autism. London, England Therapy Association, 21(3), 143–147.Google Scholar
  6. Ullmann, P. (2010). Art therapy and children with autism: Gaining access to their world through creativity (Vol. 2, #1). Arlington: Fusion, A Publication of the Art Therapy Alliance and International Art Therapy Association.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colors of PlayOaklandUSA