About Creative Arts Therapy

What are the Creative Arts Therapies?

The creative arts therapies include music, art, drama, dance/movement, and biblio/poetry therapy. All C.A.T.S utilize the arts to help clients achieve their therapeutic goals, build skills, and promote wellness. Below you will find an overview of each of the C.A.T.S as well as a link to their professional organization. Although creative arts therapists each train in a specific form of therapy using their art of choice, many utilize interventions from other arts forms with clients to help meet their unique needs. The credential of Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) is currently only available in the state of New York (and soon to be New Jersey!)

Music Therapy

The American Music Therapy Association defines music therapy as “an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. ” Music therapists utilize a wide variety of interventions that involve creating, singing, moving, and listening to music. Music therapists utilize the professional credential MT-BC, which stands for Music Therapist-Board Certified. More information on music therapy can be found on the American Music Therapy Association’s website: musictherapy.org.

Art Therapy

The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as “an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship.” Art therapists use a wide variety of creative interventions to aid in the integration of body, mind, and spirit. These interventions can include sculpting, drawing, painting, coloring, crafting, and more. Art therapists utilize the professional credentials ATR and ATR-BC, which stand for Registered Art Therapist and Registered Art Therapist-Board Certified respectively. More information on art therapy can be found on the American Art Therapy Association website: arttherapy.org.

Drama Therapy

The North American Drama Therapy Association defines drama therapy as “the intentional use of drama and/or theater processes to achieve therapeutic goals.” Drama therapy is an active and experiential process that utilizes interventions such as storytelling, role-playing, performing, improvisation, puppetry, and play to aid clients in achieving wellness. Drama therapists utilize the professional credential RDT, which stands for registered drama therapist. More information on drama therapy can be found on the North American Drama Therapy Association website: nadta.org.

Dance/Movement Therapy

The American Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as “the psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health and well-being.” Dance/movement therapists view the body, mind, and spirit as inseparable and interconnected entities. Dance/movement therapists utilize body centered interventions such as dance, stretching, movement exercises, and games using parachutes and exercise bands. Dance/movement therapists utilize the professional credential BC-DMT, which stands for Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist. More information on dance/movement therapy can be found on the American Dance Therapy Association website: adta.org.

Biblio/Poetry Therapy

Biblio/poetry therapy involves the use of poetry and story, as well as language and symbol to promote learning, growth, community involvement, and therapeutic wellness. Biblio/poetry therapy encompasses bibliotherapy, narrative therapy, expressive and creative writing, and journal therapy. Biblio/poetry therapists utilize a variety of credentials, including CPT (Certified Poetry Therapist), PTR (Registered Poetry Therapist), and CAPF (Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator). More information on biblio/poetry therapy can be found on the International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy website: ifbpt.org.

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