Three Applications of Creative Arts Therapy

Art Therapy
Art Therapy differs from other therapies as it employs various art media; paint, clay, collage, etc. to facilitate the child’s expression and conceptualization of areas of their experience beyond the reach of words alone. Since the child creates the art expressions with the materials, the interpretation and understanding of them is guided by the child; not imposed by the Art Therapist. 

The process of Art Therapy develops within a triangular relationship between therapist, child and the image produced in the session. Containment within the therapeutic alliance enables anxiety to be held, providing a suitable environment for the safe expression of the abused child’s feelings through the art work. 

Educational and professional standards for Clinical Art Therapists are regulated by the American Art Therapy Association. Registered Art Therapist (ATR) credentials are granted by The Art Therapy Credentials Board upon completion of a Master’s degree in art therapy and 1,000 hours of supervised clinical training experience. The Registered Art Therapist who successfully completes the written examination by the Credential Board is granted Board Certified classification (ATR-BC) and must maintain the Certification through continuing education credits.

Music Therapy
Music Therapy combines music modalities with humanistic, psychodynamic, behavioral and biomedical approaches to help children attain therapeutic goals which can be mental, physical, emotional, social or spiritual in nature. Children’s needs are addressed both through the therapeutic relationship between child and music therapist as well as approached directly through the music itself. 


Almost all children respond to music and if it is used carefully and appropriately, the techniques of music therapy can reach into the child’s potential for healing, learning and communicating. The powerful emotions released through music therapy open up a unique opportunity for the rehabilitation and development of abused children. 

The American Music Therapy Association represents over 5,000 Music Therapists who receive credentials through the Certification Board of Music Therapists (CBMT). To become a Certified Music Therapist (CMT) a candidate must complete a Bachelor’s degree in music therapy and 900 hours of clinical internship. To receive an Advanced Certification in Music Therapy (ACMT) requires a Master’s degree in music therapy and 100 contact hours in continuing education as well as extensive clinical experience.

Dance/Movement Therapy
Dance/Movement Therapy is rooted in the expressive nature of dance itself. Dance is the most fundamental of the arts, involving a direct expression and experience of oneself through the body. It is a basic form of authentic communication and as such it is an especially effective medium for therapy. Based on the belief that the body, the mind and the spirit are interconnected, dance/movement therapy is defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as the psychotherapeutic use of movement as a process that furthers the emotional, cognitive, social and physical integration of the individual.

Dance/movement therapy can effect changes in feelings, cognition, physical functioning and behavior of abused children. Dance Therapists focus on helping the child improve self-esteem and body image, achieve communication skills and relationships, expand movement vocabulary, gain insight into patterns of behavior and create new options for coping with problems. 

The American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) currently has over 1200 members throughout the United States. A Registered Dance Therapist (DTR) is awarded to entry-level Dance Therapists who have a Master’s degree in dance therapy and 700 hours of supervised clinical internship. The Advanced Registry (ADTR) is awarded only after the DTR has completed 3,640 hours of supervised clinical work in an agency, institution or special school with additional supervision from an ADTR required.