Chelsea Bulik, MFT
  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Chelsea Bulik, LMFT, ATR

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What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy integrates traditional talk therapy techniques with the creative process to gain new insights and improve mental health well-being. An art therapist may use a variety of art methods including drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage with clients ranging from young children to the elderly. The Art Therapist leads the client with a directive followed by a discussion. Art skills and/or "talent" are not required. The emphasis is using an image to express feelings and thoughts that come from inside the person, rather than the quality or artistic talent of the image/individual.

Some situations in which art therapy might be utilized include:

  • Children with learning disabilities

  •  Adults experiencing severe stress

  •  Children suffering from behavioral or social problems at school or at home

  •  Individuals who may be stuck on a problem

  •  Individuals suffering from a brain injury

  •  Children or adults who have experienced a traumatic event

  •  Group sessions to build trust and group concept

  •  Couples struggling with unhealthy communication


An art therapist requires specific education and training. According to the American Art Therapy Association, the minimum requirements include:

  1. A master's degree in art therapy, or

2 A master's degree in counseling or a related field with additional coursework in art therapy.

Additional post-graduate supervised experience is also required. You can learn more about the training and educational requirements to become an art therapist on the AATA website.

Click here for suggested art directives to use during therapy sessions.


An example of Art Therapy being used in therapy with a woman struggling with an eating disorder and poor body image.