What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is a mental health profession that utilizes the creative process as a communication link between the internal and the external, the universal and the particular, the visible and the invisible.
In a space of free stetic judgement, the person actively participates by manipulating and transforming art materials; speaking through them. In this way, Art Therapy facilitates the integration of the senses, the verbal and the non-verbal. One does not need to have artistics skills or artistic knowledge to benefit from Art Therapy.
The IberioAmerican Forum of Art Therapy defines it as "a specialized discipline which accompanies, facilitates and enables a significant change in the person by using various artistic mediums: attending their creative process, the images produced, and the questions and answer that arise throught them.
Art Therapy in Colombia
A pathway under construction
Art Therapy in Colombia is known as a new profession within the area of mental health with an enormous field of action ahead.
More than ten years ago, the first colombian art therapists, graduates from master’s programs abroad, arrived in Colombia. Their interest in the discipline and lack of programs offered in Colombia, prompted them to travel to countries like the United States, Argentina and Spain, seeking knowledge and professional qualifications in Art Therapy.
Their passion for Art Therapy brought them together and allowed them to congregate in order to generate new knowledge, tools to incur the profession in the country and collective support from professionals of a still unidentified discipline in Colombia. They believed in the necessity to formally consolidate an entity that would group them and sought the legal way to do so. On March 6, 2009 the Colombian Association of Art Therapy (AACT) was established as a nonprofit entity, in order to bring together professionals with specific training in Art Therapy in Colombia.
Since then, the Colombian Association of Art Therapy has been committed to the promotion, development and professionalization of the discipline in the country. Over the years, its founding members and its active members have been responsible for spreading the profession and for generating quality standards of practice in Colombia. The Association has been concerned in representing all colombian Art Therapists, in guiding those interested in the field, in promoting Art Therapy education in Colombia, in identifying and promoting ethical values and in creating relationships with other national and international associations.
Through activities such as briefings, lectures, workshops, symposiums, socialization spaces among others, it has managed to increase the visibility of Art Therapy in the country and to proliferate the interest of colombians to this discipline. The efforts of those who compose and work in this Association has helped build the backbone of the history of Art Therapy in Colombia and to generate different nature projects that guide this process.
In 2015, the Colombian Association of Art Therapy modified the abbreviation of the organization and became Ar.Te, following the emblem that represents it. This same year, Ar.Te’s logo was recreated in order to potentiate the image representing the Association, while keeping its characterizing essence.
Currently Ar.Te is carrying out legal processes to formally establish the profession of Art Therapy in the country. Ar.Te is working to be legally recognized as a discipline by the Ministry of Education and for the the Ministry of Health to attributed it with the privileges of a mental health profession.
Commemorating its ten years of formation, the Colombian Association of Art Therapy launches in August 2019 the first Training Program in Art Therapy in the country, specifically designed for Colombians and by Colombians. This program complies with international standards that guarantee the integral formation of Art Therapists, suitable in this discipline. The curricular structure is strategically designed to innovate in the teaching of Art Therapy, adapted to the Colombian context. Ar.TE presents this program with the firm intention to positively contribute to the social needs of the country and to emotionally, mentally and physically benefit the different populations of Colombia through art.
To learn more about this Art Therapy Training Program, click HERE.