art therapy

noun

: therapy based on engagement in artistic activities (such as painting or drawing) as a means of creative expression and symbolic communication especially in individuals affected with a mental or emotional disorder or cognitive impairment
She's also used art therapy while working with autistic and special-needs children and patients recovering from strokes. Cheryl Powell
In art therapy, patients express their feelings not just through discussion, but through drawing, painting and sculpting. That's why this type of therapy is thought to be especially helpful for people who have difficulty articulating feelings—including children and those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, strokes and post-traumatic stress disorder. Jenny Hontz
art therapist noun
plural art therapists
Although she works toward the same goals as the psychologist or psychiatrist, as an art therapist her technique is decidedly different. Sharon L. Bass

Word History

First Known Use

1928, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of art therapy was in 1928

Dictionary Entries Near art therapy

Cite this Entry

“Art therapy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art%20therapy. Accessed 3 Dec. 2022.

Medical Definition

art therapy

noun

: therapy based on engagement in artistic activities (as painting or drawing) as a means of creative expression and symbolic communication especially in individuals affected with a mental or emotional disorder or cognitive impairment
In art therapy, patients express their feelings not just through discussion, but through drawing, painting and sculpting. That's why this type of therapy is thought to be especially helpful for people who have difficulty articulating feelings—including children and those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, strokes and post-traumatic stress disorder. Jenny Hontz, The Los Angeles Times
art therapist noun
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Name That Thing

You know what it looks like… but what is it called?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ