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

Examples of art therapy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In fact, art therapy first became known as a professional discipline in the 1940s. A.k. Whitney, Orange County Register, 2 Apr. 2024 And Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts launched a comprehensive art therapy and education wing in 2017. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Feb. 2024 Additional therapies including art therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy will be available soon. Jessica Van Egeren, Journal Sentinel, 12 Mar. 2024 Whether your chronic illness is a mental condition itself or requires managing your mental health in some other way, art therapy can be an awesome method of doubling up on self-care and creative play. Anna Borges, SELF, 12 Feb. 2024 The 26-year-old jazz band manager and art therapy consultant was not one of them. Christian Shepherd, Washington Post, 15 Feb. 2024 Others sent art supplies or signed up to help during a Monday night art therapy program at a homeless shelter. Laura Bauer, Kansas City Star, 31 Jan. 2024 And the less said about Marc’s journey, the better, art therapy being much lower on the list of acceptable rom-com clichés than zippy one-liners or a City of Lights backdrop. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2024 Each building would host a handful of patients for about six weeks at a time, with music and art therapy and organic meals cooked on-site — for as much as $2,000 a day. Teo Armus, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'art therapy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 25 Jun. 2024.

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!