Art As Theraputic Wellness. School-Based

Welcoming & Embracing Creativity in our Educational System

Membership holders please scroll to the bottom of the page for exclusive educational downloads and lessons! 

It’s finally here! The LRJ Foundation is excited to introduce our new approach in mental health support, Wellness through School- based Art Therapy Education. In addition to LRJ’s flagship mental health programs in the health classes, and school-wide presentations, we are expanding to support Art teachers with integrated concepts of creative wellness activities. This will allow another way for your school to smoothly weave in mental health and wellness practices within your classrooms.

If you would like to learn more, contact LRJ to set up a brief call with our Art therapist, Taylor Guttesman,( Learn more about Taylor, here.)


Let’s take a look at why School-based Art Therapy Education is an excellent addition to your art classes. Members with a LRJ Education Subscription, please log in, and access materials to bring into your home and classroom.

What is Art Therapy?

“Art therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship”
-American Art Therapy Association

How Does Art Therapy Differ from Art Class?

Art education and Art therapy are both important, however they do serve different purposes.

Art Class:
• May be focused on the art product
• Following steps
• Using templates
• Teaching techniques
• May be focused on reaching a desired product
• Art may be graded or formally evaluated

Art Therapy:
• Supports the process more than the product
• Free expression
• Exploring emotions
• May contain interactive work between the therapist and client
• No expectations, grades, or desired results for the product
• Centered around therapeutic goals which are unique to each client

Art therapy is always facilitated by a professional Art Therapist with a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy, either with their credentials or working towards them with a supervisor.

Art therapy can take place in various sites including, but not limited to, private practices, inpatient psychiatric facilities, hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centers, and residential treatment centers.

How Can Art Therapy Be Applicable in Schools

Art therapy’s diverse and unique nature makes it adaptive to any student’s needs. When we notice a student struggling behaviorally, cognitively, or emotionally, Art therapy can offer a new mode of positive intervention: one that supports and encourages a student’s natural creative instincts while also addressing their areas of struggle. Students are able to direct anxiety, aggression, fear, stress, worry, and any other emotion into safe and controlled art making with the help of an Art therapist. Art making often meets students where verbal language may be too difficult to communicate, specifically students experiencing traumas at home. Art therapy can also be instrumental in developing confidence, higher self esteem and greater personal worth: something we know children and adolescents are struggling with more than ever before. Art therapists can work in conjunction with parents and teachers in order to support the students’ needs on a holistic level.

Some Common Myths About Art Therapy:

You have to be “good” at art to participate
• Art therapy champions the artistic process over the product. Non judgmental, free expression is often the main goal of sessions. Art therapy welcomes any human and any art experience or lack of that they would like to bring into session.

You can diagnose someone from their drawings alone
• Diagnosis comes only from direct observation and interaction between the therapist and client. Diagnosis does not come from drawings alone, nor would it be acceptable to diagnose a client based solely on their artwork. However, many Art therapists will look for certain indicators in artwork that may help further diagnostic decisions and trauma histories.

Art Therapy is only for young children
• Art therapy welcomes people of all ages to engage in its process: children, teens, adolescents, adults, elderly. The creative process is not limited to only one age group. Art therapy lends itself to all populations and therapeutic goals.

Coloring books are the same thing as Art Therapy
• While coloring can offer soothing and calming effects, using coloring books alone without the presence of an Art therapist does not denote it as “Art therapy.” This, instead, would be referred to as “art as therapy” rather than “Art therapy.”


American Art Therapy Association: arttherapy.org
• “I am a Work of Art”, 2017 American Art Therapy Association Gallery https://arttherapy.org/i-am-a-work-of-art-2/

Psychology Today
• https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/art-therapy

Art Therapy Credentials Board
• https://www.atcb.org/what-is-art-therapy/


Art Wellness Files : Select topic of interest and learn more!  If you are not a member, register here.

Introduction to Art Therapy – Doc
Art Therapy Instagram
Straw Blow Art – PDF
Straw Blow Art – Movie
Straw Blow Art – PowerPoint
Coffee Filter Art Experiential for Anxiety – PowerPoint
Coffee Filter Part 1 – Movie
Coffee Filter Part 2 – Movie