J Korean Med Assoc.  2006 Jul;49(7):625-633. 10.5124/jkma.2006.49.7.625.

Current Status of Clinical Art Therapy

  • 1Pochon CHA Medical University, Korea. lydiaksh@dreamiz.com


Art therapy 1. is a health service profession based on knowledge of human development and psychological theories and research with integrative approach involving both sides of the brain, the mind, body and spirit, 2. utilizes art media (such as drawing, painting, clay), images, the creative process, and client response to create products that reflect the individual's personal development, abilities, personality, interest, concerns, and conflicts. and 3. has been implemented in assessment as well as treatment since 1961 when Ulman initiated a new terminology "Art Therapy" as described in the "Bulletin of Art Therapy". Art Therapy 1. endorses the idea that the process of making art is inherently therapeutic, 2. takes into consideration thoughts, feelings, behaviors and spirituality within the counselling process, 3. can be used to explore issues of relationships, family, loss, life transitions, abuse, and development, and 4. includes interventions to resolve emotional conflict, increase self-awareness and self-esteem, build social skills, change behaviour, increase coping skills, and to develop strategies for problem solving. For the past four decades in some developed countries like United States, France, Germany, and Japan, art therapy has been actively and positively applied in the fields of psychiatry, pediatrics, and rehabilitation medicine, and also in management of chronic pain and cancer patients as a complementary therapeutic modality and basic research tool as well. In approximately 2001 in Korea, educational program of art therapy on a post-graduate level at medical schools and art therapy clinics at university hospitals were begun. Ever since that time the clinical, academic, and research activities are noticeably growing in number and quality. It is anticipated that if the theories and skills of western medicine, oriental medicine and complementary alternative medicine are put together, the newly established integrative art therapy will make significant contribution toward overall improvement in future medicine.


Clinical Art Therapy; Art Therapist; Integrative Medicine

MeSH Terms

Adaptation, Psychological
Art Therapy*
Chronic Pain
Complementary Therapies
Developed Countries
Health Services
Hospitals, University
Human Development
Integrative Medicine
Medicine, East Asian Traditional
Problem Solving
Psychological Theory
Schools, Medical
United States
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