Ethics Corner

For an ethics complaint or inquiry, please click here to contact the Chair of the Ethics Committee.

The American Art Therapy Association, Inc. is an organization of professionals dedicated to the belief that the creative process involved in the making of art is healing and life-enhancing. Its mission is to serve its members and the general public by providing standards of professional competence and developing and promoting knowledge in and about the field of art therapy.

This Ethics Document is intended to provide principles to cover many situations encountered by art therapists. Its goals are to safeguard the welfare of the individuals and groups with whom art therapists work and to promote the education of members, students, and the public regarding ethical principles of the art therapy discipline.

In this Ethics Document, the term reasonable means the prevailing professional judgment of art therapists engaged in similar activities in similar circumstances, given the knowledge the art therapist had or should have had at the time.

This Ethics Document applies to art therapists’ professional activities across a wide variety of contexts, such as in person, postal, telephone, and Internet and other electronic transmissions. These activities shall be distinguished from the private conduct of art therapists, which is not within the purview of this document.

The development of a vigorous set of ethical principles for art therapists’ work-related behavior requires a personal commitment and constant effort to act ethically; to encourage ethical behavior by students, supervisees, employees, and colleagues; and to consult with others concerning ethical problems. This ethics document defines and establishes principles of ethical behavior for current and future members of this association and informs credentialing bodies, employers of art therapists, and the general public that the members of the American Art Therapy Association, Inc., are required to adhere to the Ethical Principles for Art Therapists.

American Art Therapy Association's Ethical Principles.  This page also contains additional information that may be of interest to the Association’s membership.

A brand new online distance learning course called Fostering Multicultural and Diversity Competence in Art Therapy is now available through the American Art Therapy Association’s Institute for Continuing Education in Art Therapy (ICE/AT).

Fostering Multicultural and Diversity Competence in Art Therapy course, developed by the Multicultural Committee, has just been added to the American Art Therapy Association’s Institute for Continuing Education in Art Therapy (ICE/AT). Multicultural and Diversity Competence in art therapy is a capacity whereby art therapists possess cultural and diversity awareness and knowledge about self and others, and at the same time ensure that this awareness and knowledge is skillfully applied in practice with clients and client groups. Fostering Multicultural and Diversity Competence in Art Therapy is designed to strengthen the identity of art therapists by advancing multicultural and diversity competence as essential to ethical practice and the cornerstone for effective art therapy practice.

The Course learning materials include: the Multicultural Committee Historical Overview, 2011 Art Therapy Multicultural-Diversity Competencies, Wheel of Diversity in Art Therapy: Pioneers of Color, a documentary film, and more!  Click here to login to ICE/AT.