1st Edition

Emerging Perspectives in Art Therapy
Trends, Movements, and Developments

ISBN 9781138652354
Published December 4, 2017 by Routledge
200 Pages

USD $58.95

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Book Description

Emerging Perspectives in Art Therapy aims to document newly emerging trends in the field of art therapy and to offer a vision of the future practices. This exciting new volume contains a diverse selection of chapters written to examine the current transitional phase of the profession where new paradigms of thinking and research methods are emerging due to the continued examination of old assumptions and development of new knowledge. Specific attention is paid to emergent knowledge in the areas of neuropsychological applications, philosophical foundations, research, multicultural and international practices, and art as therapy in allied professions.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction. Part I: Theory. 2 Philosophical Foundations of Art Therapy. 3 Theory and Art Therapy. 4 Neuropsychology and Art Therapy. 5 Education in Art Therapy. 6 Research in Art Therapy. 7 Technology in Art Therapy. Part II: Practice. 8 Ethics in Art Therapy. 9 Wisdom Through Diversity in Art Therapy. 10 Art Therapy and Social Change. 11 Global Art Therapy. 12 Supervision and Training. 13 Professional Development. References. Index.

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Richard Carolan, Ed.D., ATR-BC, is a Board-Certified Art Therapist and a Licensed Psychologist. He designed, developed, and currently serves as the director of the Ph.D. in Art Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University. He has over 25 years of experience as an educator in Art Therapy Psychology and 35 years of clinical experience in working primarily with adolescents, adults, and families. Dr. Carolan has a private practice in Northern California and is the training director for Art Therapy/MFT interns in the San Mateo School District in Northern California. He is the 2014 recipient of the Educator of the Year Award from AATA and  the Keller TeachingAward from Notre Dame de Namur University. His areas of professional interest and inquiry include addiction, psychological recovery, and intentional living.

Amy Backos, Ph.D., ATR-BC, is a Board Certified Art Therapist, Licensed Psychologist, and Chair of Graduate Art Therapy Psychology at Notre Dame de Namur University located in the San Francisco Bay Area. She serves as a member of the AATA Research Committee and of the Editorial Board of Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. In addition to teaching in the MA and Ph.D. Art Therapy programs, she is Chair of the Internal Review Board at Notre Dame. She teaches art therapy in Nicaragua, works as a consultant to international businesses, and provides art therapy at a residential substance abuse treatment facility. Her clinical work includes 20 years with children, teens, and adults who experienced sexual assault and intimate partner violence, combat trauma, and substance abuse disorders. Additionally, Dr. Backos has six years of experience with the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital providing evidence-based treatments and art therapy for veterans with PTSD, as well as working as a research associate conducting research on PTSD with Vietnam and Iraq veterans.


Emerging Perspectives in Art Therapy is a unique, forward thinking framework exploring future considerations for art therapy clinicians, educators, and students. A plethora of topics provide a substantive examination of arising, future landscapes; a progressive book that is rich in both breadth and depth of topics and content. A definite must read contribution to the profession. 

Janice Hoshino, Ph.D, ATR-BC, LMFT, ATCS, Director, Creative Arts Therapy Institute, Antioche University Seattle


Grounded in philosophy and theory with the intention of advancing the science of art therapy, Dr’s. Carolan and Backos have gathered talented authors who do just that. These author/art therapists place the practice of art therapy in context while not forgetting process. As a feminist therapist, I appreciate how the authors promote culture, race, gender, and sexual orientation in the service of social justice. After 25 years as a clinician, I learned from this book.


Susan Radbounre, Ph.D., Psychologist, Cleveland, Ohio


An important and needed contribution to the field of art therapy, Emerging Trends in Art Therapy is based in theory and translates theory to practice. It explores influences from novel disciplines, including neuropsychology and technology, to art therapy. Carolan and Backos, who are board certified art therapists as well as psychologists and researchers, apply these multifaceted lenses to the study and practice of art therapy.

Kristin Samuelson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at University of Colorado Colorado Springs



As society wades through propaganda on the quest for truth, Carolan and Backos gift us with an essential compendium that critically examines contemporary art therapy theory and practice in the early 21st century. Written with competency and inclusion, this timely book respects the history of art therapy while simultaneously clarifying the present and informing the future. This text is a valuable and necessary contribution as the profession evolves through research and towards a unified definition of best practices.

Juliet King, MA, ATR-BC, LPC, LMHC, Director of Art Therapy and Assistant Professor, Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI, Adjustnct Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine




Carolan and Backos have employed thoughtful and articulate individuals to provide current and contemporary writings in the field of art therapy. This comprehensive book covers both theory and practice issues. The book begins with philosophy, theory, and research, but it does not stop there. An array of timely and substantive topics is also covered including pedagogic concerns, neuroscience, issues of diversity and social change, and global perspectives. All this in a slim, but mighty volume.

Marcia L. Rosal, Professor Emerita, Florida State University