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Creative Arts Therapy at Montefiore

Montefiore's eleven licensed creative arts therapists work at The Children's Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM), the Moses Campus, the Wakefield Campus, and the Einstein Campus. They work in inpatient and outpatient settings, engaging adult and pediatric patients with art therapy, music therapy and dance/movement therapy to achieve specific therapeutic goals. 

What is creative arts therapy?

Creative arts therapy is a licensed. mental- health field that uses different creative practices to help adults and children achieve developmental, behavioral, mental health, and physical health goals. The areas of specialized practice are music therapy, art therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, psychodrama, and poetry therapy.

What types of health conditions can benefit from creative arts therapy?

Creative arts therapies are used for a wide range of health conditions, including:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Psychiatric illness
  • Respiratory disease (eg, asthma and COPD)
  • Alzheimer's disease and dementia
  • Pre- and post-surgery
  • Autism
  • Learning disabilities
  • Heart disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Pregnancy and fertility
  • Eating disorders and body image
  • Grief

Creative arts therapies are also used to promote general well-being in children, teenagers, adults and older adults. No background in the arts or artistic ability is needed to benefit from creative arts therapy.

How can creative arts therapy help?

Many studies have been published supporting the use of creative arts therapies. Research shows these therapies can help to:

  • Reduce illness-related stress and anxiety
  • Relieve pain
  • Provide a means of self-expression, positive engagement and communication
  • Improve self-esteem, social skills and social bonding
  • Lower symptoms of trauma
  • Enhance treatment for addiction
  • Boost mental skills and mood, including feelings of peacefulness, satisfaction and calm
  • Help people discover new meaning through the illness experience

How are creative arts therapists trained?

Creative arts therapists are trained in both psychotherapy and their specialized arts modality, with a master's degree in the field. After completing graduate requirements and postgraduate, supervised, direct-client contact, creative arts therapy students are eligible to take a national examination for board certification.

Creative arts therapists work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, rehabilitative facilities, psychiatric hospitals, day care treatment centers, agencies serving developmentally disabled persons, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol treatment programs, senior centers, long-term care facilities, hospices, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and in private practice.