Why Hire Arts Therapists? (WHAT?)

Why Hire Arts Therapists? (WHAT?) is a Health and Care Professions Council campaign to promote the fact that Arts Therapists are a regulated profession and raise awareness of the legally protected titles of Art Therapist, Art Psychotherapist, Dramatherapist and Music Therapist.

National Health Executive

WHY HIRE ARTS THERAPISTS? Part 1: How statutory regulation of Arts Therapists protects service users

Why use an arts therapist?

1. They have to meet national standards

Arts therapists are statutory regulated and are fully accountable to the HCPC, whose primary remit is public protection. Their right to practice is linked to continuing registration and compliance with HCPC standards for professional skills and behaviour as well as additional obligations, such as undertaking continuing professional development (CPD). This ensures continued learning and development throughout their careers, keeping skills and knowledge up-to-date, and ensuring they are able to work safely, legally and effectively.

2. They can provide cost-effective psychotherapeutic interventions

Bruce Howard Bayley, external liaison officer for the British Association of Drama Therapists (BADth), said: “Working with clients creatively and psychologically attempts to secure an emotional wellbeing that is core to the potential impact of other health and social care interventions. This is why arts therapists are recognised for providing more cost-effective psychotherapeutic interventions.”

3. They can transform the lives and wellbeing of service users

The benefits to service users can extend well beyond therapy sessions, according to Val Huet, former Chief Executive Officer of the British Association of Art Therapists: “Arts therapists are skilled at engaging hard-to-reach service users of all ages, regardless of their conditions. Outcomes can include improved social and communication skills, as well as increased confidence and self-esteem, enabling them to play a more integrated role in society.”

Read more here

National Health Executive

WHY HIRE ARTS THERAPISTS? Part 2: Case studies

Real-life stories from service users help to promote the statutory regulation of arts therapists.

Louis’s story

“Seven-year-old Louis is a young carer for his mother. He had been suffering from nightmares following a serious accident. Whilst he was smart and energetic, Louis exhibited high levels of anxiety, demonstrated by obsessive behaviour, sleeplessness and increased worry about everyday activities.

“During his first art psychotherapy session he created an intensely colourful painting, dramatically covered by black paint. He stuck a tiny fish sticker at its centre. I was struck by the daunting black dominating the painting – amongst it all a surviving fish, struggling in the midst of darkness.

“As time went on, Louis shared snippets of his nightmares, which seemed to reflect gripping feelings of responsibility, guilt and helplessness.

“After 10 weeks, Louis said his nightmares had stopped. He could sleep more easily and felt less worried about the trials and tribulations of everyday life. He was content making his creations on his own; reinforcing a peace with himself which had previously been hard to reach.”

Read more here