We enthusiastically recommend WCATS. Our daughter has benefitted enormously from the individual attention she receives in art therapy and music therapy. Thanks to the skilled and caring therapists at WCATS, our daughter is steadily progressing and having lots of fun in art and music class.
-B. & R. C.




What are the creative arts therapies?
Therapies using arts modalities and creative processes to accomplish clinical goals within a therapeutic relationship are called “creative arts therapies.” Types of creative arts therapies include music therapy, art therapy, dance therapy, and drama therapy.

What is music therapy?
Music therapy is a widely recognized and uniquely effective treatment used with people ranging in age from infants to geriatrics facing challenges that accompany multiple handicapped children to self-referred adults looking for personal growth. The music therapy process helps to build communication skills, foster healthy, flexible interactions, and overcome emotional, physical and cognitive deficits. No musical skill or training is necessary to participate in this process.

What is art therapy?
In the therapeutic process of art therapy, the creation of art is a valuable agent in promoting physical, emotional, cognitive and social growth in individuals. By creating art, individuals find opportunities for exploration, experimentation and reflection, while the finished product serves as a visual reminder of the process that has taken place. Self-expression, either verbal or visual, is encouraged and facilitated during art therapy sessions promoting increased awareness of self and others.

What kind of training do creative arts therapists receive?
Creative arts therapists receive rigorous academic training at the undergraduate and graduate levels as well as extensive hands-on clinical experience. They become familiar with the different basic approaches to music and art therapy and the various special populations with which creative arts therapists generally work, while continually expanding and perfecting their skills. They observe and assist in the work of experienced therapists in a variety of clinical settings. Training culminates in an intensive internship, where the student assumes the full range of entry-level professional duties under the supervision of qualified professionals. Music and art therapy training is currently available through the doctoral level.

What kinds of professional certification do music and art therapists have?
Music and art therapists who have completed an appropriate level of academic training take a national competency examination administered either by the Certification Board for Music Therapy or the Art Therapy Credentials Board. Those who pass this examination are designated as Board Certified (MT-BC or ATR-BC). Some states have licensing procedures for health professionals such as music and art therapists. This generally involves an examination administered by the particular state. The State of New York licenses creative arts therapists and other mental health professionals through the Office of the Professions in Albany.

What areas of growth and change can be addressed through participation in music or art therapy?

  • Developmental: this would include areas such as pervasive developmental disorder or more circumscribed diagnoses such as those in the autism spectrum. Music and art tap into resources in individuals in this category that other approaches do not reach. Music and art therapy can further the development process; it can also provide opportunities for activity and interaction that are meaningful and rewarding to such individuals at their level of development.
  • Mental/emotional: music and art has profound effects on both thinking and emotion. It can be calming and soothing as well as energetic and motivating. It can stimulate recollection of past associations and events and fuel the capacity for imagination and fantasy. It is an invaluable tool in psychotherapy and in work with the chronically mentally ill.
  • Physical: Music and art is used with those whose physical deficits are considered permanent as well as those who are recovering from injury or illness. The ability of music to induce physical activity in individuals – and groups – no matter the level of physical deficit is widely acknowledged. Music, particularly in its rhythmic aspects, can help participants regulate activity, making it more consistent and focused, and thus maximizing the effective use of energy. Art therapy can address issues faced by those who experience tactile defensiveness, as being exposed to tactile materials as they create art can help them to overcome sensory concerns.