Art Therapy in a Museum Setting for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Literature Review
Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
This literature review aims to explore a trend within the field of mental health services, of moving away from more restrictive and stigmatizing environments, such as hospitals and clinics, and into public spaces, specifically art museums. Current literature indicates that art therapy is specifically appropriate for individuals who have difficulty with social connection and verbal communication, allowing for a way to express themselves while finding connection in a non- verbal way. Art museums have also seen a shift in purpose through increasing community based and therapeutic programming, aimed to create a space of healing and connection, and becoming more accessible and comfortable to a wider range of museum patrons. Art museums are now being viewed as non-stigmatizing places that allow for natural learning to occur (Roberts et al., 2011). These shifts in both art therapy and the museum setting allow for a natural and mutually supportive collaboration. Although much of the research on the benefits art therapy in museum settings is inconclusive, evidence-based inquiry through the use of quantitative methods will allow for more advantageous opportunities toward art therapy collaborations within the unique and beneficial public museum setting.
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Aguilar, Sharon, "Art Therapy in a Museum Setting for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Literature Review" (2019). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 112.
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