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American Journal of Art Therapy

The very first journal developed in the field of art therapy was the Bulletin of Art Therapy, published in 1961, now called the American Journal of Art Therapy. Founder and editor, Elinor Ulman, felt that anything that was to be called art therapy must involve both art and therapy, also saying that art was the meeting ground of the inner and outer world. Both theories brought into effect the art therapy of today.

In addition to Elinor Ulman, she had a friend by the name of Bernard Levy–Chairman of the Psychology Department at the George Washington Univeristy, whom she worked with at D.C. General Hospital in the 1950s. Levy, also an artist and psychologist, helped her begin the Bulletin of Art Therapy in addition to an early training program at the George Washington University.

Elinor Ulman was one of several pioneers involved with the Steering Committee that began the birth of the American Art Therapy Association, actually born on the second meeting at the University of Louisville in 1969. Papers from art therapist in Canada and England were published in Ulman’s Bulletin journal, even though the growth of art therapy in other countries has been much slower than in the United States.

The American Art Therapy Association was affiliated with the American Journal of Art Therapy from 1974 to 1983, then began their own journal titled Art Therapy. Published regularly and mostly quarterly, most of these magazines, other than the original Bulletin, are still being published today.

Unfortunately, the American Journal of Art Therapy does not have open access for the general public nor has a hybrid, but does list alternative readings for those interested in the journal. They list the articles in the magazine, but with no Website available, it is impossible to click on the articles and go to the areas they list or if one is needed.

Donna Betts, MA, SYT-BC, has written several articles in the American Journal of Art Therapy, but had to develop her own published articles in pdf format for each one, placing it on her own web for the general mass to read it. A good way to view her American Journal of Art Therapy articles is to research her work and then look up her articles online that way.

Presently published by the Vermont College of Norwich University, the American Journal of Art Therapy is listed under the subjects of Therapeutics, Rehabilitation, Education, and Pharmacology. Obviously, the field of art therapy has been difficult to promote, as it was a beginning hybrid of both psychology and art, yet is used in many other fields.

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