Art therapy involves the use of both the creative process of making art and methods of psychotherapy to bring about improvements in individuals’ well-being and quality of life. Art can provide an alternate means of expression when intellectual and psychological challenges make communication difficult or impossible, which can lead to social interaction and can stimulate intellectual curiosity, self-identity, and awareness. This entry discusses the development of art therapy, the importance of the materials used in art therapy, and the use of art therapy with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The notion that art is an integral part of education and healing has been around since time began, although it only began to gain professional acceptance in the early 20th century. The idea that art ...

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