Art therapy has become increasingly popular over the past years and initiatives are popping up all over the place in a wide range of structures. Several cities run art therapy training and research centres, and the Tours School of Arts and Creative Therapies, created in 1976, is a forerunner in this field.
There are only a few State-certified art therapy training centres in France. AFRATAPEM (the French association of art research and techniques for teaching and medicine[a1] ) or the Tours School of Arts and Creative Therapies, is one of these centres and is a leader in its field.
Art therapy training is required in order to practice this profession and takes the form of a DU (University Degree) which has existed since 1986, in partnership with several medical faculties (Tours, Grenoble, and Lille).
Art therapy, which uses the practice of art for therapy purposes, is becoming a paramedical discipline in its own right with a psychotherapeutic dimension, and specialities have emerged such as music, dance, and drama therapy, etc.
Art therapy applies to a host of areas: illness, disability; and victims of violence, etc. It can be part of a healthcare plan with additional benefits which are now fully recognised.
The Tours School of Arts and Creative Therapies also houses a research centre which is run under the joint aegis of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and the French Ministry of Culture.
A host of scientific studies have been carried out in recent decades to support, in an evidence-based approach, art therapy’s effectiveness on mental health. To date, the most documented areas are oncology, geriatrics, and mental illnesses.
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Article updated on 14/09/22