A Qualitative Study of Art Therapy Open Studios in the United States

Thumbnail Image
Manchester, Sara
Master of Arts in Art Therapy
Open studios have grown in popularity as a way for art therapist to practice and meet the needs of clients in nonclinical settings. Factors such as state licensure, healthcare reform, and corporate and educational cutbacks may have contributed to the rise in this modality. Therapists looking to create stable jobs that are independent and more community based such as private practices and studios. Proponents of the studio movement have taken a positive approach, encouraging art therapists to reclaim their artistic roots instead of aligning with other fields to establish professional identities separate and apart from art therapy. While therapists are adapting to changing markets, what is still missing are strong business models to ensure that these new therapy environments are sustainable. Interviews with studios and their founders lead to conscious, structural, and dual clinical and business considerations for running studios that can withstand market and social pressures.