CATs@Concordia celebrate 25 years

On May 15th, Concordia’s Creative Arts Therapies graduate program is celebrating 25 years with a reception and performance by the participants from the Centre for Arts in Human Development.

The creative arts therapy program evolved from the art education department beginning with a diploma in art therapy and went on to become an independent master level program a few years after. It now included drama therapy and in the fall of 2009 an MA in music therapy will be added. Dance-movement therapy courses are also offered as electives.


To practice as a professional art therapist in Quebec with the recognised credentials ATPQ (art thérapeute professionnel du Québec) you need your MA in art therapy and supervised clinical hours. For more specifics consult the code of ethics and training standards available on the AATQ web site, the association for professional art therapists in Quebec.

A bit of history

It is to me surprising to be reminded that art therapy is still this young in this part of the world. The beginnings in the US date back to 1914 with the establishment of the New York based Walden School by Margareth Naumberg art educator and later on (1920) her sister Florence Cane also taught there . They believed in the therapeutic benefits of making art for children and are considered our earliest pioneers.

In Canada in the 40′s it was Martin Fisher psychiatrist at the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital in Toronto who was first to experiment with the arts in psychiatry, while Selwyn and Irene Dewdney both artists were hired as art therapists at the Westminster Veteran’s Hospital in London, Ontario. They pioneered the therapeutic use of art with psychiatric patients. Naumberg and Fisher were instrumental in establishing the first schools that taught art therapy principles.

In Quebec, Marie Revai, an artist in Montreal began teaching art to underprivileged children and was eventually hired in 1951 to work with psychiatric patients hospitalized at the Alan Memorial. In 1974, Maurice Brault who was also an artist became initiator and facilitator of the Montreal Lethbridge rehabilitation and reeducation program through the arts, creating one of the first art therapy studios outside psychiatric institutions.

As you can see the roots of art therapy grew out of three different soils: artistic, art education and psychiatric. Modern day art therapy is characteristically pluralistic and adaptable to a wide range of therapeutic objectives and client populations but also powerful when used for creative growth individually, with groups or even when working with small communities. More will be said later.

Happy birthday Concordia CATs program.

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Catégorisé dans Apprentissage, Événements.

Publié le 17 avr 2008

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Un commentaire à CATs@Concordia celebrate 25 years

  1. xavier bonpunt
    Le 15 fév 2016 à 20:12

    INVITATION EN PREMIÈRE MONDIALE: HOMMAGE À MARIE REVAI ( 1911-1997 ) Pionnière de l’art-thérapie au Québec !