25 Art Therapy Statistics That Are Quite Fascinating 2024

Art Therapy Statistics

It’s time to get your art on.

We’ve all been there: you’re trying to find the latest statistics on art therapy, and you can’t find anything that’s 100% relevant.

We know how frustrating it can be to search for these stats—especially when you have a deadline coming up and you need something fast. So we decided to make a list of statistics about art therapy so that you can get back to doing what matters most!

These art therapy stats will help you prove your case or just get inspired by the power of creativity. Whether you want to know more about the market for your career or just want to learn more about this fascinating field, this list will be helpful!

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Enlightening Art Therapy Statistics For a Better 2022

  • 50 minutes of art therapy sessions can help patients reduce stress in a hospital setting.
  • The art therapy occupation in the US is dominated by women.
  • Art therapists in the US are predominantly white.
  • The average age of art therapists in the US is 44.9.
  • 53.1% of art therapists continued to work in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Over two-thirds of art therapists worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Zoom was the most popular platform choice for teletherapy.
  • 14.7% of art therapists lost their job or had been temporarily suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Art Therapy Effectiveness Statistics

1. In one study, art therapy instantly lowered cortisol levels in 75% of participants.


This study was conducted in 2014 by Girija Kaimal of Drexel University and included 39 healthy adults. After an art therapy session that lasted for 45 minutes, the cortisol levels in the participants were significantly lowered. Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone.


2. A study showed that art therapy lessened anxiety levels and improved the quality of life of children with asthma.


This was a study conducted in 2010 by the National Jewish Health in Denver, wherein children with asthma were provided seven weeks of art therapy sessions.

Asthma may be a physical ailment, but the stress children get from it can also affect their mental health. In the study, the improvement lasted for six months post-treatment.


3. On average, 50 minutes of art therapy session is beneficial among people hospitalized for surgery or a medical ailment.

(Harvard Health)

A lot of people don’t know this, but art therapy can actually be a really powerful tool for helping people who are hospitalized.

The study published in February 2018 on The Arts in Psychotherapy found that participating in an average of 50 minutes of art therapy sessions benefited hospitalized people by lowering their pain and anxiety and improving their moods.

Art therapy helps reduce pain by deviating your mind from the thing that causes you pain.


Statistics of Art Therapy Employment in the United States

4. There are predominantly more female than male art therapists in America.


According to data in 2019, of the estimated 4,799 art therapists in the US, 79.94% are female, while 20.06% are male. In 2010, the percentage of female art therapists was 71.83%, while that of males was 28.17% of the occupation.


5. Female art therapists earn only 94 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make.


Despite the fact that there are more women in the field of art therapy than men, the gender pay gap is still there.

For every dollar a man makes in this occupation, a woman only makes 94 cents. The average yearly income for males in this job is $49,674. For women, it’s only $46,851.


6. Art therapists in the US are predominantly white.


When it comes to race and ethnicity, art therapists in America are mostly white. Next to white people, Blacks or African Americans take up the second-biggest slice of the pie at 12.9%. Then, Latinos or Hispanics make up 12.2%, Asians make up 6.5%, and the rest are Alaska Natives.

Since 2010, there has been a slightly higher percentage of Asians and Hispanics or Latinos in the art therapy field.


7. The average age of art therapists in the US is 44.9.


Interestingly, most art therapy specialists are over 40 years old. To be exact, 59% are over 40, 19% are between 30 and 40 years old, and 22% are 20 to 30 years old.


8. 59% of art therapy specialists hold a Bachelor’s degree.


A bachelor’s degree is not always required to be an art therapist. This is evident in the statistics, showing that 2% of art therapists only have a high school diploma and 3% have an associate degree. The rest hold a Master’s degree or have a degree in other fields.

That said, although you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to be an art therapist, those who have one make significantly more money than those who don’t have one.

Particularly, those with a bachelor’s degree make a median yearly salary of $46,851, while those who have a high school diploma or less make $37,490.


9. The most prevalent industry that employs art therapists is health care.


Art therapy is beneficial for both your physical and mental health. It helps people handle strong emotions, decrease depression and anxiety, and increase self-worth and self-awareness, among others.

It’s also been found to help alleviate pain in cancer patients, boost mental function in patients with dementia, and reduce depression in those with Parkinson’s.

It’s no wonder the health care industry makes use of art therapy the most. In particular, 36% of art therapists work in the health care industry, 22% work in non-profit organizations, and 12% work in education.


10. The unemployment rate of art therapists is 1.83% in 2019.


Since 2010, the unemployment rate in art therapy has decreased from 3.79%. It reached its highest percentage in 2016 at 5.69% and its lowest in 2018 at 0.81%.



Art Therapy Amidst COVID-19

11. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 53.1% of art therapists continued to work in person.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Because they are considered mental health professionals, art therapists were deemed as “essential workers” during the pandemic that plagued the world.

Of the art therapists who continued to work in person, 64.5% said their employers viewed them as “essential workers.”


12. Nearly one out of three art therapists who were viewed as “essential workers” worked in psychiatric hospitals.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Some art therapists have been reassigned, but most of those who were front liners during the pandemic worked in a psychiatric hospital setting (30.5%).

Additionally, 16.8% worked in outpatient mental health clinics, 14.7% worked in private clinics, 11.7% worked in hospitals, and 10.7% worked in community health or social service centers.

Others worked in rehabilitation facilities, corrections facilities, and homeless shelters.


13. 85.5% of art therapists who were front liners were concerned about getting sick with COVID-19.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Art therapists were still reporting to work in person, but because of the PPE shortage of PPEs, they feared they may contract the virus themselves.

Additionally, 50.5% were extremely worried about this, and 92.5% were worried about their loved one’s health if they ever contract the virus and pass it on to them.


14. One in ten frontline art therapists said that they’ve had to change their living situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Because they are worried about the health of their loved ones and passing on the illness unintentionally, some art therapists didn’t live with their families anymore.

Some of them had to work in a shelter where there were no PPEs available, and unfortunately, they contracted the virus.


15. Half of the art therapists who worked as “essential workers” were given additional work to do at home.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Because of the manpower shortage in the health care industry during the pandemic, art therapists also had to take the brunt of the workload.

In addition to doing additional work from home, they were given more responsibilities or had been temporarily reassigned to different roles. As a result, 58.5% of them found it difficult to have a work-life balance, and an additional 65.7% felt burnt out and helpless.


Transitioning Art Therapy to Teletherapy

16. Over two-thirds of art therapists worked from home in some capacity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Before the pandemic occurred, art therapists weren’t eager to use digital platforms to conduct their sessions. However, since the pandemic happened, they’ve had no choice.

Many art therapists have transitioned to using videoconferencing platforms or the telephone. This transition has come with challenges, including finding an online platform that suits them and their clients and navigating HIPAA rules.


17. Zoom was the most popular platform choice for videoconferencing.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Because 73.2% of art therapists worked with their clients remotely, a videoconferencing platform was necessary. With that, 52% of them used Zoom.

On average, art therapists report having video sessions with clients a quarter of the time, while the remaining time was done via telephone calls.


18. Three out of four art therapists felt more comfortable using technology during the COVID-19 pandemic than previously.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Although they were forced to conduct their sessions via video and telephone calls, most art therapists still saw some positive outcomes as a result.

For example, 37.4% of art therapists said that teletherapy has allowed them to reach clients who previously couldn’t access mental health care.

Additionally, 54.5% stated that teletherapy has allowed them to increase their collaboration with other health care providers.


19. 62.5% of art therapists report that their clients couldn’t get any art supplies.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Despite the positive outcomes, there were some art therapy-specific challenges worth noting.

Aside from the clients not having access to art supplies, 79.8% of art therapists said that they couldn’t properly see their client’s art-making process, and 78.2% had difficulty incorporating art materials.


20. 59.1% of art therapists had trouble keeping their work and home life separate.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Art therapists who provided teletherapy were also facing the difficulties that any other professional working from home experienced. Working in your home may be comfortable, but the line between work and home life can easily blur.

As such, 53.1% have difficulty finding a workspace that’s free from distractions. Additionally, 42.3% said they felt overwhelmed by the increased workload.


21. 51.5% of art therapists report that their clients felt nervous about teletherapy.

(American Art Therapy Association)

The transition to teletherapy was nerve-wracking not only for art therapists but for their clients as well.

For some of the clients, the use of technology itself was uncomfortable. However, for others, they were worried about not having a private space in their home where they could go during sessions. Lastly, having an intermittent internet connection at home didn’t help.


Financial Constraints and Coping Mechanisms

22. 14.7% of art therapists lost their job or had been temporarily suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Like the rest of the global workforce, art therapists felt the financial effects of the pandemic.

As a result, 10.7% of art therapists said that they received a pay cut, 12.3% stated that they fear losing their job or getting a pay cut, and unsurprisingly, 63.1% are anxious about the financial uncertainty they’re facing.


23. 28.5% of art therapists who are also small business owners stated that they have either applied for or received a small business loan via the Paycheck Protection Program.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Some art therapists have their own art studio or private office. The PPP is a business loan program backed by the SBA to help businesses pay their employees.

Some were not fortunate, as 32.3% had to give up their studio space or office, and 26.2% said they had to implement adjustments to their schedules and staffing.


24. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 55% of surveyed art therapists stated that they felt helpless as they witnessed their clients’ hardships.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Although they’re professionals, they too have felt the stress, anxiety, and burnout that their clients felt as a result of the financial uncertainty and isolation that the COVID-19 pandemic brought. In fact, 18.7% strongly agree with feeling helpless and burnt out.


25. Almost a quarter of art therapists still found time to volunteer in their communities.

(American Art Therapy Association)

Despite their stress and anxiety, art therapists still found time to help their communities. Particularly, 12% volunteered their time in a mental health capacity, while 11.8% donated their time to make cloth masks, PPEs, and other supplies.

An additional 8.1% stated that they offered free art workshops, volunteered at food banks, or donated money and supplies. Sometimes, helping others and volunteering can be a good way to get out of your head.


Related Questions (FAQ)

How does art therapy work?

Specifically for pain management, art therapy works by removing your focus away from what causes you pain. It also relaxes you and alters your mood, so the pain no longer controls your emotional state. It helps you reclaim ownership of your life when you create something unique.


How effective is art therapy?

The notion that art therapy helps you keep a sound mind and body is not without evidence. Numerous studies have shown that art therapy is effective for reducing pain, stress, anxiety, and trauma and improves cognitive function and memory. 


Who benefits from art therapy?

Art therapy can benefit people of all ages. However, it is especially beneficial for severely stressed adults, children with behavioral issues in school or at home, and anyone with trauma or other mental health problems.


What are the requirements to be an art therapist?

To be an art therapist, you need to have a love for art and helping others. You also need to finish an accredited art therapy program in any college or university, complete an internship, and get a license. Some states allow art therapists who are licensed in another relevant field.


What should you look for in an art therapist?

First of all, your art therapist should be licensed to practice. However, on top of the hard skills that art therapy requires, you should look for an art therapist that’s compassionate and well-versed in the art form you want to practice.



We hope that you’ve enjoyed this exploration into the world of art therapy. It has been a pleasure to share these statistics with you.

We know you’ve got a lot of information to digest and are probably feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. That’s okay—but don’t worry, we’re here to help. We want to make sure that you have all the stats necessary to succeed in your art therapy career—and beyond!

If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it on your favorite social media platform so that other people can also learn about art therapy and its benefits. We appreciate your time and hope you have a great day!

Thanks for reading, and take care!

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