Art - Dance Movement - Drama - Music



What are Creative Arts Therapies?

  • the planned and creative use of art, dance movement, drama or music to accomplish individualised clinical goals by a qualified Creative Arts Therapist.
  • evidenced-based health professions with a strong research foundation that actively apply supportive science to the creative, emotional, and energising experiences of art, dance movement, drama and music for the benefit of individuals.


Creative Arts Therapists

  • is an umbrella term for therapists with a single-modality, IACAT-accredited training in either art, dance movement, drama or music therapy.
  • engage with individuals and groups across the lifespan, focusing on a range of needs including physical, communication, psychosocial, cognitive or emotional needs.
  • work in a variety of capacities from private practice to multidisciplinary teams within hospitals, rehabilitation centres, hospices, residential care facilities, mental health and social care services. They also work in early intervention, schools and disability services.
  • carry out assessments and design and implement therapy programs and evaluate outcomes with reference to the most up-to-date research base.
  • graduate at Master’s levels, undertake regular clinical supervision, abide by the IACAT Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics and are committed to continuing professional development.


Creative Art Therapies & Arts and Health

  • the Creative Arts Therapies integrate the experience of a given art form with the theories and practice of psychology, psychotherapy and psychiatry as a unique form of therapeutic intervention. Arts and health practices have a focus on artistic processes and artistic outcomes for their own sake.
  • the distinction between the two is sometimes difficult to make, as many creative arts therapists are also practicing artists, musicians, dancers and actors. However art, music, drama and dance movement therapists are qualified health professionals who are equipped to deal with therapeutic work and use the arts intentionally to achieve clinical goals.
  • Arts and Health practice’s primary goal is the experience of art or the production of art. Creative Arts Therapies primary function is therapeutic (The Arts Council, 2003).
  • for information on Arts and Health Practices in Ireland see The National Centre for Arts and Health  and the Waterford Healing Arts Trust.


Statutory Recognition


IACAT is actively campaigning for statutory recognition and registration of Creative Arts Therapies in Ireland. In the UK Creative Arts Therapists have been registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council since 1999. IACAT requests the inclusion of Creative Arts Therapies in the Health & Social Care Professional’s Act (2005). Statutory recognition of Creative Arts Therapists:


  • is critical to the protection and safeguarding of the public
  • will ensure that Creative Arts Therapy services are delivered by qualified, regulated therapist
  • will promote the highest professional standards amongst Creative Arts Therapists in Ireland.


IACAT Membership

Become an IACAT-accredited Art, Dance Movement, Drama or Music Therapist by joining the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists.

Professional, Associate, Student and Organisational Memberships are available.

Read More

IACAT brochure