The Timeline of Art Therapy in the United States is a collaborative educational tool for art therapy students. The purpose of the project is to create a dynamic historical timeline of events that are important to understanding an emerging social justice framework in the profession or art therapy. Students work together to document the history of art therapy in the United States, including people and events outside or on the edge of the profession and its a wider context.

Engaging our stories about the history of art therapy is essential to the professional development of art therapists as cultural workers. Students can begin to recognize the values that are deeply embedded in the way communities and institutions respond to human experiences of trauma and illness. We intend to investigate our cultural knowledge and interpretations of historical people, institutions, and promote critical consciousness among students, supervisors, educators, and community leaders. The timeline is an ongoing work and is publicly available while in progress.

The project is developed by students in the Master of Arts in Art Therapy & Counseling (MAATC) Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, co-taught by Leah Gipson, Assistant Professor, and Craig Harshaw, Senior Lecturer, Art Therapy Department.