Audronė Brazauskaitė1, Sigita Lesinskienė2, Aldona Dapkutė3, Dovilė Jankauskienė3
1Lithuanian University for Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania
2Vilnius University Medical Faculty Psychiatric Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania
3Lithuanian Art Therapy Association, Vilnius, Lithuania
Introduction: Practical application of Art Therapy (AT) in Lithuania can be traced back to the 1980s, when psychiatrists and psychologists started showing interest in AT as an attractive and promising form of therapy in the field of mental health. Setting up of Art studies or classes in rehabilitation, clinical and special education establishments activated the application of AT with involvement of professional artists.
Aim of the survey is to analyse and present history of the specialty and review the development of the field in Lithuania.
Method: Literature and historical data of activities are overviewed and presented.
Results: In 1997 teachers art working with people with special needs set up to non-governmental organisation Lithuanian Association for Art Therapy Application (LDTTA- renamed to Lithuanian Art Therapy Association on 2017). The main tasks of the Association – organization and holding of qualification improvement programes, contributing to the emergence of the Art Therapist profession in Lithuania. The main areas of LDTTAs activities included the following: 1. Application of AT techniques for different clients’ groups. 2. The aim of the qualification improvement seminars is to bridge the gap of multidisciplinary knowledge in AT and collaboration with AT organisations in Europe. 3. In order to present AT for the society, the Seimas and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with the initiative of the LDTTA organised round-table discussions in 2005, 2009. 4. On 30 October, 2014 the “Description of Professional Qualification Requirements for an Arts Therapists” was approved by the Order of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Lithuania. 5. From the 1st September 2013 the first joint Master study programme “Art Therapy” conducted by Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and Vilnius Art Academy Kaunas Faculty started.
Conclusions: Art therapy has long history and traditions in Lithuania, legal acknowledgement, is actively growing field seeking mutual cooperation with health, education, social affairs and culture sectors.