Listening Session FAQs

Listening Sessions

A Special Note on Participating

In order to allow more people to participate, we please ask that you limit your registration to one Listening Session at this time. The first groups will be in early December and additional groups in the series will be scheduled in 2021. When groups become open, you can register on this same page. We will continue to announce these opportunities to participate and be involved! Future announcements will be published in AATA's Art Therapy Today - subscribe here to stay informed of new Listening Session developments.

Complete the Questionnaire

Even if you don't attend a Listening Session, we'd like to hear from you: The AATA DEI Committee is gathering information about the culture and climate of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) related to DEI. We invite everyone in the art therapy community to complete this questionnaire to help us in this process. Your responses are anonymous.

What is a Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Listening Session?

A listening session is like a focus group: a facilitated discussion with a group of people, aimed at collecting information about their experiences, views, and responses to questions about topics related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Why is AATA organizing DEI Listening Sessions?

These sessions are critical to better understand the art therapy field’s strengths, barriers, opportunities, and development for growth, and move forward into the future with a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive profession.

Information from these sessions will be used in AATA’s strategic planning process and help the Association do better in the areas of DEI.  

Do I need to be an AATA Member to participate?

No! You do not need to be an AATA member to sign up for and participate in these listening sessions. We want to hear from all voices in the art therapy community. 

Registration for the Listening Sessions is free for both members and non-members. Although you do not need to be member to participate, you do need to create an account to register.

What will these DEI Listening Sessions look like?

When: The first few listening sessions will begin in December 2020 and the remainder will continue in January 2021 to accommodate the holiday season. Each listening session is typically 60-90 minutes in length. 

Where: Sessions will be conducted online through Zoom.

Who: The series consists of the 12 groups below, each with a maximum of 30 participants. Two experienced DEI Facilitators from the Ivy Planning Group, the AATA’s DEI Consultants, will conduct these sessions. One facilitator will lead the session and the other will serve as notetaker.

Group Descriptions

Program Directors, Faculty, and Instructors of Undergraduate, Graduate, and Doctorate art therapy academic programs of colleges and universities in the United States. This group is open to educators who are not members of the AATA, as well as members of the Association who are involved in the teaching, advising, and development of department programming for students of art therapy.

Undergraduate, Graduate, Doctorate, and International students enrolled in an academic program studying art therapy in the United States. This group is open to students who are not AATA members, as well as those who are student members of the Association.

Individuals who are or have served on the American Art Therapy Association Board of Directors, including Past Presidents. This group is also open to recipients of the AATA’s highest award, Honorary Life Membership that recognizes leadership, major contributions and an impactful influence in the field of art therapy.

Art therapists who have not renewed their membership with the AATA or have never been members of the Association.

This group includes AATA Committee & Work Group Chairs, Committee & Work Group Members, and AATA Chapter Leaders who are currently volunteering or served in these roles previously within the Association or active with their state or regional art therapy organization’s Board of Directors.

Art therapists and art therapy students who are living with a visible and/or invisible impairment of the body or mind, a condition that limits activity, or creates challenges related to interaction and participation related to one’s vision, movement, cognitive functioning, learning, communicating, hearing, mental health, and other needs. This group is open to art therapists and students of art therapy who are not AATA members, as well as members of the Association.

The acronym BIPOC represents groups that have faced and continue to face prevalent marginalization, discrimination, racism, and oppression. Individuals with African or Caribbean ancestry, belonging to groups native to the Americas, including Native Americans, Indigenous peoples from the Americas who immigrated to the U.S. and people of color who are Black, Asian, Latinx, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Pacific Island heritage, among others. This group is open to art therapists and students of art therapy who are not AATA members, as well as members of the Association.

This group is open to art therapists and students of art therapy who are not AATA members, as well as members of the Association who identify as cisgender male.

The acronym LGBTQIA+ represents a spectrum of gender and sexuality identities, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersexed, Agender, Asexual, Ally, Gender Non-Conforming, Non-Binary, and more. This group is open to art therapists and students of art therapy who are not AATA members, as well as members of the Association.

Art Therapists who graduated from a master’s degree art therapy academic program in the last five years. This group is open to new art therapists who are not AATA members, as well as members of the Association.

Art Therapists with a master’s degree in art therapy or credentialed as a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) or a Board-Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC) through the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB). This group is open to art therapists who are not AATA members, as well as members of the Association.

Organizations, groups, associations, companies, and individuals that can affect or be affected by the Association's or profession’s actions, objectives, and policies.  Examples could be investors, Association employees & contractors, employers of art therapists, licensing & credentialing boards, Association collaborators, competitors, and consumers or communities impacted by art therapy.

Can I participate in more than one Listening Session/Group? 

No, please select only one group to participate in. We recognize people are multidimensional and hold many different identities. We encourage everyone to participate in these listening sessions from a perspective of intersectionality and claim other identities through which you are speaking, even though it may not be the main focus of the group you have chosen.

How will the information be used?

Registering: The AATA office will know who initially signs up to participate in the listening session series and the information necessary to complete registration for Ivy’s facilitators. However, your participation, identity, and responses will be kept confidential. When signing up, your email address will be added to AATA’s database for future announcements and updates, but you can unsubscribe/opt out of these communications at any time by clicking "Unsubscribe" at the bottom of the email or email


During the group: Individual names or specific participants are not identified in group transcripts. 

Following the group: The AATA’s DEI Committee will lead a collaborative review of Ivy’s notes to analyze and examine the findings, themes, and content. This will be used to create and publish an in-depth report of the data for AATA members and the art therapy community. These overall findings will be valuable to inform and create future steps, recommendations, strategic planning, and DEI action planning.

Why should I participate?

Your voice, experiences, and views about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of art therapy and the AATA are valuable to learn more about. We seek to hear from as many voices as possible from the art therapy community. Help us create sustainable change and a shift in culture for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive profession. If you would like to reach out with questions, don’t hesitate to email and include  “Listening Sessions” in the message’s subject.

How can I sign up and participate?

Visit the registration page for available sessions.