In 2011 the department created the Art Therapy Research Institute in order to support the scholarship of faculty, students and alumni. In its preliminary stages, it functioned as a meeting space to brainstorm and discuss ways to enhance the research practices of the program. It began hosting an annual Research Symposium that has become a centerpiece and signature event. Elements of the symposium have included featured guests, faculty panels, alumni presentations and student posters. Keynote speakers for the Symposium have been Donna Metz Ph.D. (2012), Linda Chapman M.A. ATR-BC (2013), Nancy Gerber Ph.D., ATR-BC (2014), Linda Gantt, Ph.D. (2015 ), Savneet Talwar, Ph.D, ATR-BC (2016), Bryant Keith Alexander, Ph.D (2017), Heather Tarleton, Ph.D and Suzanne Hudson, Ph.D. (2018) and Garija Kaimal, Ed.D., ATR-BC (2019).  In 2020, the Research Symposium, a colloboration between LMU and Cedars Sinai Medical Center, was a live virtual art exhibit featuring presentations by artists, art therapists, art historians, physicians, and cancer survivors.

Mission & Goals

In 2015 the Institute was renamed The Institute for Art Therapy Inquiry, alluding to its carefully articulated mission to support the knowledge-disseminating, systematic inquiry projects of art therapy faculty, students and alumni, including scholarly, clinical and artistic methods.

The Institute develops supportive resources for faculty to develop and complete art therapy inquiry projects. Among the resources are:

  • peer review
  • IRB support
  • brainstorming workshops

The Institute develops pedagogically sound procedures for facilitating student research learning and engagement. Among the procedures are:

  • research curriculum refinement
  • collaborative clustering support

The Institute develops mechanisms for engaging LMU MFT alumni in art therapy inquiry projects. Among the mechanisms are:

  • review processes
  • library access
  • mentoring possibilities

A Community of Art Therapists

The Institute for Art Therapy Inquiry includes the entire community of art therapists engaged in the scholarly, clinical and artistic investigations of our field.

Collaborating with the faculty, students and alumni of the Graduate Department of Marital and Family Therapy, our community is augmented by the clinicians in the Helen B. Landgarten Art Therapy Clinic, the staff of the Art Therapy in Mexico program, the editors of The Journal of Clinical Art Therapy and the participants in The Art Therapy Alumni Research Collective.

In an effort to support alumni research, the Institute invites LMU MFTH alumni to become affiliate members, receiving library borrowing privileges as well as faculty mentoring. Please complete and return to our department the Art Therapy Research Institute- Proposal for Alumni Project Support.