The therapeutic value of art has long been acknowledged in history. Many cultures have been aware of the healing virtues of art activities, whether these were individual/ group or cultural expressions.
However, it was not until the turn of the century that Art Therapy emerged and developed as a profession in the post-war era in Britain and the U.S.A. Many of the pioneers of Art Therapy came from the field of art education and the psychoanalytic tradition and worked in sanatoriums, hospitals and schools starting in the late 1930's.
They recorded their work and began to develop a language and literature of Art Therapy. Training courses were established that led to professional recognition by the NHS and DSS in the United Kingdom and similar status in the United States. Art therapists who had trained abroad began working in Ireland in the mid 1980's and the Art Therapy
Summer School was set up in 1991 in the Crawford School of Art & Design (CIT) in Cork. Subsequently the Art Therapy Foundation Course was established and this was followed by a Master’s training in art therapy.