Creative Arts Therapy Week

National Creative Arts Therapy Week (CATs Week) is held annually during the 3rd week in March in the United States and Canada.  Drama therapists are encouraged to use Creative Arts Therapy Week as an opportunity to spread the word about the value and efficacy of drama therapy. It is also an opportunity to create collaborations with other creative arts therapists in your local community.

Ideas for Celebrating CAT Week in Your Community

  • Offer to present a brief lunch & learn workshop on drama therapy at your place of employment.
  • Contact a former theater or psychology teacher and offer to present a class session or workshop for high school or college students about drama therapy.
  • Contact other CAT colleagues in your area about offering a workshop or seminar open to the public.
  • Visit schools, nursing homes, day-care or other facilities centers to provide a creative arts therapy experience.
  • Post a "Happy Creative Arts Therapy Week" message on your Facebook page.
  • Arrange a display at your local library (and in your own institution or agency!)
  • Collaborate with another drama therapist to create an improvisational playspace in a public place - such as a street corner or mall.
  • Hand out NADTA Brochures, put up posters or leave flyers wherever you go.

Suggestions for Media Coverage

  • Send out press release to your local paper announcing Creative Arts Therapies Week activities in your community.
  • Send a letter or e-mail to the Public Service Director of your local radio and TV stations for a Public Service Announcement. (Be sure to include your contact information).
  • Arrange for you or a colleague to be interviewed by a local paper or station, highlighting your work.

Your NADTA Regional Representative is a resource to contact for support.

Creative Arts Therapy Coalitions

All creative arts therapies have engaging ways to promote awareness and healing. Drama, music, psychodrama, poetry, dance, and art all offer training programs in their various disciplines. As the therapies inevitably mingle, each enhances the other with fresh ideas and new pathways. The value of arts therapies comes into sharper focus every spring during Creative Arts Therapy Week. The National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies (NCCATA --  brings the CAT organizations together for collegiality and advocacy. NADTA is represented on the NCCATA Board of Directors by our President and Government Affairs Chair. 

Local Coalitions

Collaborating with creative arts therapists in your local area provides opportunities for collegiality and helps build the relationships needed to achieve shared goals. Here are some examples of local CAT Week celebrations in the past.

Pacific Northwest

One drama therapist took her community’s newly formed Playback Theatre troupe to perform at a Rotary Club meeting. At that time the 150 members of the Grants Pass, Oregon main club received contact information for all of the arts therapies organizations. That’s a place to start. Sometimes even these small demonstrations can help someone understand the value of our work.


A week-long CAT celebration was launched with a workshop called “Discover Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University.” There were several events held each day—including workshops, films, and performances. Topics from suicide to family trauma to finding the power of creativity were explored through modalities including dance/movement therapy, Developmental Transformations, and Ethnodrama.

Portland, Oregon

A “smorgasbord of activities” ushered in Creative Arts Therapy week. Workshops and performances helped achieve the purpose of the CAT collaboration: “to promote awareness of the therapeutic value and significance of this discipline though experiential workshops led by creative arts professionals.” Authentic movement, creative dance, psychodrama, impressionism, improvisational theatre, and psychotherapy were emphasized. Original films created by young filmmakers to express “cultural brokenness” debuted.  If you want to be a part of next year’s celebration, check out www.creativeartstherapies.pdx,org.


The Minnesota Creative Arts Therapists Association ( formed in 2007 to help creative arts therapists in the twin cities support each other and “promote the ethical use of creative arts therapies in the region. “ Now a leadership team with representatives from art therapy, dance movement therapy, drama therapy, expressive arts therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy and psychodrama meets to organize workshops and conferences. MNCATA members have co-presented as panelists for creative arts therapy workshops at conferences of the Society for the Arts in Health Care, Minnesota Psychological Association, and Minnesota Chapter of the Association for Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

National Coalition of Creative Arts Therapies
American Art Therapy Association
American Dance Therapy Association
American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama
Canadian Art Therapy Association:
Canadian Association of Music Therapists
Dance Movement Therapy Association in Canada
International Expressive Arts Therapy Association
National Association for Poetry Therapy
North American Drama Therapy Association
American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy
Art Therapy Credentials Board
Dance Movement Therapy Certification Board
National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy