Call for papers and art responses addressing anti-oppressive art therapy


Movements such as Black Lives Matter, Indigenous sovereignty, feminism, disability studies, LGBTQ+ rights, and others have demanded that art therapists provide culturally responsive and relevant services. Doing so requires a critical examination of art therapy to re-establish the field in anti-oppressive frameworks in order to remove and replace harmful practices related to a range of systemic influences while focusing on strengths and resiliency. To highlight this importance, three art therapy journals are collaborating to simultaneously publish special issues. We seek papers on theoretical paradigms, case reports, research, arts-based research, pedagogy, and perspectives as well as arts-based responses. Submissions may include but should not be limited to:

·      Culturally responsive approaches to art therapy which facilitate self-valuation, self-definition and self-awareness to preserve the self-esteem of oppressed groups in order to mitigate against dehumanizing outside influences.

·      Co-produced research studies informed by the lived experience and world perspectives of art therapy service users.

·      Perspectives which contribute towards increasing access to services and training by acknowledging that differences among people (sexual orientation, class, race, age, etc.) can serve as oppressive measures towards individuals and change their experience of living in society.

·      Self-reflexive approaches and strategies which challenge unconscious bias through consideration of power, privilege, and prejudice in relationships and settings to inform art therapy practice.

·      Art therapist-activist practices which gives voice to marginalized groups in context of the social and political.

·      Critiques of existing theory and normative unconscious processes through non-colonial and Re-indigenizing explorations of the visual realm in art therapy.


Each journal will host papers which use specific frameworks to examine the above themes and components of anti-oppressive art therapy. A group of specialist Guest Co-Editors will work in collaboration with the individual journal Editors:

International Journal of Art Therapy – Intersectionality:

Submissions on art therapy practice, research and pedagogy using an intersectional lens, honouring intersectional thinking and its roots historically as an anti-oppressive self-reflective tool, and including one or more of the key concepts: the interlocking matrix of oppression, intersections of privilege and power, resisting oppression, standpoint epistemology.

Guest co-Editors:

Dr. Dwight Turner (author of Intersections of Privilege and Otherness in Counselling and Psychotherapy) and Patrick Vernon (author of 100 Great Black Britons and contributing author of The International Handbook of Black Community Mental Health) and Corrina Eastwood (author of White Privilege and Art Therapy in the UK: Are we doing The Work? and co-editor of upcoming book Intersectionality in the Arts Psychotherapies.)

Canadian Journal of Art Therapy – Re-indigenization and Anti-colonialism:

Submissions focused on reconciliation with Indigenous communities globally that explore anti-colonial approaches, Indigenous research methods, Two-Eyed Seeing, community art therapy and social justice practices, and the Re-indigenization of art therapy by or for Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit, Metis, Aborigine.

Guest co-Editor: Megan Kanarehtenha:wi Whyte (author of Cell Block Brushes: Art Therapy-Based Murals for Indigenous and Incarcerated Men in Federal Correctional Services and Walking on Two-Row: Reconciling First Nations Identity and Colonial Trauma Through Material Interaction, Acculturation, and Art Therapy).


Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association – Cultural Humility:

Submissions that focus on one or more of the core tenets of cultural humility expressed in arts-based means, explorations, and practices: ensuring means for creative self-reflection; redressing power dynamics in the client-art therapist relationship; developing mutually beneficial and equitable partnerships; and advocating for change within agencies, institutions, and societies.

Guest co-Editor: Dr. Louvenia Jackson (author of Cultural Humility in Art Therapy)

Article submissions open: 1 March 2022

Article submissions close: 31 March 2022


More info