Art Therapy in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Maureen Woodcock


*This amended paper replaces, at the authors request, the original version which is no longer available.*

This paper presents an account of the evolution of art therapy in New Zealand. It is written in the context of two recent earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand. The paper describes the origins of art therapy since the 1960’s. It traces the development of a professional training and association. The position of the profession within the context of Australasia is discussed. This includes the close ties with Australia. The paper describes how the particular conditions of New Zealand in having a small population, have led to the need for therapists from different creative modalities – art, drama, music and creative therapy – to work collaboratively. The paper refers to the need to create culturally sensitive practice within the multi-cultural population of the country that comprises an indigenous as well as a migrant population. The paper describes current art therapy practices in this context.

Key Words: Art Therapy, Arts Therapies, New Zealand, Earthquake, Multi-cultural, Maori, Indigenous, migration

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