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Vilmante Aleksienė, Audrone Brazauskaite



Opening Ceremony

Development of the Arts Therapies in Lithuania

RUDIMENTS. The earliest known initiatives to arts for health started in Soviet Lithuania in the 1980s. The effect of music in the treatment of psychosomatic diseases was investigated in the Spa Treatment Research Laboratory and took place in music therapy rooms set up in sanatoriums. Likewise, music and art activities were introduced in the Republican Psychiatric Hospital for both diagnosis and treatment. However, these projects were suspended due to financial difficulties in the first years after the restoration of Lithuania's independence in 1990.
BEGININGS. Development of Arts therapies in post-Soviet Lithuania can be linked to the Law on the Integration of the Disabled adopted in 1991. One after another, music, art, dance, drama studios were established in special education institutions and psychosocial rehabilitation centers as well as privately. Research on the artistic education of the disabled has been started since 1995. The search for methods of working with people with disabilities has led to the opening up of application of arts therapies with involvement of arts educators and professional artists.

FORMATIONS. In 1997 two associations were established: The Lithuanian Association for Art Therapy Application (from 2017 Lithuanian Art Therapy Association) and The Lithuanian Association of Educational Music Therapy (from 2011 Lithuanian Music Therapy Association). The Lithuanian Dance Movement Therapy Association was established a decade later, in 2011. At the latest, in 2020, the Drama Therapy Association was founded.
INFORMAL TRAINING IN ARTS THERAPIES. 1997 - 2014 The Lithuanian Music Therapy Association started courses (more than 800 hours) led by music therapy professors of well-known music therapy programs. The most important were: Brynjulf Stige, Tom Naess (Norway); Clive Robbins, Barbara Wheeler (USA); Karin Schumacher (Austria), Simon Procter, Jacqueline Furlepa (UK); Monika Nöcker-Ribaupierre, Tonius Timmermann (Germany); Heidi Fausch (Switzerland); Teresa Leite (Portugal); Adrienne Lerner (France); Mirdza Paipare (Latvia) and others.
Art therapy seminars were held from 1998 to 2010 with the collegues from Roehampton University dr. Janek Dubowski, dr. Jonathan Isserow (U.K), Philippa Brown (University of Hertfordshire (U.K.), dr. Margaret Hills (Qeen Margaret University (U.K.), dr. Nancy Slater (Adler School of Professional Psychology (U.S.) and others. In 2001 - 2003, Art Therapy seminars were held together with Russian partners, Association of Art Therapy. From 1998 – 2010 theoretical basics in Art Therapy amounted to 700 hours in total.
The first informal two year Integrative Dance Movement Therapy course (600 hours) developed by Dr. Aleksandr Girshon was brought to Lithuania in 2008. Another course allied to dance movement therapy – the Bodywork and Movement Therapy programme (570 hours) founded by Linda Hartley – was also presented in Lithuania during 2011. Alongside these extensive training courses there were numerous weekend seminars led by specialists in dance movement therapy, body therapy and body psychotherapy from the UK, USA, Latvia, Germany, Netherlands and other countries.
REGLAMETATION. Since 2005 the leaders of the associations sought legal recognition of arts therapies to provide the legal basis for professional training, practice and research. In 2014 Lithuanian Minister of Health signed an order regulating the professional qualifications of art therapists and music therapists; in 2020, the new version of the document legalized the professional activities of dance movement therapists.
FORMAL EDUCATION IN ARTS THERAPIES. The first Master's program in Art Therapy was launched at the University of Health Sciences in cooperation with the Vilnius Academy of Arts in 2013. The joint Master's degree program in Music Therapy at the Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine & the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater started in 2015. This program grew into the Arts Therapy program, when in addition to the specialization in music therapy, the specializations in drama therapy and dance movement therapy joined in 2019, and the specialization in art therapy joins since 2021.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION. International cooperation is important for arts therapists operating in Lithuania. We are members of the following European professional organizations: ECArTE, EMTC, EFAT, EADMT.

Audronė Brazauskaite

Audronė Brazauskaite, doctor social sciences, art therapist, supervisor. Her dissertation “Developing A Sense of Self Through Art in Children with Severe and Moderate Learning disabilities” (2001) was the first in Lithuania related to art therapy. A.Brazauskaite was one of the founders of the Lithuanian Art Therapy Assosiation in 1997, a chair of that organization in 2003 -2010. A.Brazauskaite has worked in the interdepartmental work groups, aiming at the formalization of Art Therapy as a profession in Lithuania. She was one of founders of the Art Therapy Master Program at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) & Vilnius Academy of Arts (VDA) and presently an art theray lecturer at LSMU Rehabilitation Clinics. A. Brazauskaite is a founder and director of the Public Enterprise Arts Therapy Centre. Since 2015 A.Brazauskaite is confirmed as an art therapist – pioneer of this profession in Lithuania.
Research interests: image perception in art therapy, creative process in art therapy, interdisciplinary discourse in art therapy.

Recent publications and conference presentations
A.Brazauskaitė V.Tautkevičius, Experiences of people with Epilepsy during Art Therapy / Epilepsija sergančiųjų potyriai dailės terapijos metu.- Rehabilitation Sciences: Nursing, Physiotherapy, Ergotherapy LITHUANIAN SPORTS UNIVERSITY KLAIPĖDA UNIVERSITY , 1 (18) 2018 ISSN 2029-3194 / eISSN 2538-8673, The journal is indexed in IndexCopernicus , file:///C:/Users/USER/Desktop/Reabilitacija_2018_1_su-virseliu.pdf
A.Brazauskaitė Drawings speeking out loud / Garsiai kalbantys piešiniai..- Menas, terapija, sveikata/ Art, Therapy, Health: monografija/ book compilers: Stanislovas Mostauskis, Audronė Brazauskaitė. – Kaunas : Lietuvos sveikatos mokslų universiteto Leidybos namai, 2017 ISBN: 9789955154181. 2017 UDK 615.85:73/76 Me-141
A. Brazauskaite, D. Svirusyte, S. Dikciute The Social meaning of Modern Art: I know myself when I am next to you; References: 3rd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2016, , SGEM2016 Conference Proceedings, 2016, ISBN 978-619-7105-53-7 / ISSN 2367-5659, Apr 06-09, Book 4, Vol.1, 213-224 pp, DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2016/HB41/S05.028
A.Brazauskaitė, S.Dikčiūtė 2015 , ISBN 978-609-95758-0-3 “Social Aspect of Modern Art: performances”, “Qualitative research: Experience of People with Disabilities and Artists in Creating a Joint Performance ”
Brazauskaitė A. monografija “Vaikų dailės terapinis aspektas” The therapeutic aspect of the children’s Art, Vilnius:Gimtasis Žodis, 2004, ISBN 9955-512-50-4.

Vilmantė Aleksiene

Vilmantė Aleksiene, doctor social sciences, music therapist, supervisor. She was a founder of Lithuanian Music Therapy Association and chaired it 1997-2019. In Lithuania she developed a strategic direction for music therapy, was a member of the interdepartmental commissions aiming at the formalization of music therapy, was active internationally as a representative at the European Music Therapy Confederation during 2002 – 2020, and as coordinator of international projects. In recent years V. Aleksienė has been a professor at the Vytautas Magnus University, and a head of the Arts Therapy Master Program at the Faculty of Medicine Vilnius University in connection with the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater, and also visiting professor at the Liepaja University and the Riga Stradins University. She has published articles in international journals and monographs, a scientific study, four methodological books. Areas of research and professional interest: group music psychotherapy, music therapy in psychosocial rehabilitation, supervision.

Recent Publications

Ribinskaitė, Ina; Aleksienė, Vilmantė. Judėjimo negalią turinčių asmenų dalyvavimo NVO laisvalaikio užimtumo veiklose veiksniai: prasmės, patirtys, lūkesčiai (Persons with Mobility Impairments Participation in NGOs’ Recreational Activities: Meanings, Experiences, Expectations)// Socialinis darbas. Patirtis ir metodai = Social work. Experience and methods. Kaunas : Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas, 2019, T. 24, nr. 2. ISSN 2029-0470, doi:10.7220/2029-5820.24.2.4, handle:20.500.12259/108991. Internet access: <> [S4] [TOC Premier (EBSCO), Sociology Source Ultimate (EBSCO), IndexCopernicus]

Lisauskienė, Dovilė; Aleksienė, Vilmantė. Rekreacinių idėjų raiška neformaliajame ir formaliajame curriculum (Recreational ideas in non-formal and formal curriculum)// Pedagogika : mokslo darbai = Pedagogy. Kaunas: Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas, 2019, T. 134, nr. 2. ISSN 1392-0340, doi:10.15823/p.2019.134.10, handle:20.500.12259/101459. Internet access: <> [S4] [Scopus, Education Research Complete (EBSCO), Central & Eastern European Academic Source (EBSCO), MLA International Bibliography, IndexCopernicus, CEEOL, CSA Social Services Abstracts

Andziule Vita, Aleksiene Vilmantė, Lesinskiene Sigita (2018). Music Therapy in Rett Syndrome Cases. Society, Integration, Education, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference, Volume III, Higher Education, (May 25th-26th, 2018), 17–26. DOI:

Lisauskienė, Dovilė; Aleksienė, Vilmantė. The need of interdisciplinary partnership in recreation area to work with street youth // Society, integration, education: proceedings of the international scientific conference, May 26th-27th, 2017 / Rezekne academy of technologies. Faculty of education, language and design; [edited by Velta Lubkina, Anda Zvaigzne; compiled by Svetlana Ušča]. Rezekne : Rezekne academy of technologies, 2017, Vol. 3. ISSN 1691-5887, doi:10.17770/sie2017vol3.2340, WOS:000566187100019, handle:20.500.12259/99938. Internet access: <> [P1a] [Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Social Science & Humanities (Web of Science)]
Aleksienė, Vilmantė. Muzikinės veiklos ypatumai ugdant autistiškus vaikus, sud. (Peculiarities of musical activity in the education of autistic children, ed.) Kaunas: Šviesa, 2016. ISBN 9785430067243.

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