The arts therapies established themselves in the Republic of Ireland in the early 1980s with practitioners, having trained abroad, returning home to develop their practice. Trainings for the arts therapies began in the late 1990s with the first Irish accredited MA Art Therapy programme being validated in 2005. The Irish Association of Drama, Art and Music Therapists was officially launched in 1992. The first A.G.M. was held in 1993, when a constitution was ratified and a Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics laid out. In 1998, when dance movement therapists were included, the Association changed its name to the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists (IACAT).


In Ireland, one can only study to be a professional therapist at Masters level. These programmes comply with the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Universities all award their own degrees. All programmes go through Programmatic Review every 5 years. Presently there are post graduate (level 9) trainings in Art and Music Therapy. All creative arts therapies offer foundation, non-clinical level training experiences. The Masters trainings in Ireland are currently located within the arts faculties of larger universities. There are currently two creative arts therapy masters programmes, one of which is a member of ECArTE.

  1. Art Therapy: Munster Technological University – ECArTE Member
  2. Music Therapy: University of Limerick
Whilst having an obvious Irish context in terms of cultural, theoretical and practice orientations, these trainings, to some degree, mirror the UK trainings in terms of length and clinical placement duration. This reflects the needs of those graduates who decide to work in either Northern Ireland (UK) or the UK mainland.


In 1986 the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists was developed as a professional association. At present there is no state recognition or state registration system for the arts therapies but IACAT is requesting this status under the terms of the Health & Social Care Professionals Act (2005). The association has developed a code of ethical practice. It has an organisational structure that supports practitioners and the arts therapy educational systems in Ireland. IACAT regularly publishes a professional journal polyphony.iacat.me


This information will be added in due course.