Art Therapy Although the Spanish Federation of Professional Associations of Art Therapy (FEAPA) was only founded as recently as 2010, there are traces of the use of systematic Art Therapy by teachers as early as the Civil War (1936-1939), when they conducted programmes for exiled children, supported by Quakers and members of the International Brigades, as well as by Aldoux Huxley. From a professional point of view, the professional associations have joined together in a federation, the Spanish Federation of Art Therapy, FEAPA. The mission of FEAPA is to promote the professional development of art therapy, its clinical and social practice and research in order to constitute the theoretical and practical body of work necessary for recognition as an independent discipline. The initiative was established in 2006, during the First National Congress of Creative Therapies with the establishment of a constitution and the agreement became a commitment by the associations attending the First Professional Conferences of Investigation in Creative Therapies in Madrid in 2007. The five founding members of FEAPA are:

  1. Asociación Española de Arteterapia (ATE)
  2. Foro Iberoamericano de Arteterapia (AFIA)
  3. GREFART - Grup de Recerca i Formació en Artterapia
  4. MURARTT - Asociación Profesional de Arteterapia de la Región de Murcia
  5. Asociación de Arte terapeutas Transdisciplinarios para el Desarrollo Humano (ATH)
See FEAPA’s website for further information: http://feapa.es/ Information on music therapy, dance movement therapy, and dramatherapy will be added in due course.


There are two types of Masters in the Arts Therapies programmes in Spain: A professional Masters, delivered by universities but not recognized by the Ministry of Education, and a full Masters, that combines training and research and allows students to progress to PhD studies. This kind of full masters is currently offered only by the University Complutense of Madrid/Autonomous University of Madrid. The courses are recognized and regulated by the Ministry of Education and are adapted to the European Higher Education Area. They are subject to re-accreditation at 3 yearly intervals. Programmes have to comply with the same standards as for psychiatry, i.e. number of training hours, internship hours, assessment, supervision, experiential/dynamic hours, theoretical units, etc. There is a leaning towards psychoanalysis, and Art Therapy in Spain is influenced by the British school as well as pioneers in South America (e.g. Nise da Silveira). Other influences come from the work of Susan Lange, Edith Kramer and Gustavo Freire. ECArTE member institutions offering Masters programmes in the Arts Therapies include:

  1. The Universidad Complutense de Madrid runs a full Masters programme in Art Therapy.
  2. The University of Barcelona runs a Masters programme in Music Therapy.
  3. The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) runs a Masters programme in Dance Movement Therapy.
Other Universities in Spain offering Masters in the Arts Therapies include:
  1. The University of Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla
  2. The University of Murcia
  3. The University of Valencia
  4. ISEP (Madrid).
The International University of la Rioja offers an online programme in Music Therapy. However, there is currently no training for dramatherapy.


Art Therapy is not recognized officially as a profession in Spain, nor does it have a protected title at present. However, FEAPA is in negotiations with the Ministry of Work to secure this status. Arts therapists tend to work in educational, clinical, cultural and social settings.


Research is needed in order to prove the efficiency of the Arts Therapies. Art Therapy Research is conducted by Universities and research groups within the Universities. Most of the research in Spain is delivered by the University Complutense and the Autonomous University of Madrid, although it is a growing field and new art therapy programmes at doctoral level are starting as in the university of Granada and Barcelona. University Complutense has led a national Research grant for 4 years funded by the Ministry of Competitiveness (see: https://www.ucm.es/aletheia/que-es-aletheia). The Full Masters Art Therapy programmes at universities link internships with research. That is why most of the students want to continue with research. Currently, around 20 PhD theses have been produced in Spain. 10% of students who finish their Full master at the University of Madrid follow PhD studies. The predominant methodologies are mostly qualitative and mixed at present, and Arts therapists develop their own specific qualitative methods, including ethnography, case studies, grounded theory, etc. Most PhDs receive no scholarships or funding. Useful Links

  1. Asociación Española de Arteterapia (ATE): https://arteterapia.org.es/
  2. Foro Iberoamericano de Arteterapia (AFIA): http://www.afia.es/
  3. GREFART - Grup de Recerca i Formació en Artterapia: www.grefart.org
  4. Asociación de Arte terapeutas Transdisciplinarios para el Desarrollo Humano (ATH)
  5. MURARTT - Asociación Profesional de Arteterapia de la Región de Murcia: http://terapiascreativas.org/murartt/
  6. EARTDI, 941035, research group of Art Education, Art Therapy and Social Inclusion: https://www.ucm.es/eartdi