What are the creative arts therapies?
These therapies include art, drama, dance/movement, and music therapy, each addressing social, emotional, cognitive, and/or physical issues through the uniqueness of their art form. At ITA, the theoretical philosophy is “client centered.” We approach our clients by focusing on their strengths and design treatment goals to help them develop, improve, and change.
What is the difference between arts therapy and arts education?
In the arts therapies, we are generally concerned more about “process” than “product.” In other words, we place more emphasis on helping our clients move through the steps of learning about themselves than the actual artistic output. What our clients learn and how they interpret their work takes more precedence than what it actually looks or sounds like. As opposed to an educational setting where concepts must be taught and synthesized, creative arts therapists focus on promoting personal growth through the art-making process.
What are the qualifications of a creative arts therapist?
All of the therapists at ITA have graduated from a nationally accredited college or university with a bachelors, masters, and/or doctorate degree in their therapy modality. The bachelor’s degree level music therapist has completed a minimum of 1040 supervised hours and successfully passed a Board Certification exam to begin practicing. Masters level art, music, dance/movement, and drama therapists have successfully completed all of the course work required, as well as internships, field placements, and extensive supervision. The doctoral level therapist has completed all of the coursework and research components for clinical psychology.
How can I tell when progress is being made?
When therapy begins, a set of goals, called a “treatment plan” is developed. If a client is moving toward these goals, then progress is being made. Sometimes in the course of working with a client, we find that other steps need to be taken in order to accomplish the goals. These steps may be subtle but can be seen through an examination of the client’s behaviors, thoughts, actions, and/or physical abilities. In this way, emphasis is placed on the process involved in reaching the goals rather than focusing on the product. In therapy the goal is to improve upon emotional, behavioral, and physical skills, not artistic mastery. We are happy to see when skills develop, though it tends not to be the primary focal point of treatment.
How long do these therapies take?
We track the progress of our clients every week and make revisions to the treatment plans as needed. The time required for success is, of course, different for every person, since the goals are unique to each individual. It usually takes 3 weeks to assess and define goals, and then we look at the goals on a regular basis to evaluate success. Typically, you will start to notice results in about 3 months or 12 sessions. If you have questions, it is best to address these concerns with the therapist assigned to you or to your family member.
How much do sessions cost?
ITA offers individual sessions, group therapy, and in-home treatment. Call for more details. The rates for sessions held off-site are determined by a number of variables. Individuals and families in need of financial assistance are encouraged to apply for our financial aid.
We also see clients through contractual agreements with many facilities throughout the Chicagoland area. These rates at host facilities and organizations are negotiated prior to commencement of services. Feel free to tell administrators and health care workers about our services. They may be interested in bringing ITA to their facilities as well.
Will my medical insurance pay for these services?
ITA currently accepts Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) PPO Insurance, Blue Choice PPO Insurance, and Aetna PPO Insurance.
We can supply you with a special invoice with codes to send to other insurance companies if you do not have BCBS or Aetna, but it essentially remains your responsibility to pay for the services in full each month. The insurance company will then reimburse you once they have received all of the required documentation. They are more likely to reimburse you if you can gain pre-approval for the service before starting the therapy. Call your insurance company to find out if they cover art, music, drama, or dance/movement therapy. Explain that although not all of our therapists are “licensed” by the State of Illinois, we are certified and registered through our national organizations and certification boards. You can talk to your therapist to find out if he/she possesses an additional license which some insurance companies may require for reimbursement. The fields of creative arts therapy are growing in scope and understanding by third party payers, but we still have a ways to go in the medical insurance industry.
Can you see my child at school as part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
Yes. We have many individuals and groups who are seen in the school system. To have creative arts therapies added to an IEP, a formal assessment process must be conducted. The assessment looks at the educational necessity of the art therapies as a related service.
How do we get started?
Involvement for individual and group sessions begins with an intake appointment. This first meeting includes completion of a short interview form (by the potential client or family member), and a brief introduction to the four expressive arts modalities: art, music, drama, and dance. Upon recommendation of the ITA’s Clinical Director, new clients are assigned to a therapist and/or group. One of our therapists will walk you through this process.