Lynn Kapitan


Professor & Director of the Professional Doctorate in Art Therapy
Phone: (414) 930-3250
Office: 231 CH


• B.S. University of Wisconsin — Madison
• M.P.S. Pratt Institute, Creative Arts Therapy
• Ph.D. Union Institute & University, Interdisciplinary Studies (Art Therapy/Leadership)
• ATR-BC, Art Therapy Credentials Board

Selected Presentations:

  • “Arts therapies in the ecotone: Contact, collaboration, and creative entanglement,” keynote address. Joint Conference of the Australian Creative Arts Therapies Association and the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association, Adelaide, Australia (2015).
  • “Decolonizing art therapy: Social justice and new paradigms of care,” closing plenary panelist, 46th Annual Conference of the American Art Therapy Association, Minneapolis, MN (2015).
  • “Re-thinking culture: A critique of multicultural competency and the social justice gap,” paper, 46th Annual Conference of the American Art Therapy Association, Minneapolis, MN (2015).
  • “What’s our impact? Transforming art therapy through connectivity, action, and research advancement,” keynote address. International Symposium on Contemporary Arts Therapy Research and Practice, LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore (2014).
  • “Re: Invention and realignments of art therapy,” keynote address. International Conference of the British Art Therapy Association, Goldsmiths, University of London, England (2013).
  • “A rights-based community approach to art therapy with at-risk children: Balancing compassion and action,” keynote address, Israeli Creative Arts Therapies Conference, Haifa University, Israel (2012).
  • “Make your mark: Art-based research and social justice,” panelist. Art Therapy Research and Social Justice Regional Symposium (co-sponsored by Maryland, Virginia, and Potomac Art Therapy Associations), Arlington, VA (2012).
  • “Community-based arts therapy for creative witness and healing from trauma,” paper, Journey Towards Healing International Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2011).
  • “Creative witness to our times: Approaches to social action art therapy in communty development,” keynote address, II Congreso Latinoamericano de Arte Terápia, Universidad de Chile y Asociación Chilena de Arte Terápia (2009).

Recent Publications:

  • Kapitan, L. (in press). Introduction to art therapy research (2nd ed.). New York: NY: Routledge. 
  • Kapitan, L. (2016).Transforming art therapy through connectivity, action, and research advancement. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Arts Therapy, 10(1).
  • Kapitan, L. (2015). Social action in practice: Critical review and recommendations for global cross-cultural art therapy. Art Therapy Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 31(3) 104–111.
  • Kapitan, L. (2014). (Special issue editor). Beyond self-Inquiry: Does art-based research produce real effects in the world? Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 31(4), 143–144. 
  • Kapitan, L. (2014). The world we share: Four challenges worthy of art therapists’ attention. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 31(3), 100–101. 2014   
  • Kapitan, L. (2014). (Special issue editor). Introduction to the neurobiology of art therapy: Evidence based, complex, and influential. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 31(2),     50–51. 2014   
  • Kapitan, L. (2013). Re: Invention and realignments of art therapy. ATOL: Art Therapy OnLine, 5(1). 
  • Kapitan, L. (2012). Testimonio creativo de nuestro tiempo: Arteterapia y acción social comunitaria. In M. Marinovic & P. Reyes (Eds.), Arteterapia: Reflexiones y experiencias para un campo professional [Art therapy: Reflections and experiences for the professional field] (pp. 61–72). Santiago: Universidad de Chile Facultad de Artes.
  • Kapitan, L., Litell, M., & torres, A. (2011). Creative art therapy in a community’s participatory research and social transformation. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art   Therapy Association, 28(2), 64–73.
  • Kapitan, L. (2011). Working with children internationally. In D. Maller & M. Fritchle (Eds.), The Praeger handbook of community mental health practice, Volume 3: Working in the global community (Chapter 8, pp. 133–150). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Awards & Professional Leadership:

  • Past-President (2004-2005; president-elect, 2002-2003). American Art Therapy Association.
  • Former Executive Editor (2006-2014). Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association.
  • Journal Advisory Board (2014-current, member), Journal Editorial Review Board (1991-2005, member)
  • Honorary Life Member, Wisconsin Art Therapy Association.
  • Alumni Achievement Award, Pratt Institute
  • Circle of Scholars Award for Outstanding Research, Union Institute & University.
  • Distinguished Service Award, American Art Therapy Association (1997), Wisconsin Art Therapy Association (1998)
  • Visiting/Guest Professor: LaTrobe University & the Melbourne Institute of Creative Arts, Melbourne, Australia; Whitecliffe College of Art & Design, Auckland, New Zealand; LaSalle College of Arts; University of Haifa; University of Chile, Santiago; Southern University of Illinois, Edwardsville; Ursuline College; Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; Illinois State University; Lesley University. 

Research & Special Projects:

  • Doctoral research advisor, specializing in practitioner-generated research; critical theory research; participatory, community-based, and social action research; cross-cultural research; qualitative; and arts-based research. 
  • Teen Impact Study, consultant and data analyst, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY (in collaboration with the Walker Art Museum of Minneapolis, Houston Contemporary Art Museum, and the Los Angeles Contemporary Art Museum). 
  • The Transformational Community: A Wholistic Approach to the Arts of Liberation in Community Practice, cross-cultural book in development with co-authors M. Litell & A. Torres.
  • Arteterapia y la espiritualidad del sur [Art therapy within the context of Latin American spirituality], program evaluation study, ALBOAN y Munduko Txokoa, Bilbao, Spain. 
  • Long-term participatory action research (community art therapy for social transformation), lead investigator, CANTERA de Managua, Nicaragua [Center for Popular Education of Nicaragua).
  • Art therapist and community consultant, CANTERA (2000-present).
  • Professional doctorate as a change initiative for the profession, survey and action research.
  • Arts-based research consultant, A T &T Solutions Global Pacific Barrier Busters team, Singapore.
  • Project manager and content development, Art Therapy website.
  • Strategic planning project manager, American Art Therapy Association
  • “Collaborative witness project,” doctoral research on the phenomenon of disenchantment among art therapist professionals, Milwaukee, WI.