It is the mission of the Toronto Art Therapy Institute to provide a supportive and inclusive atmosphere for excellence in learning at a graduate level to students in Art Therapy, to provide art therapy services to the communities in which our students conduct their practicum and to foster growth and healing through the use of art therapy in diverse communities.
The Toronto Art Therapy Institute was established in 1968 by Dr. Martin Fischer, one of the early pioneers in the field. He first used art therapy in his work at an Ontario hospital in 1947. He actively promoted its development as a form of therapy until he died in 1992. He was also instrumental in the founding of the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute and the Phoenix Art Therapy Institute. Dr. Fischer gave lectures and taught at the University level in Canada and the United States and also had an international reputation as lecturer and workshop leader. During his lifetime, he was internationally recognized for his contribution in the fields of residential treatment for severely disturbed children and adolescents and a pioneer in group therapy in Ontario and the development of art therapy as a profession through his activities with the Toronto Art Therapy Institute as founder and first president of the Canadian Art Therapy Association.