Résumé of the professional and educational contexts of the arts therapies
The historical background of arts therapies in Slovenia
The development of Slovenian postgraduate arts therapies training programmes started in 1991 within the framework of the European Tempus project. In 1996 it was recognised by the University of Ljubljana and by the Government of Slovenia (the Board for Higher Education). The programme was recognised also by ECArTE – European Consortium for Arts Therapies Education in 2001. From the beginning it has been an international part-time study course. Every year four to six guest teachers and experts in the arts therapies from abroad are invited to cooperate in running the courses. From the beginning of arts therapies training in 1996 until 2009 there have been about 100 part-time students involved. Unfortunately there is no financial support for study from the government. Only a few of students receive scholarships from their institutions. Most students must pay university fees by themselves which is the reason that their study often lasts longer.
Before 2009 the postgraduate arts therapies training programme was running on the level of specialisation. According to the Bologna European higher education system the programme progressed to Masters level and was accreditated by the Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2012). Education at Masters level started in the academic year 2012/13. In the arts therapies training four modalities are offered: art, dance-movement, drama and music. Once qualified, the graduates are able to practise as arts therapists mostly in the context of their undergraduate profession, or in private practice. Since the profession of arts therapist is not yet on the list of professions in Slovenia, special professional registration for arts therapists does not yet exist.
In 2004 the Slovenian Arts Therapists Association was founded. One of the main tasks of the Association is to establish the profession of arts therapist on the list of professions in Slovenia. The Association connects Slovenian arts therapists from all arts therapies modalities (about 40 in 2011), students and other professionals interested in arts therapies. Altogether there are over 60 arts therapists who work in different institutions (20 dance-movement, 25 visual arts, 10 drama, 6 music): 14 therapists in hospitals and clinics, about 40 in schools (mainstream and special education), 2 in private practice, 2 in community centres for social work, 2 therapists in community centres for cultural work. Some of them work in two places. Within the Association there are professional sections for each arts therapy modality. The tasks of the Association are also to promote arts therapies in Slovenia, to collect professional experiences of arts therapists, to organize professional meetings, to publish proceedings and other written material of Slovene and other authors.