Donna Betts

Donna Betts
Assistant Professor of Art Therapy
[email protected]
Personal Biography Page

Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC, is an Assistant Professor of Art Therapy at the George Washington University.  She is President-Elect of the American Art Therapy Association, and has formerly served on the Board of Directors for the AATA and the Art Therapy Credentials Board.  Dr. Betts holds a Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree from GW, and a PhD in Art Education with a specialization in Art Therapy from Florida State University (FSU).  Her clinical experience includes work with children, adolescents and adults.  She has researched, published and presented on a variety of topics, including adoption and foster care, assessment, autism, eating disorders, and research.  In 2005, Dr. Betts completed her doctoral dissertation, entitled A Systematic Analysis of Art Therapy Assessment and Rating Instrument Literature, funded by an FSU Office of Graduate Studies dissertation grant, as well as the 2004 Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Daisy Parker Flory Graduate Scholar Award. Her doctoral research resulted in the publication of the seminal article, Art Therapy Assessments and Rating Instruments:  Do They Measure Up?  (Betts, 2006).      

More recently, Dr. Betts received a GW Columbian College of Arts & Sciences grant to fund an innovative project, the International Art Therapy Research Database. During the summer of 2011, Dr. Betts led a study entitled An Art Therapy Study of Visitor Reactions to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Experience.  Her interest in art-based methods extended into an ongoing collaborative study based in Nova Scotia, Canada, ├île ga Bruidhinn: Community-Based Gaelic Language Revitalization.  In addition, Dr. Betts is co-investigator for an autism study funded by a GW Medical Faculty Associates (MFA) Collaborative Research Program grant, Assessing Medication Responsiveness in Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which incorporates the Face Stimulus Assessment (FSA) (Betts, 2003).  She is also the Principal Investigator on Phase II, Year 2, of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded study that is exploring the use of a computer-based tool to help military service members express combat-related experiences through personal narratives in a graphic novel/sequential art format.

Learn more about her work: