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Barbara Fish

Artist, Art Therapist, Activist

For more than 35 years I have worked with children and adolescents affected by trauma in residential, hospital, and school settings in the Chicago area.  I have developed programs including the Insight Through Art program serving elementary school children in the Cabrini Green Housing Project, and the art therapy program at Gateway Foundation serving adolescent boys who were court ordered to residential substance abuse treatment.  

I am an active artist and use my images to find my way in this challenging work.  I present my work about the use of response art with children and adolescents at conferences and workshops internationally.

My artwork has been my clearest way of understanding and communication since childhood.  Now my images inform my work.  I use the same tools that I offer others to guide my own life.





Art therapy is a profession that uses images and image making to encompass everything from traditional psychotherapy to enrichment. Often, traditional verbal therapy is unable to access deeply held material.  Images provide another way of exploring and bringing issues to light where they can be explored and heal. I do not analyze images.  The one who creates the piece is the authority on his or her own artwork.


"I believe that we are responsible for what we witness.  I use my voice and my images to advocate for those whose struggles I support."

Selected Awards

HLM Photo.jpg

AATA Honorary Life Member Award 2019


AATA Honorary Life Member Award 2019


IATA Lifetime Achievement Award 2015


AATA Service Recognition Award 1992

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