About Craig Balfany

Craig is the Art Therapy Program Chair at the Adler Graduate School. He is very involved in educating, supervising and promoting the profession of Art Therapy. Craig has 20 years of clinical art therapy practice working with children and adolescents in mental health and chemical health programs, as well as adults with traumatic brain injuries and congenital disabilities.


Tell us about your background.
As an artist, I am a ceramicist, sculptor, mask maker, photographer, and gardener. My graduate studies at the Pratt Institute in art therapy and creativity development provided a strong foundation for working in clinical mental health care. I spent 20 years in child and adolescent behavioral health, during which I introduced and integrated art therapy into a local health care system. 

What inspired you to join the art therapy profession?
I came across a brochure describing how art therapy brings together visual arts and psychology in a helping profession. I knew immediately that this is what I wanted as a career, and I still feel the same way more than 30 years later. Being able to engage the whole brain through active creating, pondering aesthetics, and exploring symbols and metaphors to create awareness and movement is utterly fascinating!

What are you most passionate about as an art therapist and educator?
I see the art therapy studio as a safe and sacred space. Sharing that space and engaging with others in the creative process of art making and reflection provides me with a high degree of fulfillment. It is an honor to guide, support, and witness my students’ transformations into art therapists and mental health counselors.

What is so special about the culture at AGS?
The culture at Adler Graduate School is one of encouragement and collaboration, and it values creativity. There is an appreciation of individual and collective contributions by students, alumni, staff, and faculty that reflects social interest and supports movement towards a healthier community.

Recent Courses Taught

  • 521.5 Values, Ethics & Legalities in Art Therapy
  • 527 Special Topics: Trauma-Informed Approaches
  • 551 Foundations of Art Therapy
  • 555 Art Therapy Assessment
  • 558 Multicultural Art Therapy
  • 604.4 Portfolio Defense - Art Therapy
  • 957 Practicum in Art Therapy
  • 958 Internship in Art Therapy

Distinctions & Associations

  • American Art Therapy Association

Selected Publications and Presentations

Balfany, Craig. (1991). Healing the wounded father: a pilot study of the use of creative arts therapy in the exploration of male identity issues. Pratt Institute Creative Arts Therapy Review, Volume 12, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y

The Novo Nordisk Art of Living with Hemophilia – multiple U.S. locations

Educational Background

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY
MPS in Art Therapy and Creativity Development
University of Wisconsin Superior, WI