Given the rapid social changes and economic development, China is in need of mental health care and psychotherapeutic interventions while it has to deal with several arising challenges. The various forms of creative arts therapy (including art therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, expressive arts therapy, and music therapy), have emerged as vital forces in the field of psychotherapy due to their uniqueness and effectiveness. At the same time, the fundamental role and social function of arts is now being re-discovered, re-evaluated, and re-defined. The focus of our attention is on the improvement of education implementing creative arts in China, which requires a change in people’s attitudes as well as innovations in this field. This entails further research both in theory and practice, improvement of the existing literature through numerous case studies, and experiments and development of personal viewpoints as a result of self-reflection. Additionally, the academic perspectives and the methodologies used for the applications of arts, education and therapy, in the context of western culture, are of great interest to researchers and practitioners in China.
In order to further stimulate the dialogue between the East and West, Art and Science, Education and Therapy, the 1st International Symposium of Creative Arts Education and Therapy was held in Beijing, China, May 6-8, 2016. This event was organized by Inspirees Institute, Creative Arts Education and Therapy – Eastern and Western Perspective (CAET journal) and the School of Art and Communication, Beijing Normal University, in collaboration with the Association of Creative Movement (Italy), Music Therapy Center/Central Conservatory of Music (China), Wuxi Mental Health Hospital and China Open University. We hope that ISCAET, in cooperation with the CAET Journal, will provide a unique platform for dialogue and exchanges at an international level and will facilitate the collaboration across disciplines, regions, and cultures, aiming at refining the research level of this field in China.