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Dave Gussak

Published January 1, 2010

Professor of Art Therapy
Clinical Coordinator
Department of Art Education
Curriculum Vitae (CV)


Social Media



David Gussak, Ph.D., ATR-BC., is a Professor for The Florida State University Graduate Art Therapy program. He is also the Project Coordinator for the FSU/Fl Department of Corrections Art Therapy in Prisons Program.

He has presented extensively internationally and nationally on forensic art therapy and art therapy in forensic settings. Among his numerous journal and chapter publications, he has also authored his own books, including -among others-Art on Trial: Art Therapy for Capital Murder Cases [Columbia University Press] and the soon to be released Art and Art Therapy with the Imprisoned: Re-Creating Identity [Routledge Publishing] . He is also the co-editor [with Dr. Marcia Rosal] and contributing author for The Wiley Handbook of Art Therapy. He is working on his latest book on the relationship between art and violence for the Oxford University Press.

Dr. Gussak is also the author of the blog “Art on Trial” Confessions of a Serial Art Therapist” for Psychology Today: and oversees the Facebook page “Rambling the Crossroads of Art Therapy”:

While Dr. Gussak teaches a number of courses for the program, he has consistently taught: Theory and History of Art Therapy, Ethics and Professional Issues for Art Therapy, Program Development of Art Therapy, Therapeutic Use of Art Materials, and Practicum II, along with supervising and chairing several doctoral committees.

Dr. Gussak has served the art therapy field in many capacities. Among his many stints as members of numerous committees for both AATA and the ATCB includes his roles as chair for the AATA’s Nomination Committee, Past Board Director for the American Art Therapy Association and Treasurer of the Art therapy Credentials Board. He also sits on the editorial review board for Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association and the Arts In Psychotherapy, and is a frequent guest editor for The International Journal of Offender Treatment and Criminology.

In 2013 he received the FSU College of Fine Arts Distinguished Research Award, and in 2017 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the American Art Therapy Association.

After all this time, he still loves what he does, and still can’t believe that he gets to get paid to do it.

Teaching Areas

Theories of Art Therapy (ARE 5649)

Therapeutic Use of Art Materials (ARE 5460)

Practicum II (ARE 5942)

Ethics & Professional Issues (ARE 5640)

Research Areas

Forensic Art therapy in correctional settings working with aggressive and violent clients, the work of the art therapist; and the development of the professional art therapist.

Select Scholarly/Creative Works & Awards

– Gussak, D.E. (2022). The frenzied dance of art and violence. Oxford University Press.

– Soape, E., Barlow, C., Gussak, D. E., Brown, J., & Schubarth, A. (2021). Creative IDEA: Introducing a Statewide Art Therapy in Prisons Program. International Studies, 363–379.

– Gerber, N., Kapitan, L., Forinash, M., Gussak, D. E., La Civita, J., & Kaimal, G. (2021) Doctoral Education in Art Therapy: Current Trends and Future Directions, Art Therapy, 38:1, 42-49, DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2020.1761735

– Malhotra, B., & Gussak, D. (2020) Journey: A Strength-Based Art Therapy Approach With Those Who Have Sexually Offended, Art Therapy, DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2020.1823198

-Gussak, D. E. (2019). Art and art therapy with the imprisoned: Re-creating identity. Routledge.