Jane Richardson

Professor of Art Therapy

Faculty Jane Richardson

Jane Ferris Richardson is a board-certified art therapist and a registered play therapist teaching in the undergraduate program at Lesley University. Her areas of academic focus are art therapy and child psychology; and she teaches Principles of Art Therapy, Studio Based Art Therapy, and and Materials as Metaphor in Art Therapy, as well as internship seminars. Jane has received grants to pursue her artwork and organize exhibitions, and for travel and study abroad. She exhibits her paintings and collages regularly. She has collaborated with arts therapists and other professionals in teaching and presenting art and play therapy approaches extensively in Asia, most recently in India and Bangladesh. She also visited Reggio Emilia, Italy, to explore connections between the Reggio Emilia approach to early education and art therapy for children with special needs, and this is one focus of her recent book. Her work has been described as: “skillfully interweaving the intersection of the therapeutic powers of play with the healing components of art.”

Her private practice of art therapy specializes in young children and children with special needs, and support to their families and schools. Her research interests include how art and art therapy support autistic children and adolescents, the connections between art and play therapy, and the global context of art therapy practice. She has presented her work at international conferences in Europe and Asia, and brought Lesley students to Cape Town, South Africa to join in the work of a community arts organization.

Jane has an EdD in Humanistic Education and Human Services from Boston University, where she held a fellowship as Managing Editor of the Journal of Education. She also has Master's degrees from Lesley in Art Therapy, and from Bank Street College of Education specializing in Early Childhood Education.


Art as a Language for Autism: Building Effective Therapeutic Relationships with Autistic Children and Adolescents. 2022, Routledge.

“Art Therapy on the Autism Spectrum: Engaging the Mind, Brain, and Senses.” In Gussak and Rosal (Eds) Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Art Therapy.

“The World of the Sandtray and the Child on the Autism Spectrum” in Rubin and Gallo-Lopez (Eds) Play Based Interventions With Children and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum.

“Inkdance: Body, Mind and Chinese Medicine as Sources for Art Therapy” in Kalmanowitz et al (Eds). To the Bone Or Wrapped in Silk: Art Therapy in Asia.