What a thought-provoking question!
The thing that's difficult to answer about it is that if, for example, someone is very depressed and suicidal and comes for art therapy, and later kills him or herself, is it a failure of the art therapy or something else, like his/her support systems or tragic events?
Or if someone goes to therapy but still feels terrible and has not made much progress in a few months, is that because of their lack of motivation to change? Is it because they have not got enough support in their everyday lives? or is it because that particular therapy didn't work for them?
The way I look at it, I don't 'fix' anyone in therapy. People often can heal themselves, with enough support, safety and opportunity. I just provide coaching, witnessing, resources and support. The rest is up to them.
If what you mean by 'failure' is that "do people ever come to art therapy and leave with their problems unsolved?" the answer is definitely yes. People change when they want to, they are ready to, and the time and conditions are right, even with excellent art therapists, psychologists or social workers.
I realize that might be a more ambiguous answer than you were looking for. I hope it's useful.
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