Table of Contents
- Becoming an Art Therapist | An overview!
- What is art therapy?
- What do Art Therapists do?
- What skills do Art Therapists need?
- How does one go about becoming an Art Therapist?
- What should you look for in an art therapy program or school?
- What are some of the best art therapy schools?
- What are the application requirements?
- Career opportunities as an Art Therapist
- Art Therapist | Salary
- How long does it take to train as an Art Therapist?
- Key takeaways
Becoming an Art Therapist | An overview!
If you’ve ever participated in art therapy, you know how healing it can be. It has the power to spark creativity, restore your sense of well-being, and aid in the resolution of anxieties, conflicts, and even addictions. While art therapy was once only practiced in a few places – such as hospitals, wellness centers, and rehab facilities – its application is now much broader.
As a result, the demand for Art Therapists is constantly growing. If you are eager to learn more about becoming an Art Therapist, read ahead to know all about it.
What is art therapy?
Art therapy involves exploring and working on a person’s feelings, emotions, and behaviors through the creative process of making art. The process of creating artwork aids in the resolution of stress and anxiety, creating new social skills, and developing self-awareness. Art therapy that is professionally facilitated effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals and community concerns. It improves cognitive and sensorimotor functions, cultivates emotional resilience, promotes insight, improves social skills, reduces and resolves conflicts and distress, and advances societal and ecological change.
What do Art Therapists do?
Art therapists assist their clients in creating art to encourage personal development, increase coping skills, and improve cognitive function. Other types of therapy involve communicating using words or language. However, humans are sometimes unable to express themselves within this limited range.
Art therapists are trained to detect unspoken symbols and metaphors, concepts that are often difficult to express verbally. Individuals can begin to see the results of art therapy and the improvements that can be made in their lives through this process.
Expressive art therapy is a fantastic field that has worked wonders in many people’s lives. Art therapists can assist people struggling with memories or emotions due to abuse, combat, cancer, traumatic brain injury, and other health disabilities. They can also help people with antisocial personality disorder, depression, autism, dementia, and other mental illnesses.
What skills do Art Therapists need?
Art therapy is a unique profession as it combines two very different fields: healthcare and the visual arts. If you want to work as an Art Therapist, you must develop a particular skill set, which includes-
- A keen eye for visual arts.
- Excellent communication skills for dealing with clients.
- Strong observation and active listening skills to comprehend what your clients try to communicate.
- The ability to build strong, trustworthy relationships with your clients.
- Understanding and compassion for your customers.
How does one go about becoming an Art Therapist?
Art therapy is not a separate profession but rather a type of therapy. Consequently, there is no single path to becoming an Art Therapist. First, you must become a licensed professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, or, in rare cases, a licensed clinical psychologist. Each of these jobs necessitates a postsecondary education as well as on-the-job training. A specialized college program focusing on art therapy is almost always recommended but not required.
What should you look for in an art therapy program or school?
To work as an Art Therapist, you must first be licensed in the state where you want to work, which requires a master’s degree in a clinical counseling-related discipline. Art therapy programs are accredited by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA).
Some schools offer art therapy as a sub-discipline of counseling, while others keep it as a separate program. Look for a school with an established art therapy course, multiple experiential learning options, and faculty engaged in research and committed to their field.
What are some of the best art therapy schools?
Does this field intrigue you? If yes, here are some of the best schools to pursue a course in art therapy-
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- Pratt Institute
- Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
- George Washington University
- Hofstra University
- Emporia State University
- Arcadia University
- Mount Mary University
What are the application requirements?
After you’ve shortlisted the universities you want to apply to, you’ll need to research their admission requirements on their websites. A few requirements, however, are common for all universities, such as-
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and official undergraduate transcripts from all institutions attended.
- Transcripts from any institution where one completed their post-baccalaureate or graduate course work.
- Two letters of recommendation from qualified professionals.
- A recent resume.
Career opportunities as an Art Therapist
An Art Therapist can work in various settings, and with the growing demand around the world, they have many career options. These are some examples-
- Medical and psychiatric hospitals and health centers.
- Day-care centers and outpatient mental health facilities
- Residential treatment facility
- Homelessness and homeless rescue organizations.
- Non-profit organizations and social service agencies.
- Workshops on shelter
- Colleges and universities
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Institutions for the elderly
- Artist studios
Art Therapist | Salary
Art therapy is just one of many options available for mental health counseling. It falls under a broad category of human services that cater to various types of clients in multiple facilities and at different stages of life.
When it comes to career and salary, it can be difficult to categorize. Besides, as most art therapists are creative, independent individuals, your career path is often determined by your vision and motivation for the job.
Gaining experience and knowledge about various art forms, such as pottery, painting, and drawing will set you on the journey to your dream career and a higher salary. Understanding and developing behavioral sciences and psychology and interning or volunteering in a related field will help you land a job.
How long does it take to train as an Art Therapist?
Art therapists are expected to have a master’s degree or higher level of education. This usually necessitates six years of a college education — four in a bachelor’s program and two in a master’s program. Most counseling and therapy licenses in the United States require supervised post-graduate field experience after earning a degree, often for a year or more. So you’ll need at least seven years or more to become an Art Therapist.
- Art therapy is a technique to foster healing through art and creative expression.
- Art therapists use this form of therapy for their clients to learn about their emotions, behaviors, etc.
- To become an Art Therapist, one must have a master’s degree in the clinical counseling-related discipline.
- Various top universities offer a course in art therapy that students can apply to if they wish to choose this career option.
We hope you liked this blog on how to become a certified Art Therapist. If you have any questions/suggestions, reach out to us or drop a comment!
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Q1. What is the job outlook for Art Therapists?
Answer- The demand for Art Therapists is constantly growing, with around 26,660 new jobs estimated to be filled by 2029.
Q2. How do I become an Art Therapist in Australia?
Answer- To practice as an Art Therapist in Australia, you must-
- Have a minimum of two years of master’s degree.
- Complete a minimum of 750 hours of supervised clinical placement.
- Have a professional membership of the Australian, New Zealand, and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA).
- Have finished continuing professional development and work under a code of ethics.
Q3. What is the highest salary for an Art Therapist?
Answer- The average salary of an Art Therapist in the USA is around $52,141.