Art Therapy Counseling Degrees

A career in Art Therapy provides the opportunity to combine creative process with innovative counseling techniques to help others. Art Therapy degrees prepare students to evaluate and assess clients, help patients reduce anxiety and depression, and learn the latest research methods in the field.

In order to pursue licensure and practice as an Art Therapist, a Masters degree must be earned along with completion of an internship. Undergraduate degree programs specializing in mental health, art appreciation, or counseling can be earned that will prepare prospective students to enter a graduate program.

The Art Therapy degree promotes students to pursue a career in a rewarding field offering counseling services to people diagnosed with mental illness, suffering from trauma, or struggling with substance abuse. For students interested in this area of study, there are various online programs offered that provide convenient schedules and will greatly prepare you for a career in this field.

Consider an online counseling program: Our Lady of the Lake University's online MA in Counseling has multiple specializations in School Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling. Learn more.
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Art Therapy Counseling Degree Programs

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Several colleges in the United States offers Art Therapy graduate degrees through accessible online settings, but they are few and far between to have an Art Therapy specialization track.

Online counseling programs are able to train you to complete treatment goals for clients, make expert choices about what type of art therapy is needed, and learn how to incorporate research methods.

Online programs offer convenient schedules, accessible courses, and flexible hours for anyone who can not attend traditional classes on campus. If you are wanting to specialize in Art Therapy, you should look at the individual coursework (required and elective) to see if the university has any art therapy or related courses.

Helpful information has been compiled below to help you make decisions regarding your future career in Art Therapy.

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What Do Art Therapy Counselors Do?

Art Therapists use art appreciation and creative processes to treat clients and provide emotional support to patients diagnosed with mental health disorders. As an Art Therapist you can work with children and adults who have anxiety and depression, patients that struggle with substance abuse, and help resolve conflicts and find resolutions. Therapy sessions using art processes, counseling through art appreciation, and diagnosing and supporting patients is what Art Therapist do in an office or clinical setting.

Art Therapists enact various roles on a day-to-day basis. They work with children who have experienced trauma, write treatment plans for patients that have received diagnoses, or administer assessments to potential clients. Obtaining a graduate degree in Art Therapy allows students who are interested in art and art appreciation to pursue a career in a field that involves counseling and helping others.

Art Therapy Counseling Degrees

The field of Art Therapy is increasing, offering students many opportunities to pursue a higher education in this area with a variety of job choices. In order to obtain a career in Art Therapy, students must start at the undergraduate level with a Bachelors degree in Art, Social Work, Psychology, or a similar field.

After completing a Bachelors degree, students must enter a graduate program and earn a Masters degree to apply for licensure in this field. A Masters degree in Art Therapy and an internship or field work will help prepare you for licensure. Listed below is more information concerning details in these programs. Students have several options concerning degree programs that best work for their schedules and future professional plans.

  1. Masters in Counseling
    In order to be eligible for licensure as an Art Therapist, students must earn a Masters degree. Higher education programs specializing in Art Therapy can require around 2 years of graduate school after completing a bachelors degree. Upon completion of your program, some degree programs require you to complete an internship in order to gain field experience for your career. Numerous colleges offer options for students who need flexibility while pursuing a degree in Art Therapy.
  2. Doctoral Counseling Programs
    Upon completion of a Masters degree in Art Therapy or a closely related field, students have the option to enroll in an online doctoral program that can boost their careers and add to their knowledge in this field. Doctoral programs can assist professionals who want to focus on creative, innovative, and research-based methods to use in Art Therapy, which could lead to career advancements and more choices in this field.
  3. Certificate Programs
    After earning a Masters degree,students can enroll in programs to pursue certifications that prepare them to specialize in focus areas in their degree field. This certificates enhances a Masters degree, but it better prepares students to continue their education in the field of Art Therapy.

Online Master's Programs

Many colleges offer a Masters degree in Art Therapy using an online program and coursework. For an easily accessible and flexible schedule, online programs offer a better choice with convenient options to fit their schedules.

A career in Art Therapy can be obtained through completing an online Masters degree. Throughout our research, we did find a couple online programs offered in Art Therapy below:

  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania - Online Masters in Art Therapy

    Edinboro's online Masters degree in Art Therapy offers a flexible option for students interested in combining creative art, art appreciation and counseling. This 60 credit hour program prepares you to begin working with clients with various counseling needs using different art techniques.

  • Prescott College - Online Masters in Art Therapy

    Prescott College is located in Arizona, but currently offers a Masters degree program online in Art Therapy that prepares students with an educational background on the latest trends to use in this type of counseling field. This is a 60 credit hour program -that takes 2-3 years to complete for students attending full-time. A post-graduate certificate is required with 30 hours in Art Therapy upon completion of the Masters in Counseling.

Sample Courses for the Online Master’s in Art Therapy Counseling

Art Therapy CareerStudents who are interested in the type of courses available for Art Therapy can view the list below to get an idea of what type of coursework is offered for this program. The courses available in an Art Therapy degree program were developed to prepare and inform students about Art Therapy research methods, art appreciation strategies, and counseling methods to assist patients and clients. Completing a Bachelors degree will give you a knowledge base and reference to art and the methods used through creative expression, while graduate courses will prepare you to be a professional in this field. There are many roles you can fill when you start a career in Art Therapy.

The courses offered in an Art Therapy program typically focus on a foundation of information that can help students learn to be knowledgeable and successful in their career choices. Graduate Art Therapy coursework offers students the opportunity to be trained specialist in the field of counseling using art expression and creativity.

Students interested in a Masters in Art Therapy program, should read below on a subset of courses from actual programs we have researched:

  • History and Theory of Art Therapy

    Counselors entering the field of Art Therapy will be taught a knowledge base of artistic methods, art appreciation, and ways to express through creativity. This course will give insight to students by studying the history of art and theories behind the techniques used in counseling. Studying art, the creative processes, and assessments using art are vital for this type of career.

  • Current Trends in Art Therapy

    Learn the latest trends in Art Therapy on ways to help patients resolve conflict, overcome substance abuse, and work through their trauma. This course offers information concerning the latest techniques on how to assess and evaluate signs and symptoms of mental illness and disorders. Diagnosis and treatments, as well as the best type of therapy approaches, and how cope are some areas that may be covered in this course, which are needed in this line of work.

  • Media and Material in Art Therapy

    Students enrolled in this course will be offered information on the type of art media and materials used in therapy and assessments. The focus as an Art Therapist will be using art processes to treat, assess, and diagnose. In this course, you can learn more about the best approaches to managing behaviors, resolving conflicts, and reducing stress.

Path to a Career in Art Counseling

The information pertaining to degree programs in Art Therapy will help you decide the best track. If now is a good time for you to start college and pursue a career in this field there are several convenient programs offered for this career path. If you already have a Bachelors degree, there are numerous online programs that offer a Masters degree in Art Therapy. If you have not started a Bachelors degree, and are interested in the field of Art Therapy, many undergraduate degrees can prepare you for graduate school such as a Bachelors degree in Psychology, Art, Art History, or Social Work. Upon earning a Masters degree in Art Therapy, you will be able to take the licensure exam to practice as a counselor.

In order to work directly with clients in the field, the American Art Therapy Association requires a licensure in your practicing state to ensure that practicing therapists are competent in their careers. In order to apply for licensure, most states require that you hold at least a Masters degree in Art Therapy. A licensing examination ensures you have the knowledge to safely practice in a public health capacity.

Art Therapy Counseling Organizations: Art Therapy Education & American Art Therapy Association

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education works together along with the American Art Therapy Association to provide support and guidance to those in the field. A practicing career in Art Therapy requires licensing through each state which is regulated through accreditation boards such as these. Professionals stay up to date with the most recent trends, methods, and techniques by joining organizations, like these, that specialize in their field of expertise. The American Art Therapy Association is an organization in this field that offers support to professionals in this career, as well as opportunities to interact with others that hold similar jobs, and learn more about the latest trends in Art Therapy.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, you should review over the information concerning these two organizations. Both organizations can provide you with helpful insights regarding trends in your field and provide support to you throughout your career.

Art Therapy Counseling Careers to Consider

The field of Art Therapy is a rewarding field that has growing interest in the United States thanks to innovative studies in creative expression and art appreciation. Art Therapy helps patients use creative expression to improve cognition, promote insight, resolve conflict, and overcome trauma. Those techniques paired with counseling, result in a career that combines art and helping others in a therapy type setting. With a degree in Art Therapy, you can work in a private practice, public health facilities such as hospitals and clinics, or facilitating assessments and evaluations.

Professionals in this field can work in a variety of settings using their expertise in art and counseling to help others. An Art Therapy degree will allow you to provide counseling, support, testing and diagnostic services to potential clients and patients. Art Therapists are professionals that have the potential to work with clients suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma or mental illnesses.

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