What Does It Take to Become an Art Therapist?

What Does It Take to Become an Art Therapist?

Art therapy is a sort of psychotherapy in which patients use visual mediums such as drawing, sculpting, or painting to convey themselves. This type of psychotherapy is used by art therapists to diagnose and address individuals of all ages and with a variety of mental health and cognitive disorders.

An art therapist profession may be right for you if you want to help people attain mental health and recovery via visual self-expression. We clarify what an art therapist performs, go over the steps to becoming one, and address common questions regarding their compensation, work environment, and talents in this post.

What is the role of an art therapist?

A physiotherapist who employs creative therapy to assist understand emotion and treating trauma is known as an art therapist. An art therapist models healing and therapy processes by combining psychotherapy and the creative process of art.

Art therapy can aid in the management of stress, the development of effective communication skills, and the resolution of various mental health issues. Art therapists operate in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, hospitals, and private practices. Individuals could be of age, and art therapists can use self-expression and art therapy to treat a wide variety of psychiatric issues.


What exactly is art therapy? And art therapists?

Art therapists are graduate-level therapists who deal with people of different ages in a wide range of settings. Their training qualifies them for culturally competent work with varied groups in a range of contexts, governed by ethical norms and standards of practice.

Art therapists work with people associated with medical and mental health difficulties, as well as those seeking psychological, resourceful, and emotional health while respecting their values and beliefs.

What is an art therapist?

An art therapist uses expressive therapy, which involves painting and creating, to help patients regain their mental and physical well-being. Other responsibilities include:

What can an art therapist do?

Create programs to aid in the psychological treatment of patients. Patients can be accessed and treatment programs can be created for them. Observe and understand the behavior and art of patients, prepare case overviews, and reports. Consult with medical professionals to help patients develop priorities. Consult with medical professionals to help patients develop priorities.


What are the requirements for becoming an art therapist?

To enroll in a postgraduate program, you must have a bachelor's degree in art or creative therapy. If you have a degree in a relevant field, such as psychology, nursing, or social work, you may be eligible to apply.

In order to pursue art therapy, what kind of education should I expect to complete?

Art therapy practice necessitates a thorough understanding of visual art: drawing, painting, sculpture, and the design process, as well as the implementation of social development, psychopathology, and therapeutic theories and practices.

What are the qualifications for become an art therapist?

If you wish to work as an art therapist, you should have experience in art as well as knowledge of psychology. Here are some stages to becoming an art therapist:

Acquire certificate qualifications

The Art Therapy Credentials Board must certify you before you can practice as an art therapist. You can become certified after earning a master's degree and an art therapy internship. The Art Therapy Credentials Board assesses your studies and certifies that you are qualified to practice art therapy.

Participate in an internship in a clinical setting

To become a qualified art therapist, the American Art Therapy Association needs 600 hours of clinical internship work in art therapy. An art therapist watches students as they examine and treat real patients during their internship.

A clinical internship also includes training from a licensed art therapist who leads students through various scenarios. Art therapy majors are prepared to work with their own patients in the future by putting their art and psychological skills to use.

Work toward a bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree in art education, psychology, or counseling can help you get started as an art therapist. Art therapists benefit from courses that teach visual art abilities such as sculpture, painting, and drawing since these approaches allow patients to express themselves.

You can take classes in cognitive, developmental, or biological psychology as part of your bachelor's degree program to gain a broad grasp of mental health challenges and treatment alternatives.

Earn a master's degree in your field

A master's degree offers advanced coursework and research that sets the foundation for licensure in art therapy. Students receive instruction in psychotherapy, emotional wellbeing, the creative process, art therapy evaluation, and research methodologies while pursuing a master's degree in art therapy.

Create a portfolio

An art therapy portfolio contains the student's own artwork as well as case analysis from their internships.

A portfolio is a great approach to show off your artistic talents and show employers that you comprehend the development abilities and can properly interpret other people's work. It's a good idea to establish a portfolio as soon as you start attending art classes so that you have a significant body of work to show.

Apply for open art therapy opportunities

Search job sites for art therapist openings and medical establishments that may be hiring. This phase necessitates the creation of a résumé that shows your talents and experience, as well as the submission of a portfolio that demonstrates your comprehension and use of art techniques.

Include proof of your qualifications in the form of your degree and certifications. Work experience from clinical internships and art-related occupations can also be included on an art therapy resume.


Are art therapists in high demand?

The market for Art Therapists is predicted to increase, with 26,660 new jobs needed to be filled by 2029.

How much does an art therapist make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that all therapists earn an average of $55,900 per year. Because it is a specialist industry with highly specialized training, art therapists have the opportunity to earn more. Art therapists work with a variety of people. Children, couples, families, and adults of any age can all benefit from art therapy.

The following jobs are similar in nature and can be used to approximate a national average salary:

  • $47,684 per year for an applied behavior analysis therapist
  • $49,959 per year for a recreational therapist
  • $70,532 per year for a therapist
  • $84,293 per year for an occupational therapist
  • $226,840 per year for a¬†psychiatrist's

What is an art therapist's working atmosphere like?

Art therapists often work full-time in clinics, hospitals, shelters, rehabilitation centers, and eldercare institutions, putting in 30 to 40 hours each week. They can also work in private practice, where they can set their own hours and decide how much work they want to do.

Art therapy is a career that entails working closely with people who are experiencing mental health issues or who have cognitive limitations. Art therapists collaborate with a patient's medical team, which includes the patient's physician, other therapists, and medical assistants.


Art therapists' Skills

Psychotherapy skills

Psychotherapy uses cognitive and behavioral techniques to help people address and understand their feelings. Art therapists employ therapeutic techniques to assist patients in expressing their emotions through creativity. Psychotherapy skills and knowledge are also useful in interpreting patient art.

Artistic abilities

Patients are encouraged to sketch, paint, and sculpt by art therapists in expressing themselves and work through psychological problems, or to protect and help a patient with a cognitive handicap. For art therapists to guide art therapy sessions, they must have art knowledge and artistic talent.

Interpersonal & communication skills

The ability to express compassion, empathy, work with others, and be self-aware are all examples of interpersonal skills. Building partnerships necessitates interpersonal skills. Interpersonal skills aid art therapists in gaining their patients' trust and assessing their mental health.

Therapists can motivate and collaborate with their patients and the medical experts with whom they may work by using their interpersonal skills. For art therapists who communicate with patients and have to record observations and patient development, excellent communication and presentation skills are essential. Strong communication skills also imply that they pay attention to and comprehend what others are saying.

Patient approach

The capacity to grow and plan is known as a strategic plan. This ability is used by art therapists to create treatment regimens for their patients. Patient journeys and specific art therapy sessions can be predicted and prepared using strategy.

How can I become a certified art therapist?

Graduates of a master's program recognized by the Educational Programs Approval Board (EPAB) or accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

What is the average time it takes to become an art therapist?

Obtaining registration usually necessitates a total of six years of study and training. At the university level, earn a bachelor's degree in art, art therapy, counseling, psychology, social science, or a similar discipline. Obtain a postgraduate diploma in art therapy.


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