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Art Therapist

Career data updated last on 10/15/2014
Art Therapist Art therapists use art as a means of expression and communication to help people with physical, mental or social disabilities. Art therapists are concerned with determining what the patient's art reflects about his or her personality development, traits and emotional state. These means of expression and communication can assist in improving the client's functional abilities and resolving emotional issues. Another goal of art therapy is to improve self-esteem and enhance the patient's enjoyment of expression through the arts.
Salary $30.00/hr- $62,400 annually
Significant Points Art therapy is a growing field. Employment continues to increase as it becomes recognized by professionals and clients. Those with post-graduate Registration (ATR) and are Board Certified (ATR-BC) have a distinct advantage as it is the recognized credential of the profession.
Specializations Other forms of therapy include:
  • music therapy
  • drama therapy
  • dance therapy
  • poetry therapy
  • psychodrama therapy
Work Environment Art therapists are usually employed by organizations which offer services for the physically, mentally and/or socially disabled, such as medical and psychiatric hospitals, out-patient facilities, clinics, residential treatment centers, halfway houses, shelters, schools, correctional facilities, pain clinics, universities and art studios. The art therapist may work as part of a team which includes physicians, psychologists, nurses, rehabilitation counselors, social workers, and teachers. Art therapists also work as primary therapists in private practice.
High School Prep General college preparation is recommended: three courses in math including algebra I, algebra II and geometry, or a higher level math course for which algebra II is a prerequisite; three science courses including biology and chemistry, one physical science and one lab course; four English units and two social studies units, including one in U.S. History; and two years of a second language.
Academic Requirements To become an art therapist, one must first complete an accredited master?s level program. After completion of graduate education and post-graduate supervised experience, the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) reviews and grants post-graduate Registration (ATR) . Board Certified (ART-BC) Art Therapists must complete a written examination administered by the ATCB and must recertify every five years.


Naropa University
Masters Degree Master's    On-line program available On-line program available

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