Art Therapy as a Career?

Question by TMers: Art therapy as a career?
I’m a high school student who is trying to learn about careers I may be interested in in the future. I’m looking into some art related careers. However, I’m having trouble finding information about art therapy. So I’d just like some brief information. What they do, what sort of schooling they have, how long the schooling takes, what sort of demand there is for them, etc. Just the usual stuff. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Best answer:

Answer by waswisgirl1
From a couple of colleges offering Art Therapy programs and the American Art Therapy Association:

What is Art Therapy?

“Art Therapy is a human service profession which offers an opportunity to explore personal problems and potentials through verbal and nonverbal expression and to develop physical, emotional and/or learning skills through therapeutic are experiences. Assessment and therapy through art recognizes that the art process, forms, content, and associations are reflections of an individual’s development, abilities, personality, interests and concerns. Art is used as a form of communication or symbolic language, giving external form to internal imagery. The use of art as therapy implies that the natural creative process can be a means of reconciling emotional conflicts and of fostering self-awareness and personal growth. Therefore, anyone can be a candidate for art therapy. Artistic ability is not required.”

What are the educational requirements?

“A masters degree is required for entry into the art therapy profession. Masters level curriculum includes the theory and practice of not only art therapy, but theoretical foundations of individual, family, and group counseling, psychopathology and human development. In addition, the art therapist must complete supervised clinical internships and a master’s thesis. Working under supervision, an art therapist who has met specific educational and professional standards established by the American Art Therapy Association and the Art Therapy Credentials Board is designated Registered Art Therapist (ATR). Additionally, after passing the Art Therapy Certification Exam, art therapists are designated Board-Certified (ATR-BC).”

A list of Art Therapy Educational programs:

What populations may benefit from Art Therapy?

“Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families groups and communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and independent practices.”

Where do Art Therapists work?

“Art therapists work in private offices, art rooms, or meeting rooms in facilities such as:
hospitals–both medical and psychiatric, out-patient facilities, clinics, centers, halfway houses, shelters, schools, correctional facilities, elder care 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. Together, they determine and implement a client’s therapeutic, school, or mental health program. Art therapists also work as primary therapists in private practice.”

What do they earn?

“Earning for art therapists vary geographically depending on the type of practice and job responsibilities. Entry level income is approximately $ 32,000, median income of $ 45,000, and top earning potential for salaried administrators ranges between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000. Art therapists with doctoral degrees, state licensure, or who qualify in their state to conduct private practice, have an earning potential of $ 75 to $ 150 per hour in private practice. State requirements for private practice vary across the country, so please check with the licensing board in the state in which you plan to practice for rules and regulations.”

What is the Employment Outlook for the Profession of Art Therapy?

“Art therapy is an expanding field and employment continues to increase as art therapy becomes recognized by professionals, work settings, and clients. Graduates of art therapy programs are successful at finding employment in both full and part-time positions.”

Good luck!

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