how do you become an art therapist?
I want to be an art therapist. I was wondering what types of volunteer work or other things I should do to set myself up for an art therapy career. #psychology #art #therapy #counseling #visual-arts #art-therapy
As an Artist, I had always wished I would have had an opportunity to complete the extensive coursework it takes to become an Art Therapist. It seems like a very fulfilling and financially stable career. Since I have had great interest in psychology and lots of working experience encouraging and drawing out others towards self expression, I think I would have been very happy with the career.
You can certainly get involved and get an idea of what it would be like to work in this field by volunteering! There are many non-profit organizations that work with children and youth, who always need people who are willing to bring in additional ongoing programs, or occasional ones. This would be a good opportunity to design and try out your own ideas. You can also ask to assist an art program director, to gain experience. Another demographic group that is in severe need for programs and help are the elderly, and especially dementia patients. Most locked memory care facilities in this country lack the skills and the staff to provide these services, and volunteering is a wonderful way to help the lives of people who are profoundly suffering every day. In my own work with dementia patients and art, I found that it is one of the very few activities that allows memory impaired individuals to escape their own feedback loop. Accompanying music helps to draw them out, and I experienced a great deal of joy witnessing their happiness and freedom. A documentary was made about this subject, but I can't remember the name. If you google it, you will locate it and additional resources if this interests you.
Good luck! It's a lengthy path of hard work, but if you love creative expression and serving others, I think you will be very happy!
Becoming an art therapist includes a number of steps; these requirements are developed and overseen by the American Art Therapy Association. First, aspiring art therapists must have either an undergraduate degree or substantial coursework in both studio art (the making of visual arts) and psychology, along with a portfolio of original artwork. With those prerequisites, students must then obtain a master’s degree in art therapy or a master’s in counseling with a concentration in art therapy from an accredited college or university program. These master’s programs are usually about two years in length. In addition to undergraduate coursework and portfolio requirements, each university may have other requirements, such as the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) for instance.
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