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Should I study for a bachelor in Arts or a bachelors in Psychology?

I am a high school student planning to be a Child and Adolescent therapist but the steps to do so are tricky to follow since college has so many different options. I want to focus on art therapy for kids, but also incorporate different things like play therapy and regular old sit down and talk relief. #college #therapy #child-psychology

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Rebecca,

So, you can consider became a play therapist:

Play Therapy is a specific counselling approach in which games, toys and mediums such as clay, drawings and paint are used to help a child or adolescent to express their emotions, thoughts, wishes and needs. It helps them to understand muddled feelings and upsetting events that they have not had the chance or the skills to sort out properly. Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, as adult therapy usually expects, children use play to communicate at their own level and at their own pace, without feeling interrogated or threatened.

Play Therapy can be useful for any child of four years and older. It can help to become aware of what feelings and how these feelings manifest in behaviour or one's body. They can learn how to become better at regulating emotions and expressing them in constructive ways. They can discover who they are and what their strong and weak points, needs, wishes, thoughts and dreams are. The combination of this self-knowledge and training in social skills may help a child to become more assertive, self-confident and to have self-respect and respect for others.

Play Therapy is very effective with adolescents. Sessions focus on creative techniques to help adolescents become aware of and understand their feelings and thoughts. An example would be to ask the adolescent to draw a situation, feeling or dream, enact it or model it in clay. Music is often used when building the relationship or for expressing emotion.

Play therapy is an effective aid in assisting adolescents to learn about themselves, clear up their cluttered emotions or thoughts, learn to accept themselves and to become more mature and self-confident.

Play therapy also provides opportunities to experiment with new behaviour in a safe environment, be it in individual therapy or in group therapy. Group work is quite effective for making friends, becoming assertive, and learning skills and coping mechanisms from other teenagers who experience similar problems or challenges.

Applicants for the supervision and certification program in Child-Centered Play Therapy must have a graduate degree in a mental health field (or be enrolled in such a graduate program), and be legally eligible to provide therapeutic services under their state legal codes, either independently or under supervision.

Applicants for the supervision and certification program in Child-Centered Play Therapy must have completed 13 hours of NIRE training in Child-Centered Play Therapy (e.g., the basic workshop offered by NIRE), or its equivalent in college courses or training workshops offered by a NIRE-Approved CCPT Instructor.

In general, a total of 26 hours of supervision are required for certification in Child-Centered Play Therapy. Read more in:



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Felicia G’s Answer

Hi Rebecca! I would suggest majoring in Psychology. In order to be a therapist you will need an advanced degree. You can get your Master's with a specialization in art therapy.

I think this answer makes a lot of sense. Thanks! Nora Y.