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What kind of majors would I need for art therapy?

I’m looking into art therapy because it includes psychology and art. I’m not sure what it entails or what major I’d have to do. art psychology

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Subject: Career question for you


5 answers

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Linda Ann’s Answer

Hi Mya,
You were inquiring about a major for a potential art therapy career. Credentialing to practice will indeed vary by state where you wish to practice. Starting off with a psychology major and a minor in art or music should serve you well.

Know this: most states will require you to have a master's degree in order to provide actual therapy. Another response referred you to the website: Check it out.

I've met a few music therapists in my career as a faculty member. IF you were interested in music therapy, you need to be proficient in several different musical instruments. That career also requires a master's degree!

I wish you the best.
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David’s Answer

Hey there Mya,
To become an art therapist, you need at least a master's degree. I highly recommend looking at the website It has an abundance of information regarding the art therapy field. There you will find various schools, scholarships, and the courses required to get into the Graduate Programs. It informs you of state requirements, so if you plan to stay in your state or relocate, that site is excellent to help you with it.

You will need a bachelor's degree in either psychology or art to start you off, but keep in mind that you need at least 18 credits from both fields to be eligible when applying to a graduate program. When looking into those schools, something to think about is that some offer only Art Therapy. In contrast, others provide Counseling with a Specialization in Art Therapy, which means that you can either be an art therapist or an art therapist and licensed counselor. Keep that in mind since it can make you stand out more when looking for a job.

I myself am looking to becoming an art therapist, and I will say the website above has been a huge help to me.
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Jason’s Answer

Art in art therapy is the expression modality that a patient would be utilizing. If I am just starting off, i'd be majoring in psychology or something similar. The reality is you will need a foundation of psychology course prior to starting graduate school which you will absolutely need to become a licensed therapist of any kind. Typically speaking, an "art therapist" is someone that is a licensed mental health professional, that also has a certificate in art therapy.
Two big and important concepts here- Certification versus licensed. A license allows you to have a private practice in most states and you are your own boss. You answer to the licensing board through your state.
A certification does NOT allow you to practice on your own. You MAY be able to get a job through a hospital or organization but the reality is you need to be licensed to broaden your employment opportunities. You can be a certified art therapist and not be permitted to practice in your state without a license.

Either way, an undergrad major is not as important as the specific courses you would need. I personally do not think you need a single art course in undergrad and this is coming from someone that works with children. Spend your time learning the actual clinical aspects, learn art later, it would be a lot cheaper that way too.:>)
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Priya’s Answer

Hi Mya,
I believe this answer varies by state. You may need to google the requirements for art therapists in your state. From what I understand, you need a degree in Psychology or Art, with enough classes in either field, and a master's in art therapy. I could be wrong though! I think researching your state's requirements for art therapy are really important. A possible good resource is The art therapist there seems to have a guide you can purchase, though I have not gotten a chance to view it myself. I still think looking into state specific requirements first would be your best bet.
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Charles’s Answer

You good need social skills
Nothing else you can't learn it on school
You need experience

Very stressful
But you help people
If you are a artist

Art is used to help the mentally ill

They will show you
But always change the medium
Keep it fun and easy
Large colorful .clean and safe
And always smile and help
You are the coloring book
They are the color
And you are the subject
They paint you are the camera