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what kind of master's degree must you obtain to become an art therapist?

this is important to know because i don't want to shoot for the wrong degree.

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Aisha’s Answer

Hello Brianna,

If you're interested in becoming an art therapist, the usual route involves earning a Master's degree in Art Therapy or a similar field. This specific type of education equips you with the essential skills and credentials required to perform effectively in the role of an art therapist.

Best regards,
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Brianna!

To become an art therapist, you typically need to obtain a Master’s degree in Art Therapy or a related field. The most common degree pursued by individuals aiming to become art therapists is a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Art Therapy. These programs are designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to practice art therapy effectively.

Art therapy programs usually include coursework in psychology, counseling techniques, human development, ethics, and of course, various art modalities. Additionally, students in these programs often engage in hands-on training through internships or practicum experiences to gain practical experience working with clients under the supervision of licensed art therapists.

After completing a Master’s degree in Art Therapy, individuals may also need to fulfill additional requirements such as obtaining licensure or certification depending on the state or country where they intend to practice. These requirements vary by location, so it is essential to research the specific regulations in the area where you plan to work.

In summary, pursuing a Master’s degree in Art Therapy or a related field is typically required to become an art therapist. It is crucial to ensure that the program you choose is accredited and meets the licensing requirements of the region where you intend to practice.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

American Art Therapy Association (AATA) - The AATA is a leading professional organization that provides information on educational requirements and standards for becoming an art therapist.

The Association for Creativity in Counseling (ACC) - ACC offers resources and guidance on pursuing a career in art therapy and can provide insights into the educational pathways required for this profession.

Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) - CACREP accredits counseling programs, including those specializing in art therapy, ensuring they meet established standards for quality education and training.

These sources were consulted to ensure accuracy and reliability in providing information on the educational path needed to become an art therapist.
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Maria "Marylou"’s Answer

If you're considering a master's program in art therapy, it's a great idea to start with an undergraduate degree in fine arts, psychology, social work, or counseling. This foundation will set you up for success and pave the way for a rewarding journey in art therapy. You're on the right track, keep going!
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Patrick’s Answer

Brianna, it's important to know that if you want to be an art therapist, you need a Master's degree in Art Therapy or a similar field. This special graduate program combines psychology and visual arts. It trains people to use art as a way to help others.

In an Art Therapy Master's program, you'll study things like psychotherapy, human growth, counseling theories, and ways to help people through therapy. You'll also get a lot of practice with different types of art. This is important because art can help people express themselves and heal emotionally. These programs are usually approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) in the United States. This means they meet the standards needed for certification and practice.

These programs also have a lot of hands-on training, like supervised internships. These give you real-world experience in places like hospitals, schools, mental health clinics, and community centers. This training is really important because it lets you use what you've learned in real situations, improve your therapy skills, and meet other professionals in your field.

You'll also need to have taken certain classes before you can start a Master's in Art Therapy. You usually need a bachelor's degree with classes in psychology and studio art. This makes sure you understand the basics of psychology and art, which you need to combine art and therapy effectively.

In the end, Brianna, getting a Master's degree in Art Therapy gives you the skills and knowledge you need to be a good art therapist. It helps you understand both the art and therapy parts of the job, which helps you take a well-rounded approach to mental health care. With this degree, you'll be ready to get your license and certification, which are important for being seen as credible and ethical in your field.
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Chinyere’s Answer

Hello Brianna,

To become an art therapist, you typically need to obtain a Master's degree in Art Therapy or a related field. Some common degrees pursued by aspiring art therapists include a Master of Arts (MA) in Art Therapy, Master of Science (MS) in Art Therapy, or a Master's degree in Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy. It is important to check the specific requirements and accreditations of the program you are considering to ensure it meets the qualifications for becoming an art therapist.

Best wishes.
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Annah’s Answer

Brianna, as an art therapist (in the US) I can tell you there are a few different routes you might take. A great online resource is the American Art Therapy Association. Each state also has local chapters. There are also international associations across the world. For full registration with an association, you will first need to have a bachelor's degree. It does not need to be in fine arts, but any graduate art therapy program will require pre-requisite courses in psychology and an art portfolio. So, if you are planning ahead, it will be useful to study a combination of psychology and fine arts. I only studied fine art and had no psychology prior to my graduate program. I had to take three psychology pre-req courses which I easily did at a community college. As for graduate school, you can apply to a program that will give you an art therapy master's degree or (like mine) a dual degree in clinical counseling and art therapy. The dual degree will give you the ability to bill insurance. It will also open up additional job opportunities not specific to art therapy. There are few jobs available for art therapy only- so it helps to have that extra credential. A third option is to get a master's degree in counseling psychology or social work without the art therapy component. Upon graduating you can pursue a certificate program in expressive arts therapy or art therapy and begin the training post-masters. Not all certificates will lead to a credential with the licensing board so read the fine print. All of these degrees require a mixture of academic work, experiential work (with clients), and supervision hours. To be fully licensed with your state and association you will take a big exam- both for counseling and then art therapy. The entire process will take a while but can be truly worth it if you are passionate about helping people in this way. If you choose an alternative path there are other ways to be an artist and provide therapeutic services. You will not be able to call yourself an art therapist, but you can still do amazing things! You might look into becoming a creative coach helping people with their artistic blocks. You might lead art workshops that incorporate spirituality, self-help, skill building or mindfulness. Whether you end up taking a more traditional route or not, there are many ways to think outside the box and do meaningful work. There are a few doctoral degrees in art therapy but are not necessary to being an art therapist. I suggest you think about the length of time you want to be in school and whether you enjoy academic settings. Master's degrees can be rigorous, and the additional hours of training and supervision post-grad can take years. It is still considered a young career and for this reason, not always valued in certain settings. I loved my graduate education; I truly became a better version of myself. Yet I have also learned along the way there are many different ways to get where you want to go. You have choices! I hope this has been helpful.
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