Art Therapy Certification and Certificate Programs

Research art therapy certificate programs and certifications. Learn about possible prerequisites, sample courses, common careers, employment projections and credentialing options.

View 9 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Art therapy is a tool used in counseling and psychotherapy that allows patients to use art to express themselves. Art therapy certificate programs are most commonly offered at the post-master's level and can help qualify graduates for state credentials. Voluntary art therapy certifications are available to students who have education and/or clinical experience in art therapy.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants to art therapy certificate programs usually possess a master's or doctoral degree in a related field, like psychology or social work. Although certificate programs that require only a bachelor's degree for admission are available, a master's degree will eventually be required for credentialing in the field. Post-baccalaureate programs are designed to help prepare students for art therapy master's programs, not to allow them direct entry into the career. Most programs have requirements regarding prior coursework, usually including a combination of art and psychology courses. Additionally, schools commonly expect applicants to have a strong background in counseling therapy.

Course Topics

Courses in art therapy certificate programs provide students with an understanding of the tools and methods used in this form of therapy. Certificate programs also train students to employ art therapy in a variety of different types of clinical settings. The following list outlines some of the common course topics offered in a program:

  • Assessment and diagnosis in art therapy
  • Counseling in art therapy
  • Employing art therapy with children
  • Group art therapy
  • Psychopathology
  • Techniques and materials of art therapy
  • Theory and history of art therapy

Popular Career Options

Earning an art therapy certificate can be useful for a wide variety of human service professionals. While some choose to practice art therapy as their primary function, others incorporate it as one of several tools for helping people. Possible careers include:

  • Art therapist
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist
  • Counselor

Credentialing Information

As a subset of recreational therapy, art therapy can be credentialed in either specialty. Credentialing regulations vary from state to state and might include licensure or registration requirements. The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) offers voluntary certification to recreational therapists, including the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) designation for those who have at least a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy or sufficient experience working in the field under a CTRS (www.nctrc.org).

Upon completing a post-master's certificate in art therapy, it's possible to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) through the Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc. (ATCB). In addition to coursework in art therapy, ATR registration also requires documentation of supervised clinical experience (www.atcb.org). Therapists with an ATR certification can later choose to earn a Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC) designation by completing a national examination that tests a candidate's understanding of the clinical skills and theories utilized in art therapy practice. Additionally, the Art Therapy Credentials Board offers board-certified art therapists the opportunity to become Art Therapy Certified Supervisors (ATCS).

Show me popular schools

Related to Art Therapy Certification

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Christian Art Therapy Education and Training Program Info

Christian art therapy is an art therapy field specifically focused on integrating psychological care with discussion of...

Best Art Therapy Schools: List of Top U.S. Schools

Learn about the education that can lead to an art therapy career. Find out about degrees, schools, rankings and locations to...

Art Therapy Jobs: Career Options and Requirements

Art therapy can be used in a variety of careers that focus on the mental and physical rehabilitation of sick, injured or...

Best Schools with Art Therapy Graduate Programs: List of Schools

Learn about art therapy programs leading to graduate degrees. This article identifies two of the best programs in the nation in...

Art Therapy Graduate School Information: How to Choose a School

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Kentucky (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisville include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
        • Art Therapist
        • Music Therapist

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics