Online Art Therapy Degree Programs and Certification Information
Online degree programs for prospective art therapists are rare. A few master's degree programs may offer online courses, though several campus visits and in-person clinical experiences are usually required. Educational and licensure requirements vary by state.
Online Master's Degree In Art Therapy Overview
Online education in art therapy is extremely limited, though some options exist. Students may find a master's degree program in this field of study offered in a hybrid format, requiring some on-campus attendance or mentored practicums. Candidates learn about the therapeutic possibilities of art creation and how to use art to foster positive psychological and emotional growth.
Program Information and Requirements
While much of the coursework is offered through an online learning platform, most master's degree programs require some campus attendance. This campus activity is designed to provide face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers. Students may also be required to participate in one or more internships during the program.
Online coursework and assignments correspond with on-campus education. Students need access to an Internet-capable computer and the means to communicate with an academic mentor. Work may be submitted through fax or email.
Common Art Therapy Courses
The curriculum of a master's degree program in art therapy is comprised of a series of psychology and arts courses. Multiple clinical, practicum and internship experiences at approved sites are necessary for graduation.
Counseling Theories, Techniques and Dynamics Course
This course analyzes the key concepts and methods of counseling and psychotherapy. Group counseling processes and treatment methods are highlighted. Other topics examined include confrontation strategies, resistance determent techniques and termination processes.
Art Therapy Theories and Assessment Strategies Course
The field of art therapy is studied from conceptual and historical standpoints. Art therapy evaluation and assessment instruments and tests are also identified, as well as ethical and legislative concerns. Students discuss the various therapeutic applications provided by the different types of art media properties.
Clinical Art Therapy Course
Students explore the real-world application of art therapy at a practicum site. Lessons teach diagnostic and treatment skills for different psychological disorders through a variety of individual, group and family therapy settings. This course provides the supervision and development necessary to advance to an internship position.
Career Information for Graduates
Many institutions employ art therapists, such as hospitals, mental health facilities, community agencies, schools, correctional centers and nursing homes. Considered recreational therapy, several states require art therapists to obtain state licensure. Additionally, certification by an association, such as the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification or Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc., may be required for many professional clinical positions.
In May 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were 21,960 recreational therapists employed in the U.S. earning an average of $41,270 per year (www.bls.gov). Occupational growth was anticipated to increase 15% for recreational therapists between the years 2008-2018, according to the BLS.
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