Questions Health and Lifestyle

How to become an art therapist?


Maria Sweedwon

A mind is a terrible thing to waste

Art therapy is a form of an expressive process, in which the clients of the art therapist use creative techniques of making art to explore their feelings. The art therapist uses their imaginations and emotions to form an art to convey the clients their feelings such as understanding their emotional conflicts, improve self-esteem, develop social skills, reduce anxiety, and restoring their normal day functions to life.

Who can be benefited from therapy?

According to the researchers it has been seen that art therapy benefits a large number of population, and can be very effective in different formats. The people associated with this work deal with people of all ages and mental ability, also including the people having health and mental issues and addictions. It is also a stress reliever for clients without any psychological issues who are only looking for personal satisfaction in their lives. Art therapy is mostly recommended for people who have developmental, educational, medical or psychological issues.

Best for whom?

Art therapy is best for the people having the following issues:

  • Individual persons who get afraid by frightening memories or emotions that make them upset due to trauma, abuse or combats.

  • A person suffering from serious health conditions or any disability such as cancer, autism, traumatic brain injury, depression, dementia or antisocial personality.

  • A couple who are suffering from emotional conflicts.

  • Individuals interested in personal growth.

  • People suffering from problematic behaviors.

Where do art therapists work?

There is no such fixed place for art therapists. Art therapist work in many kind of traditional settings such as hospitals, assisted living centers, rehabilitation care units, senior communities, psychiatric facilities, and schools. Some art therapist also prefers to work in a less familiar atmosphere such as forensic institutions, wellness centers, detention centers, clinical research facilities, crisis centers.

Educational requirements

Most importantly art therapy is a mental health profession. The person practicing art therapy is required to have a strong background in human development, behavioral disorders, therapeutic techniques and counseling theories.

The minimum educational requirements specified by American Art Therapy Association requires all the entry-level practitioners to secure a master’s degree from the Institute of higher learning which has been recognized by a regional acceding body to be approved by the Council for Higher Education.

Here are some steps given below to become an art therapist-

  • Get your undergraduate degree.

  • Earn a master’s degree.

  • Complete the internships and postgraduate degrees.

  • Earn the necessary license.

Art therapist must have a good knowledge of the visual arts. Art therapy is the mixture of a variety of art forms such as sculptures, drawings, paintings and others so the therapist should know how to work on these different mediums of art and should have an ability to guide his clients with the help of a creative process.

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