Online art therapy masters programs combine the practice of visual arts with the study of psychotherapy. A Masters in Art Therapy online focuses on training students through best practices to help people with mental health issues use art to communicate and work through problems.
Students in art therapy programs are trained to develop evidence-based clinical skills, to use top art therapy theories fluently, and to employ social skills in many cultures and environments. Students receiving an art therapy education are also expected to stay abreast of developing art technologies and different types of media emerging in the art world.
Other goals of online art therapy masters courses and programs include training students to think empirically and to be effective researchers, as much of the field is based on investigative skills.
In addition to art in and of itself, online art therapy masters programs address psychology concepts like ego, human behavior, and relationships. Many programs also emphasize psychoanalysis. Students could expect to study the work of scientists such as Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and others who have done relevant research in a related field.
Most programs award a master of arts in art therapy upon satisfactory completion. However, some programs do offer a master of science instead. Depending on the program, an M.S. may focus more on psychology than an M.A., which may be more focused on art and communication. Applicants should research their programs of choice thoroughly to determine which options might support their academic and career goals.
Online art therapy masters programs typically require applicants to hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year institution. Many programs require the applicant to have taken a certain number of undergraduate courses in art therapy, studio art, and/or psychology.
Letters of Recommendation
Official Undergraduate Transcripts
Personal Statement Or Essay
Standardized Test Scores
Since the field is based on professional interaction and communication with patients, many programs also require a summary of employment and/or volunteer services that details the applicant’s experience with human services and direct client contact.
Online art therapy masters programs differ in their course offerings depending on the school. However, most programs will offer classes that cover the skills that are accepted as necessary for the field. Some common classes that a student may encounter in an art therapy graduate program are described below:
For courses in art therapy, students should remember that many courses have prerequisites, and so it is advised that art therapy students verify the appropriate sequence designated by their particular programs to properly fulfill the program requirements.
Earning a masters in art therapy degree online may be a good fit for students who wish to pursue careers in clinical and/or medical environments, in primary or secondary schools, and who need a flexible schedule.
Many programs require students to spend a certain number of hours gaining field experience in a supervised environment in an internship or practicum with direct client contact. The internship/practicum often takes place in the second half of the program and supplements the material taught in the coursework. It serves to give the students work experience to provide them with a possible edge in the job market.
Masters programs in art therapy may also have a research and writing component in the form of a master’s thesis. This may involve working with a faculty member as a mentor while researching and writing about some aspect of the field, and presenting the resulting paper or case study to the department at the end of the program.
Many masters programs also require candidates to take and pass cumulative or comprehensive exams that test the skills and concepts taught during the program and which are vital knowledge for success in the field.
When choosing online art therapy degree programs to apply to, there are several things to consider that are specific to this profession.
Some masters programs have more intensive internship requirements than others. Applicants to art therapy programs may want to compare these requirements. Students should also consider what types of opportunities the school will provide to students—for instance, whether the school has a special connection to a prestigious internship site or how much credit they will award to students for their practicum/internship.
Another factor an applicant may want to consider when selecting a school is academic interests. For instance, one program may focus more on the artistic aspects of the field, promoting the idea that the art therapist’s artistic abilities and growth help to promote the patient’s recovery and wellness. Others, however, might focus on the theoretical and research aspects as a means to promote and supplement the students’ investigative and clinical skills.
Finally, flexibility and time commitment may be an important aspect to consider when choosing an art therapy masters program. Most programs take around two years to complete full-time. However, this could vary from school to school, especially if you’re studying online and have the option of choosing your own pace.
As graduation from your art therapy program approaches, it is important to find out which requirements are needed to pursue a career practicing art therapy in the field.
One credential to practice art therapy is the Art Therapist Registered, or ATR, administered by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). The ATR can be attained upon graduation from an AATA-approved art therapy program for qualifying students who have completed 1,000 supervised hours practicing art therapy directly for clients during the course of their program.
Once you have acquired an ATR credential, qualifying students may be eligible to take an exam to earn board certification, or BC. The ATR and the BC are granted by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB).
While most states do not require a license to practice as an art therapist, this is subject to change and may vary by state. The license is typically known as the LPAT, or licensed professional art therapist.
If you intend to teach art or art therapy with your graduate degree, you may need teacher licensing and certification for the state in which you intend to teach.
To enhance your career after graduation, you may want to look into acquiring a counseling license. A licensed counselor may be able to qualify for a wider variety of careers since it is less specific than licensed art therapy. One caveat could be that your career may involve less art therapy than you anticipated or hoped, depending on your role and practice type.
Begin your search for online masters in art therapy programs right here on GradSchools.com. First, review the sponsored program listings here. Then click on the names of any programs you think you might be interested in to read more and get in touch! Then request information and apply!
References: 1.http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/29-1125.01 | 2. http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/29-1125.01#WorkValues | 3. http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/29-1125.01#WorkValues