Art therapy schools
What Art Therapy Schools Have to Offer
All accredited art therapy schools have developed their curriculum in coordination with and under the supervision of the American Art Therapy Association. These curricula may contain courses and classwork that is unique to the individual institution, but every program must include courses in these eight specific course categories developed by the AATA:
• Assessment Diagnosis: Learn about the various assessment methods including color symbology, clayworks, archetypes and more.
• Multiculturalism: Evaluate different methodologies in various cultures and learn how a client’s background can affect assessment and treatment.
• Art Therapy in Various Populations and Settings: Evaluate the differences between art therapy with children, adults, groups, and those with various developmental and learning disabilities.
• Treatment of Trauma: Discover the ways art therapy can be used to manage and ameliorate the symptoms and negative feelings associated with various traumas.
• Education & Supervision: Learn how art therapy is being used in various educational environments.
• Ethics: Explore the ethical issues that impact the use of art therapy and learn how to implement treatment programs with the utmost professionalism.
• Theory, Practice, and Techniques: Understand the basic theories underlying art therapy practices and learn when and how to effectively apply them in multiple circumstances.
• Professional Practice Issues: Attend to the career aspects of art therapy, learning how to build a successful practice.
The Top Art Therapy Schools
Programs related to art therapy may be offered at the undergraduate level, but these degrees are insufficient without a Master’s degree. The best art therapy schools, then, offer both undergraduate preparation as well as top tier graduate level education. Among the top 10 art therapy schools in the US are:
• New York University in New York, New York
• School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
• George Washington University in Washington, DC
• Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan
• Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California
• Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania
• Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois
• Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
• Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts
• Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania
Online Programs in Art Therapy
Because of the intensive hands on nature of the art therapy degree and the requirement of at least a Master’s degree, there are few opportunities for students to pursue a career in art therapy through online education. However, some schools do offer unique courses for online students.
• Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
• Prescott College
• International University of Professional Studies
How High School Students Can Prepare
High school students who are thinking of applying to one of the top art therapy schools can do a few things to prepare. In addition to maintaining an overall GPA of 2.5 or better in a college prep program, students should take classes in the following areas:
• Art: Art classes like painting, drawing, pottery and sculpting will acquaint students with the basic principles behind art therapy.
• Psychology: A basic course in psychology will prepare students for the more intensive college courses that are required.
• Sociology: A multicultural basis enables students to understand expression in multiple contexts.
• History: History and art history are both useful in analyzing client expression.
Art therapy is a relatively new approach to interactive psychology and counseling, but it is already growing in popularity. With the right education, aspiring art therapists can find work in hundreds of different contexts. Today, art therapists are employed in schools, universities, treatment centers, hospitals and thousands of private practices around the country. With enough work and passion, today’s students can soon join them.