Tuesday, September 6, 2011

8. Art therapist

 Job Description:

       Art therapy incorporates art media, images, the creative art process and patient/client responses that are reflections of an individual’s development, abilities, personality, interests, concerns, and conflicts. An art therapist may work as part of a team that includes physicians, psychologists, nurses, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, rehabilitation counselors, social workers and teachers.

Training and Educational Qualifications:

Entry into the profession of art therapy is at the master’s level. Graduate level art therapy programs include the following: master’s degree in art therapy, master’s degree with an emphasis in art therapy, or 24 semester units in art therapy coursework with a master’s degree in a related field.

Job Outlook:

Art therapy is an expanding field and employment continues to increase as art therapy becomes recognized by professionals and clients, and in work settings.


Entry level income is approximately $32,000, with a median income of $45,000. Top earning potential for salaried administrators ranges between $50,000 and $100,000. Art therapists with PhDs, state licensure, or who qualify in their state to conduct private practice, have an earning potential of $75.00 to $150.00 per hour in private practice.

Typical activities include:
  • taking referrals, including self-referrals and referrals from other professionals such as teachers, psychologists, occupational therapists and psychiatrists;
  • making referrals to other professionals;
  • attending meetings and case conferences to share ideas, expertise and good practice;
  • assessing the needs of the client by listening and providing guidance;
  • working creatively with various client groups in a therapeutic setting; 
  • working in a group or one-to-one setting, often as part of a multidisciplinary team of professionals;
  • enabling clients to explore their art work and the process of its production;
  • assessing and understanding the feelings or temperament of others;
  • constructively challenging the behaviour and attitude of clients;
  • keeping up to date with administration: making phone calls; writing reports and case notes; and drafting letters to other professionals;
  • planning, designing and facilitating a schedule of activities with individuals and groups;
  • maintaining art therapy space and materials;
  • receiving support and discussing ideas in individual supervision;
  • exploring opportunities for work where it may not currently exist;
  • presenting a case to other professionals on reasons for employing an art therapist;
  • explaining what art therapy is to colleagues and other practitioners;
  • keeping up to date with continuing professional development (CPD) by attending seminars, lectures, and workshops;
  • liaising with team members.
The reason why this would not be a good job for me is Im bad at helping people.  I might love art and might be great doing it but I don't think (my art work or my art skills) can help people. Im not good at therapy and I don't know one single thing about therapy or how to do it properly without doing it wrong.

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