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.
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.