This is my journey about becoming an Art Therapist:
I was an Art major in College, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. Ever since I was young, art has been a communication for me.
Painting was a focus of specialty when I was in college. It was during this time that art therapy was starting to be a more recognized career and my own interest to pursue.
I began to study art therapy after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art. Once I completed the Art Therapy program, I took the counseling board exam to be a mental health counselor. Art Therapist are not a licensed professional, instead you are a registered professional. I did not take the board certified art therapy exam because it is not a licensed profession, at this time. States are pursuing to have it licensed. However, if you are not a Registered Art Therapist you can not label yourself as an Art Therapist, as the professional has been protected by title.
The type of courses that are taken to be an Art Therapist:
- General Psychology
- Mental health diagnosis
- Human and Growth Development
- Child and Adolescent Development
- Abnormal Psychology
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Counseling theories
- Art Therapy assessments
- Studio art classes
- History of art therapy
- Art therapy theory
- Multi-cultural therapy
- Thesis-can take a full year to complete
After I passed the state Board Exam for Mental Health Counselor, I worked at a mental health agency. It was not until I began private practice that I use art therapy more in the sessions. The reason is because the agency I was at, I had to follow their approvals of using other forms of therapy other than talk therapy, most of this reason had to do with having proper documentation that can be approved for insurance coverage. However, I was able to form a department of art therapy and facilitate groups for art therapy at the agency.