What is an art psychotherapist?
An art psychotherapist is a masters level human service professional who is skilled in various art modalities, and is trained in counseling and psychotherapy. One’s graduate education includes coursework in art therapy theory and other psychological theories, evaluation and treatment skills, human development, creative maturity, spirituality, multiculturalism, artistic traditions, the healing potential of art, research, ethics/practice standards, and many other subjects. Art psychotherapists use the creative process in treatment for assessment, consultation purposes, and for research. While art psychotherapists may serve as primary therapists, they may also provide services as part of a clinical team (adjunct role) and in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions, schools, wellness centers, community outreach programs, corporations, open studios, and private practices.
Art Therapy Credentials
The educational, professional, and ethical standards for art psychotherapists in the United States are created and monitored by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB). The AATA establishes and promotes standards for education in the art therapy field, so all graduate art therapy programs apply for approval by the AATA Education Program Approval Board (EPAB) and are monitored by them once approval is granted. Individual therapists are monitored by the Art Therapy Credentials Board, which was established by AATA as the national credentialing body for art therapy. Its mission is to endorse the competent and ethical practice of art therapy, as offered by two credentials; Registered Art Therapist (ATR), and Board-Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC). Credential holders must adhere to the ATCB’s Code of Professional Practice, thus ensuring that the public is protected. As in other professions, our board certification is maintained though testing, continuing education, and professional monitoring. In many states, such as PA and NJ, art psychotherapists may also become licensed professional counselors (LPC), which may fall under the Board of Social Workers and/or Family Therapists.
*For more in depth information about art therapy, please visit:
American Art Therapy Association http://www.arttherapy.org
Art Therapy Credentials Board http://www.atcb.org
Delaware Valley Art Therapy Association http://www.dvata.org