Art Therapy MFT Program
THE FIELD OF ART THERAPY
Art Therapy is a mental health profession that recognizes the important role that creative expression and symbolic association play in a person’s development, growth and health. Art therapists are trained to actively engage the healing power of the arts that are inherent in each of us, working with individuals and groups in a range of clinical settings. In California, most art therapists are licensed as Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs), and registered as art therapists.
MFTs are skilled in the theory, research, and clinical practice of the field of Marriage and Family Therapy and can integrate individual and systemic therapeutic models in an international, multicultural environment. Marriage and Family Therapists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, social service agencies, churches, educational institutions and private practice, and treat individuals, couples, families, and groups The MFT license is a general mental health license that focuses on using relational models to treat individuals, couples, and families.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapists are professionals trained in integrating the expressive arts and psychology.
They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice,
spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art.
They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied
professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples,
families, groups and communities. They provide services, individually and as part
of clinical teams, in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical
and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools;
nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and independent practices.
Art Therapy is predicated on the belief that as a creative and therapeutic discipline,
it is unique and demands rigorous academic and practical training.
Art therapy helps clients access non-verbal emotional information that often impedes treatment. Many agencies seek to hire therapists who can work with children and adolescents in a creative and positive way. There is a wide range of career options available for art therapists as the field has seen an increasing demand for art therapy professionals. Art therapists can be part of treatment teams that include psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, rehabilitation counselors, social workers, school psychologists and nurses. They work in private offices, hospitals, community centers, corporations, rehabilitation centers, outpatient clinics, prisons and all levels of schools. Art therapists have also created their own positions in government agencies and mental health centers. Art therapy is an excellent adjunctive skill utilized by marriage and family therapists in many private practice settings.
Art therapists in the state of California are usually licensed as MFTs, Social Workers, or a very small percentage of clinical psychologists. Public and private sector art therapists have comparable earnings. Due to the scarcity of art therapists, graduates of the program should find it easier to acquire paid internships prior to licensure.
In a May 2011 study, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy found 56% of respondents reported earnings of between $51,000 and $100,000 annually. The need for MFTs is expected to increase 37% between 2010 and 2020 compared to an overall U.S. occupational increase of 14%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
According to Dr. Hass-Cohen’s over a decade of experience, about 90% of her graduates have found immediate employment. Of course some of this may change due to the current economy. MFT/Art Therapists who speak a second language especially Spanish are in high demand
For more career information please visit the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy - (PDF).
ART THERAPY ORGANIZATIONS
American Art Therapy Association (AATA) is the national art therapy professional organization. AATA grants approval to education programs preparing students for practice as art therapists. AATA provides educational standards, approves educational programs, provides standards of professional competence, and disseminates information to the general public. The Association represents more than 5,000 members around the world and in36 national chapters. The Association publishes Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. All students are required to download and save the Educational Standards from the AATA website.
The Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) is responsible for registering and credentialing art therapists. ATCB grants postgraduate
registration (ATR) after reviewing documentation of completion of graduate education
and postgraduate supervised experiences. The ATCB has established the following as
related mental health fields: Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, Social Work,
Psychology, Addictions Counseling, Psychiatric Nursing, and Psychiatry. The Registered
Art Therapist who successfully completes the written examination administered by the
ATCB is qualified as Board Certified (ATR-BC), a credential requiring maintenance
through continuing education credits. Download Standards and Procedures for Registration:
ATCB, 3 Terrace Way, Suite B, Greensboro, North Carolina 27403-3660 (877) 213-2822
or visit the ATCB website.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE FIELD OF MFT
Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) is responsible for the licensing and regulation of Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT); Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW); Licensed Educational Psychologists (LEP); MFT Interns; and Associate Clinical Social Workers (ASW) in the State of California.
California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) is an independent professional organization representing the interests of licensed marriage and family therapists.
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) is an independent professional organization representing the interests of licensed marriage and family therapists.
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