Art Therapy MFT Program
MASTER OF ARTS (MA) IN PSYCHOLOGY WITH AN EMPHASIS IN
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY AND ART THERAPY (63 UNITS)
The master’s program is designed to meet the educational requirements and standards set out by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and the American Art Therapy Association, to prepare students for the professional roles of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a nationally Registered Art Therapist (ATR). The curriculum also allows students to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
The program design utilizes a hybrid learning model, with courses delivered through a hybrid of online distance learning courses and residential intensives. Students are required to participate in two 9-day residential intensives each academic year. The residential intensives will take place in Los Angeles, plus one residential intensive in Mexico City. Participation in the residential intensives is required.
THE PROGRAM OFFERS
- An education in systemic treatment for individuals, couples and families
- A specialization in art therapy relational neurobiology principles
- Proficiencies in clinical interpersonal neurobiology approaches
- Exposure to multi-national cultures through international residential intensives
- The opportunity to study with national and international faculty and peers
CURRICULUM AND SCHEDULE
The coursework is designed to be highly practical, allowing students to gain knowledge and experience that is academically, clinically and professionally relevant. Within the initial two-year period, all intensives are offered in California. One intensive will be required in Mexico City.
The practicum experience, part of the student’s clinical training, allows students to provide counseling services to clients under the supervision of licensed professionals. The approved training sites can include counseling centers, schools, mental health programs and hospitals. Students are required to complete two traineeships, for a minimum of 700 hours of supervised art therapy practicum/traineeship hours, out of which 350 are direct client contact hours.
This requirement meets the Board of Behavior Science in California practicum requirements experience which must be completed at an approved training agency prior to degree completion. This requirement also meets the pre-graduation requirements for Art Therapy Registration (ATR). Students receive assistance with field placement, providing students with a valuable link to community resources, clinical training opportunities, and professional organizations.
- Each student admitted to the program shall hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in the United States, be accepted into a bachelor’s/master’s dual degree program in art therapy, or have the equivalent academic preparation from an institution outside the United States.
- Each student, before admission to the program, shall submit a portfolio of original artwork, demonstrating competence with art materials. Portfolio can be submitted electronically. A minimum of 10 art pieces is required. For face-to-face interviews, please provide a glossy printout on 8.5 x 11 paper. The interview is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their strengths and meet the program director and/or a faculty representative personally. A portfolio of artwork will be required for the interview.
- Each student admitted to the degree program shall successfully complete not later
than twelve (12) months after entering the program (and including credits taken before
- A minimum of eighteen (18) semester hour credits (or twenty-seven  quarter-hour credits) of study in studio art which demonstrates proficiency and disciplined commitment in art making. Equivalency of non-academic studio art experience or art therapy based coursework may be specified in the graduate program’s literature. It is imperative that the applicant evidence a range of experience using a variety of art materials and processes.
- A minimum of twelve (12) semester hour credits (or eighteen  quarter-hour credits) of study in psychology, which must include developmental psychology and abnormal psychology.
Once enrolled in CSPP Art Therapy MFT Program, students must complete 3 units of studio art, which are a part of the program; these units may count towards the 18 required prerequisite units of studio art.
It is recommended that applicants complete the prerequisites as soon as possible since they support the application and interview process. In some cases, applicants may take some of their prerequisites after they have completed the admissions process and these must be completed within the first year of the programs. To fulfill these prerequisites, applicants may take the required prerequisite courses at any state-approved college or university in regular or extension classes. Alliant International University also offers some prerequisite psychology coursework through their Continuing Education Department. For more information about these courses, please contact your Admissions Counselor.
While the program makes every effort to inform students about and prepare them for each step of the state licensing process, it is also each student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she meets all qualifications for licensure as a MFT, LPC and ATR-BC.