Art Therapy

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    • Majors: Art Therapy • Art • Art Education

      Art therapy combines an artist’s understanding of creative expression with a therapist’s understanding of personal dynamics.

      By using the creative process, art therapy can help to develop and enhance the mental, emotional and physical well-being of people of all ages. Certain characteristics of a person's artistic expression, such as form and content, as well as the associations and reactions to the artwork, can be used by art therapist to explore interpersonal conflicts, develop interpersonal skills, manage symptoms and behaviors, gain self-awareness and develop self-esteem. The art therapist brings to the therapeutic setting a unique view of the creative process as a healing process.

      Art therapy can be used as a primary, parallel or adjunctive therapy. It also can be used as a diagnostic tool in the evaluation of individuals, groups and families. Many art therapists function as an integral member of a therapeutic team, while others serve as consultants or conduct private practices.


      What you'll learn

      The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in art therapy is awarded upon the completion of a four-year program that includes a broad range of courses in studio art, psychology and art therapy. Students will be given the opportunity for individual study in professional settings and will be able to attend lectures, workshops and seminars regularly scheduled throughout the year.

      Degree requirements include 16 hours of studio art including drawing, painting, ceramics and sculpture, three hours of art history, 25 hours of art therapy and 13 hours of psychology. Explore the program and course descriptions in our online course bulletinThe Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in art therapy can be strengthened by applying 29 elective credits toward an added major or minor with one of the following tracks:

      Clinical Track  
      Major or minor in psychology - 8 to 31 hours
      Minor in criminology - 20 hours
      Minor in social work - 20 hours
      Minor in sociology - 20 hours

      Studio Track  
      Major or minor in studio art - 6-28 hours
      Minor in art history - 15 hours
      Minor in music - 18 hours

      Apply what you're learning through art therapy experiences arranged by the Art Therapy program and Capital University Student Art Therapy Association (CUSATA). There are research opportunities available such as designing an independent study, presenting at the Annual Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship, and responding to a call for research participants. You are invited to attend an art therapy mini-symposium of practicing art therapists held each semester at Capital. And, you may want to gain a global perspective by studying abroad.

      Where you'll go: Careers and Placement

      Your undergraduate degree in art therapy from Capital University will position you well for the next step in your education and professional career. The American Art Therapy Association awards the designation of Art Therapist Registered (A.T.R.) in recognition of specific standards of professional competence. Certification at the professional level requires appropriate work experience and a master’s degree from an approved graduate program. Your degree from Capital will provide a strong foundation in using art as meaningful expression, as well as preparing for further study.

      Art therapists are employed in medical and psychiatric hospitals and out-patient clinics, performing individual and group art therapy, as well as helping in the assessment of individuals and families; in schools and special needs programs working with people who have physical, emotional and developmental challenges; and in nursing homes where art is being used for issues such as family, health and quality of life.

      Art therapists also can be found in substance abuse agencies, counseling centers, halfway houses and prisons, employee assistance programs, hospice programs and in private practice. A growing area of professional involvement is in medical facilities as part of the alternative healing programs now offered.

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