Art Therapy and Art Therapy/Counseling

Master of Science in Art Therapy
Master of Science in Art Therapy/Counseling

The emphasis of the Graduate Program in Art Therapy and in Art Therapy/Counseling is on the integration of depth-psychology theory and the aesthetic experience. It is the underlying goal of the Art Therapy degree program to stimulate the development of the student as both artist and therapist. Broadly, the objective is to train students to professionally use the art therapy process in clinical practice. Through specific courses where integration is emphasized, our program provides a linkage between studio art experience and depth-oriented psychological theory (psychoanalysis, ego psychology, and object relations). Required courses are taken sequentially prior to the Practicum semesters. Artistic process, creative experience, and art therapy theory are studied simultaneously.

Thus, the Art Therapy degree program provides a psychoanalytic framework with a focus on ego psychology and object relations theory. It is from this vantage point that the artistic process is explored. With required classes as a foundation, students elect additional classes which are designed to explore theoretical and methodological aspects of art therapy for use with diverse populations.

Art therapy students are expected to be artists actively involved in their creative development. A vital component of the Art Therapy program, therefore, is an emphasis on studio art and the integration of theoretical material covered in the other components of their training with the studio art experience. Two optional specializations in studio art/art therapy are available to students: photography/phototherapy and sculpture/art therapy. Studio course work in many other areas is also offered. Optional specializations in Child Art Therapy and Art Therapy and Thanatology allow students to hone their skills in those fields.

Both the Master of Science in Art Therapy (51-credit degree) and the Master of Science in Art Therapy/Counseling (60-credit degree) are approved by the New York State Department of Education and by the American Art Therapy Association. The Art Therapy programs are designed for qualified students seeking the professional training necessary to pursue careers as art therapists and for licensing as Creative Arts Therapists (LCAT) in New York State. Students are prepared to work in a wide variety of settings: psychiatric hospitals, residential schools for handicapped children, institutions for the blind and deaf, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, day treatment centers, outpatient programs for victims of abuse or loss, hospital units for pediatric oncology, surgery, and neurological impairment, public and private schools, facilities for senior citizens, and geriatric centers.

The 60-credit Master of Science degree in Art Therapy/Counseling is designed to address licensing requirements in states that require the word “counseling” in the art therapy degree title as well as additional course work. In this program, the additional course work is designed to meet many of the academic requirements specified for licensure by some states. However, because each state sets its own licensure requirements, students who apply for licensing outside of New York State are responsible for becoming familiar with the licensing requirements of that state and for enrolling in the academic courses and internships required by that state.

Division Office: Chidwick Hall 105,  (914) 654-5279,
Program Coordinator & Advisor: Patricia St. John, Ed.D., ATR-BC, LCAT, Chapel Hall G-2,  (914) 654-5280