Also called: Art Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC), Registered Art Therapist (ATR)
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When words alone fail to help a client address difficult emotions and memories, art therapists use the creative process to help them break through. Art therapy combines psychotherapy with the visual and physical experience of creating art— to express and process personal issues. Art therapists plan and conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients' physical, mental, or emotional well-being. They design projects to support each client’s needs, such as drawing or creating a collage about an experience, or creating a clay sculpture describing a hope for his or her future. Art therapists invite their clients to reflect on their art and explore its meaning. Art therapists administer assessments, document clients’ progress, and discuss client cases with colleagues. They typically work in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, and in private practice. Self-employed art therapists usually have duties such as billing clients and promoting their business. A master’s degree in art therapy and licensure are required to enter the field. Some states specifically license art therapists, while others license counselors and therapists, who may include art therapy in their practice. Art therapists bring the tools and materials that can help individuals give voice to their inner experience… even when they lack words to describe it.
What they do:Plan or conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients' physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.
On the job, you would:
- Observe and document client reactions, progress, or other outcomes related to art therapy.
- Design art therapy sessions or programs to meet client's goals or objectives.
- Conduct art therapy sessions, providing guided self-expression experiences to help clients recover from, or cope with, cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments.
- therapy and counseling
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
Arts and Humanities
- music, dance, visual arts, drama, or sculpture
- English language
- customer service
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- talking to others
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- understanding people's reactions
- looking for ways to help people
- communicate by speaking
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Concern for Others
- Self Control
- Stress Tolerance
- Social Orientation
You might use software like this on the job:
Graphics or photo imaging software
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