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Where Can I Find Art Therapy Classes Online?

Classes in art therapy are generally offered at the graduate level or as continuing education courses, and some are available online. Keep reading to learn more.

Schools with Online Art Therapy Classes

Art therapy encourages the use of creative expression in counseling to help patients deal with psychological issues, illness or trauma arising from abuse, disaster or similarly significant experiences. You must typically have a master's degree to work in this profession. The American Art Therapy Association accredits master's degree programs in art therapy.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers online graduate programs in art therapy, while the American Art Therapy Association's Institute for Continuing Education in Art Therapy and the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children offer some online continuing education courses for practitioners. These programs might appeal to you if you already have a bachelor's degree and are interested in working as an art therapist, but don't have the ability to attend on-campus courses.

Important Facts About This Area of Study

Common Courses Psychopathology, spiritual growth
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree with art and psychology coursework, a portfolio, reference letters and a 3.0 GPA for a master's
Online Availability Blended with in class options
Possible Careers Art therapist
Median Salary (2019) $44,381 (for art therapists)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 7% (for all recreational therapists)**

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College offers coursework for its 60-credit hour Master of Arts in Art Therapy (MAAT) degree online. A 4-6 day residency is required each July, January and June. You are also required to complete four clinical experiences under the supervision of a local registered art therapist arranged in your state of residence. The program prepares you to work in such places as halfway houses, community agencies, outpatient mental health treatment facilities and correctional facilities. Some of the key concepts explored in the program include:

  • Art therapy and cultural diversity
  • Art therapy according to age
  • Evaluative skills in art therapy
  • Basic counseling theories and strategies
  • Group dynamics studies

Institute for Continuing Education in Art Therapy

The American Art Therapy Association offers online continuing education classes through its Institute for Continuing Education in Art Therapy. You may be able to count these continuing education credits toward maintenance of your professional credentials. Courses may cover professional practice, ethics in art therapy, evaluation skills, multicultural care, serving specialized communities like teenagers or the elderly and new treatment methodologies.

The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children

The nonprofit National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children offers non-credit continuing education courses online. There are courses in reaching out to children using art, music, drama and bibliotherapy, while others focus on the ethical issues related to treating traumatized children using art and play therapy. In these classes, you're responsible for papers, assigned reading, hands-on activities, tests and evaluations.