What Careers are in Art Therapy?

Art TherapyThere are many unique and exciting careers in art therapy for students who are passionate about helping others. Obtaining a career in art therapy will empower the student to continually help others grow while enjoying plenty of opportunities for free expression. Below explains the type of careers that are available in art therapy.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is a mental health tool that professionals use to solve various problems, according to American Art Therapy Association. For example, art therapy is very effective in raising self-awareness, self-esteem and self-confidence. It can also help change behaviors, develop social skills and even improve life functioning. From a clinical perspective, art therapy is very good at exploring subconscious feelings, resolving emotional conflicts and reducing anxiety. The fundamental goal of art therapy is to holistically restore the client’s functionality and mental health.

Where is Art Therapy Practiced?

Art therapy is practiced in a wide variety of settings. For example, an art therapist could work in a psychiatric ward of a hospital or a drug rehabilitation center. Private clinical offices and most mental health care organizations use art therapy. Senior, wellness and community centers also employ art therapists. Art therapists also work as private contractors with K-12 schools and higher educational facilities.

Family Therapist

A student with a psychology degree in family therapy can use art therapy as a creative way to heal wounds and resolve conflicts. Family therapists who counsel people generally have a master’s or doctorate degree. Family therapists also must have at least two years of supervised experience. Once their career is established, a family therapist will diagnose and treat emotional and mental health issues within a family or family individuals. They strive to restore relationships and improve family functioning. In fact, family therapy is very effective with helping couples who struggle with depression and other mental health problems.

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Art Therapy Research

Art therapy is more than just using hands-on expression to help others heal. For the introspective student who prefers to work with data and postulate new theories, there is also research based jobs available. Art therapy is still not fully accepted by certain psychologists who insist that medication and logical techniques are the key to improving mental health. Therefore, there is a great need for scientifically minded students to expand the current knowledge based through empirical research and statistical analysis. More peer reviewed research is needed in order to increase awareness that art therapy is a legitimate and helpful method of therapeutic healing.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Many private and non-profit organizations have limited budgets and resources for the ample amounts of substance abuse addicts who need serious help. Substance abuse counselors will need to meet the education requirements for both counseling and art therapy. Art therapy will help addicts relieve stress, cope with cravings and manage their addiction treatment and withdraw syndromes.

Social Worker

While most social workers are directly employed by their state’s Child Welfare Department, there are community outreach and program development opportunities for students with a degree in art therapy. The foster care experience is traumatizing and stressful. Often times, foster children are removed from their parents or caretakers because of neglect, abuse and even domestic violence. Certain social workers work use art therapy as a way to help foster children recover and cope with their unstable life circumstances.

Related Resource: Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology

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In the end, art therapy is a creative way to help others heal, understanding themselves and improve their life functioning. Art therapists work as family therapists, researchers social workers. Don’t forget that there are even more interesting and meaningful careers in art therapy available.