Art Therapy Courses – M.A. Program

Art Therapy Classes at Marylhurst

Within the M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling program you will take art therapy courses in cross-cultural counseling, art therapy media & methods, psychopathology, group dynamics, research methods, family and couples therapy and take part in art therapy studio classes.

 The M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling program is now accepting inquiries and applications. Apply early!

  Learning Outcomes

Following the completion of Marylhurst’s art therapy program, you will benefit from an entry level professional understanding of counseling and art therapy theories, and possess competence in practical application of these theories within clinical settings.

As a graduate, your marketable skills will include:

  1. The ability to implement contemporary theories from the fields of counseling, psychology and art therapy.
  2. Demonstrated excellence in scholarship.
  3. Demonstrated ability to assess client strengths and problems in multiple domains of functioning.
  4. Competency in psychopathology, testing and diagnostic appraisal.
  5. The ability to develop theoretically sound clinical treatment plans and goals.
  6. Verbal counseling skills with individuals and groups.
  7. Advanced assessment and treatment skills using art media and creative processes.
  8. Sensitivity to diverse cultural backgrounds and values.
  9. Recognition of ethical dilemmas and appropriate solutions in professional practice.
  10. Demonstrated self-awareness, ethics and professionalism in communicating with clients, other practitioners, supervisors and the broader community.
art thearpy student, artwork

Transfer Credit and Degree Completion

Students admitted into the M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling program may transfer up to 12 credits towards the degree with departmental approval. On average, full-time students complete the M.A. in Art Therapy Counseling degree in 21 months. Part-time study is also available for those students who would like to progress at a slower pace.

Art Therapy Courses & Degree Requirements: What You Will Study

alyssa rose crenshaw, marylhurst art therapist, clinical supervisor

Program Requirements (90 credits)

To earn your Master of Art in Art Therapy Counseling from Marylhurst, you complete 90 credits in a sequence of graduate courses.

Dive deep into the theory and clinical aspects of art therapy. Within the master’s curriculum you will cover topics including theories of counseling and psychotherapy, diagnostic appraisal and testing, child development, cross-cultural counseling, professional and clinical practices in art therapy, adult development and professional ethics.  Practicum seminars and studio coursework are also included within your scope of study.

Establish a foundation for future studies with a review of the history, theories, principles and techniques of counseling and psychotherapy, and their applications within professional settings.
Consider societal changes and trends affecting human roles, mores and patterns of interaction in relation to counselor’s work. Discuss multicultural and pluralistic trends, societal subgroups, differing lifestyles and steps to address major societal concerns such as person abuse, substance abuse and discrimination.
Examine educational and psychometric theories and approaches to appraisal and diagnosis, data and information-gathering methods, psychometric statistics and factors influencing appraisals. Develop the ability to select, administer and interpret tests and inventories.
Review career development theories and complete orientations to key occupational and educational information sources and systems.
Examine best practice research processes. Review various forms of research, statistics, research-report development, implementation, program evaluation, needs assessment, publication, and ethical and legal considerations.
Benefit from an introductory overview of the history, development, major theories and application of art therapy with various client populations.
Explore art therapy and counseling theories and methods, including basic and advanced helping skills and processes. The dynamics and complexities of the therapeutic relationship are emphasized, including transference and the impact of the work on the self of the therapist. The complex relationship between the psychological properties of varied media/art making processes and responsible clinical assessment/treatment, and the therapeutic relationship are studied in this course.
Study theories of cognitive, emotional, physical, psychosocial and artistic development for children from infancy to age 12. Consider normal and abnormal personality growth and development in relation to assessment and treatment planning.
Build on previous studies in abnormal psychology. Develop an understanding of the uses of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual in clinical practice and study descriptions, causes and treatment of behaviors considered abnormal by society.
Explore group art therapy facilitation methods with varied populations in relation to current theories of group therapy. Develop skills in clinical observation and group leadership.
Seize the opportunity to develop practical clinical abilities and skills in verbal counseling, therapeutic intervention strategies, treatment planning and ethics.
Study theories of cognitive, emotional, physical, psychosocial and creative development throughout the adolescent and young adult lifespan. Consider normal and abnormal personality growth and development in adolescence and adulthood in relation to assessment and treatment planning.
Address culturally sensitive issues, acculturation, countertransference issues and personal ethnicity. Develop awareness of cultural backgrounds as a tool to better understand how diversity and cultural values can affect communication, counseling and art therapy. Consider the role art plays in various cultures.
Dive deep into the examination and analysis of art processes and products in relation to the individual’s level of functioning, personality and diagnosis. Coursework evaluates the form and content of pictorial and sculptural work as they apply to the assessment process. You will have the opportunity to practice the integration of evidence of developmental level, cognitive/perceptual capacities, psychodynamic processes and environmental stimuli in art work and behavior.
Through lecture, peer discussion and experiential work, explore assessment, standards and methods of documentation, treatment planning, treatment team reports (oral and written), case presentations, case management and ethics.
Study various approaches to art therapy/counseling for adults with mild to acute mental/emotional disturbances. Develop an understanding of treatment methods in relation to the developmental stages of adult life, cultural contexts and settings.
Take a close look at clinical roles within various treatment settings. This two-term course explores the functions of individuals within the disciplines of art therapy/counseling, social work and related fields. Professional organizations and associations, preparation standards and credentialing, history and trends, ethical and legal standards, and supervision are addressed.
Study prominent theoretical approaches to family and couples counseling. This comprehensive course includes exploration of traditional and current approaches inclusive of systems theory, psychodynamic and intergenerational.
alyssa rose crenshaw, art therapist, supervisor

Clinical Practicum Experience

To complete the Marylhurst Art Therapy Counseling program, you will participate in a clinical practicum in partnership with board-certified licensed art therapists who will oversee your work. While you provide art therapy counseling services in a clinical setting, you will participate in a weekly supervision seminar to review case studies and discuss case material that further develops clinical skills. To conclude your practicum expeirence, you will submit a final project proposal to program faculty.

By the time you graduate, you will have developed a robust clinical portfolio including:

  • Supervision
  • Peer consultation
  • Art experiences

Art Therapy case examples and participatory demonstrations of media and methods are included. Reflect on your development as a therapist through the completion of three complex art projects and papers.

Provide art therapy counseling services in a clinical setting and participate in a weekly supervision seminar to review case studies and discuss case material that further develops clinical skills. Final project proposals are the culmination of practicum studies.

Explore and develop your clinical portfolio at Practicum sites through supervision, peer consultation and art experiences. Art Therapy case examples and participatory demonstrations of media and methods are included. Reflect on your development as a therapist through the completion of three complex art projects and papers.

Get More Information

Ready to further discuss whether or not the Marylhurst MA in Art Therapy Counseling is right for you? Connect with one of our admissions counselors who can answer your questions, email you more information and share steps to get started.

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