What is art therapy and how does it work

Video What is art therapy and how does it work

work life

Use art to help people deal with complex and confusing emotional issues. there may be things that customers cannot put into words. this could be because the emotions are too distressing or because the client is having difficulty communicating.

how to become an art therapist

You must obtain an approved full-time or part-time Master’s degree in Art Therapy or Art Psychotherapy and then register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

entry requirements

Typically, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in art or a related subject. You can be accepted onto a course without an art degree, if you have a strong art background. Those accepted to the courses are typically mature and flexible individuals who have had work experience in mental health, education, special needs or social services prior to applying. you will need to show a portfolio of your artwork. They cover the psychology of imagery, therapeutic relationships, the importance of boundaries, and psychological and psychotherapeutic practice.

degree learning

A level 7 apprenticeship is available for art therapists, including art therapists/art psychotherapists, drama therapists, and music therapists, but opportunities are currently limited. You will need to apply for a trainee position with a healthcare provider. You can search for vacancies on the nhs jobs website and find an apprenticeship website.

skills and personal qualities needed

you must be:

  • creative, flexible and resourceful
  • resilience to deal with other people’s strong emotions
  • sensitive and mature
  • artist with excellent communication skills
  • able to work with people from all walks of life
  • able to reflect on their own emotions
  • where can the role lead

    You could specialize in a particular type of client such as children, the elderly or criminals. Or you could become a specialist in a particular subject, such as dementia, mental health, or palliative care. You could decide to go into business for yourself and develop a private practice. I could do this along with the freelance job.

    You could become a senior art therapist or consultant, and manage the work of a team of therapists. Or you could become the head of an art therapy department, coordinating the work of therapists from other disciplines such as music therapists or drama therapists. you also train other art therapists. Some art therapists complete higher education and specialize in areas such as working with families or people diagnosed with personality disorders. There are also opportunities for additional training in psychotherapy or evidence-based interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy (cbt).

    you can join the british association of art therapists (baat) where you can keep your skills and knowledge up to date with annual cpd (continuing professional development). baat organizes courses, conferences and seminars where therapists can exchange ideas and update their skills.

    pay and benefits

    Most art therapists on the nhs work part time and postings usually start at band 6 of the schedule for changing pay rates. You will also have access to our generous pension plan and discounts on health services, as well as 27 days of annual vacation plus holidays.

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