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Art Therapist

Career Highlights

  • Emotional therapy that uses art
  • Combines traditional counseling with art manifestation
  • Trained in both art and therapy
  • Don’t have to be an experienced artist

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Career Summary

Art TherapyArt therapy is a form of emotional therapy that uses art, such painting, chalk and clay to help and improve an individual’s mental health. Art therapy combines traditional counseling and a psychotherapeutic theory with art manifestation and is employed in many clinical settings with diverse populations.

Art therapists is most often utilized with children and adolescents, but is occasionally applied with adults, families, and communities. According to the American Art Therapy Association, art therapy belief is that the creative process involved in making art is healing and life-enhancing.

Art therapists use the creative process and the issues that come up during art therapy to help their clients increase insight and judgment, cope better with stress and work through traumatic events in a life. The purpose of art therapy is the same as in any other therapy, to improve mental health and maintain emotional well- being.

The term art therapist is reserved for those that are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are trained to recognize the nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are communicated within the creative process, which might be difficult to express in words.

According to Annette Marie Vaccaro, “We’re not fortune tellers. We don’t try to tell their story. We try to help them tell their own story” (Beeson 2006).




Requires a degree in:

  • Psychology
  • Art
  • Art Therapy

Career Skills

  • Art techniques
  • Resolve emotional conflict
  • Assist with self-awareness and self-esteem
  • Assist in building social skills
  • Develop strategies for problem solving

Additional Information



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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.