Expressive Art Therapy (EAT) - Graduate and Post-MS Certificate

Having Fun in the Woods,

“The presenters are of the highest caliber and the program itself is designed to maximize individual and group experiences. If you’re looking to rev up your internal engines around the expressive art therapies, the Summer Institute is a ‘don’t miss’ opportunity! I’ll be back!” Anonymous Summer Institute participant 2007

The Expressive Art Therapy blends a passion for art with the skills of counseling. The program follows the guidelines of the educational standards for the American Art Therapy Association and the International Expressive Art Therapy Association for becoming a registered expressive art therapist, and the requirements for licensure with the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health. Students seeking licensure in other states must make sure that their degree program covers the necessary requirements of the licensing board in their state. Depending on the state licensure requirements, the Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Expressive Art Therapy will take two and half to three years to complete.

In combination with the core courses required for professional licensure the student will engage in study of the history, ethics, and practice of expressive art therapy. Expressive art therapies involve the use of visual art, music, movement, poetry and performance, as well as the inter-modal application of these in therapy and healing.

Students have the option of seeking registration as an Art Therapist (ATR) through the American Art Therapy Association or registration as an Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) through the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. The Prescott College model allows for flexibility of design to meet either or both registration requirements as far as course content and area of focus, which can be either art therapy or multi-modal expressive arts. Students engage in coursework with qualified mentors who are licensed Behavioral Health Professionals and either an ATR or REAT.

Program Requirements

The Master of Science in Counseling with a concentration in Expressive Art Therapy combines the 60 credit M.S. and the 30 credit coursework required for the Post-Master's Certificate in EAT into a 75-90 credit-hour program. Depending on your state licensure requirements students may have the option of using some of their EAT courses as counseling electives, in which case the total number of credits is reduced. This includes coursework, a supervised counseling practicum (in some cases a separate Expressive Art Therapy practicum), attendance at all colloquia, attendance at two Summer Institutes, and a capstone thesis paper.

EAT Coursework:

  • History and Theory of Expressive Art Therapy, 3 credits
  • Materials and Techniques of Practice in EAT, 3 credits
  • Applications of Expressive Art Therapy with People in Different Treatment Settings, 3 credits
  • Group Work and Dynamics in EAT, 3 credits
  • Assessment in EAT, 3 credits
  • Ethical and Legal Issues-Standards of Good Practice in EAT , 3 credits
  • Cultural Diversity in EAT, 3 credits
  • Advanced EAT Elective, 3 credits
  • Supervised Expressive Art Therapy Practicum, 1 credit
  • Studio Art - Expressive Arts Studio, 1 credit
  • Supervised Expressive Art Therapy Internship: Clinical Case Consultation I and II, 4 credits

Some states allow the use of specialized Expressive Art Therapy courses as counseling electives. It is student's responsibility to research if that is the case in their state. 

Expressive Art Therapy Summer Institutes

Since 2002, students and mental health professionals from around the world have been meeting at Prescott College for two weeks in July/August to take part in this annual event. The goal of the Institute is to provide participants with an intensive, immersion into experiential learning and the opportunity to study with the internationally renowned educators such as Cathy Malchiodi, Dariah K. Halprin, Pat Allen, Michael Franklin, Bruce Moon, and Cathy Moon. The Institute is very hands-on and a perfect venue in which educators, counselors, and students can learn in a supervised experiential environment. Questions and information about available Summer Institute Scholarships can be directed to Camille Smith via

Post- Master's Certificate in Expressive Art Therapy

The Post-Masters Certificate in Expressive Art Therapy is designed for the student or professional who has completed a Master’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work, marriage and family counseling, education or other related fields. To see the complete course listing and program prerequisites click on the links.  Find out how you can expand your horizons in your professional practice with the power of making art and learn how to integrate the creative processes into your practice.  As an art educator you may have come to recognize in the art of your students opportunities to assist them with personal issues. To do so ethically, it is important to receive the specialized training in the application of art therapy.  Prescott College limited residency programs allow you to remain in your home community and advance your career with additional certifications with minimal time actually spent on the Prescott College campus. 

Following the educational standards of the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and the International Expressive Art Therapy Association (IEATA) the Prescott College Post-Master Certificate in Expressive Art Therapy program prepares the student for informed, ethical practice in art therapy or expressive arts therapy. The curriculum, which parallels that of the MA concentration in Expressive Art Therapy, includes specialized education about the history, theory, ethics and techniques of practice in expressive art therapy. Students also partake in required, supervised clinical field experiences. Participation in the Expressive Art Therapy Summer Institute supports all theoretical learning and clinical experiences with intensive, experiential processes designed to give the student a deep personal understanding of the power of creative expression in healing and transformation.  The program prepares students for later eligibility for the (ATR) Registered Art Therapist or (REAT) Registered Expressive Arts Therapist credential.  (See AATA and IEATA websites for full listing of registration criteria). 

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