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Studying Art Therapy

Oct 29, 2020

Art eliminates inhibition as it promotes self-expression, making it easier for one to reveal what's difficult to convey using words alone. Nothing compares to the life-changing benefits of art therapy, a unique self-healing process that fosters mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

What is Art Therapy?

Any shape, colour or image carried out by an individual through a specific medium to achieve healing is defined as art therapy. In an art therapy session, the outcome of a client's work is secondary to the process it took them to create it. With that said, being able to provide their client with a set of art materials which they'd be happy to use is crucial in an art therapist's job.

Once motivated to draw, paint or colour, without any regard for what others might think of their work, an individual can freely express their thoughts and feelings, which leads to healing. Art therapy is extremely beneficial for the following conditions:

Why Study Art Therapy?

Studying art therapy will open you up to the therapeutic value of pencils, paint, clay, charcoal, ink and other art materials, to the mind, body and emotions. Regardless of what you do for a living or the modality that you're currently practising, art therapy is a worthy addition to your portfolio that will lead to new and exciting career paths.

Many graduates of an art therapy course go on to work in schools, hospitals, community health centres, rehabilitation centres and aged care facilities, among other settings. You can even set up a private practice and work your own schedule.

What Are Your Study Options?

If you're looking to establish yourself as an art therapist in Australia, undertaking the Bachelor of Arts Therapy, a three-year university course, will take you down that road. However, if you prefer a shorter study duration, the Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Therapy is your best bet. It runs for a year and a half and covers the principles of art therapy in combination with various spiritual healing models.

What Are the Best Schools for Art Therapy?

Art therapy is relatively easy and fun to learn if you study with a college or university that is recognised by professional associations that represent qualified art therapists. These associations include the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA), Holistic Therapists Australia (HTA) and International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT), among many others.

Facilitated by highly trained art therapists, an accredited course will equip you with the skills and knowledge that are essential to the field which you're entering.

Besides the school's accreditation, you also want to check out their syllabus, course delivery method, tuition fees and availability of study loans. Speaking of which, you'll be happy to know that the bachelor's degree program is eligible for the VET Student Loans program

Australia's top providers of art therapy qualifications include the College of Complementary Medicine and the Ikon Institute of Australia. To learn about their comprehensive offerings or to find other similar course providers, take the time to go over the Natural Therapy Pages' course listings.

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FAQs About Studying Art Therapy

Is art therapy a good career?

Yes, indeed! The employment rate for art therapy-related jobs continues to see an upward trend. If you hold a bachelor's degree in art therapy or a similar qualification, research firms will tell you that your job prospects until 2024 will remain bright.

Do you need to be good at art to be an art therapist?

No. You don't need to be a skilled artist to succeed as an art therapist. Having a basic knowledge of different art materials and media will do. As an art therapist, what you need is compassion, empathy and being highly observant so that you can help your client achieve their therapeutic goals.

How long does it take for art therapy to work?

People who have benefited from art therapy say it only took them two weeks or less to achieve the results that they wanted. Providing a person with the appropriate art materials will enable them to resolve their emotional issues, so it's crucial for one to work with a qualified art therapist.

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