What is art therapy?
Art therapy is a mental health modality that empowers clients and allows them to gain more control over their mind, body and spirit. Art therapists let their clients choose their own art tools and give them the freedom to create artworks that represent their thoughts and feelings. An art therapy session allows clients to build their communication skills, self-expression, self-awareness which all contribute to positive personal growth. Art therapists provide a valuable service as they assist people who are growing through the following psychological or mental health problems:
- Fears and phobias
- Muscle tension
- High blood pressure
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders
- Family or relationship problems
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Perth-based art therapists are able to join the following art therapy and counselling professional associations:
- Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA)
- Australian Counselling Association (ACA)
- Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA)
- Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP)
- Professional Association for Arts Therapy in Australia and New Zealand (ANZATA)
- Australian Psychological Society (APS)
- Australian Clinical Psychology Association (ACPA)
- Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)
- Australian Community Counselling Association (ACCA)
Should you study art therapy?
Do you aspire to have a career where you get to improve people's lives and help them find meaning in their life experiences through the power of art? If this matches your career goals, then you must pursue a career in art therapy. Contrary to what you may think, you do not need to be creative or have an eye for art to pursue this profession. Instead, you will need to have the following skills and attributes:
- Strong listening skills and high emotional intelligence are vital throughout the whole session working with a client in order to be able to better analyse their sensory, emotional or physical state.
- Good critical thinking skills to be able to analyse and evaluate information and visual cues from the client's artwork.
- Strong organisational and time management skills as you will be required to juggle many tasks with conflicting priorities while still providing the best possible service to all your clients.
- Caring demeanour and a good understanding of your duty of care towards the client as you are in charge of their health and welfare.
If this corresponds with your career objectives and interpersonal skills, continue reading to learn more about your course options in Perth.
What are the course and study options for art therapists in Perth?
The minimum education requirement for aspiring art therapists in Perth is a Master's degree. Firstly, you will need to enrol in an undergraduate degree majoring in counselling, psychology, social science or another related field. Afterwards, you will need to complete a postgraduate qualification degree in art therapy. In Perth, there are many different course providers that offer a variety of delivery modes to suit your preferred learning pace which includes on-campus, online or blended learning systems.
Throughout your educational journey, you will be taught by industry experts, who have many years of experience both teaching and working in their respective fields. Some of the topics you will explore during your courses include theory, history and techniques of art therapy as well as the therapeutic techniques used by art therapists, as well as creative exploration through the means of art. On top of that, you will be required to complete 750 hours of work experience in a clinical placement when completing your Master's degree.
At the top of this page, you will find more information about these course options that will help achieve your goal of becoming an art therapist in Perth. After shortlisting your preferred courses, you can get in touch with them directly in regards to any further questions you may have regarding their entry requirements, curriculum, tuition fees or delivery modes.
What happens after you complete your art therapy course in Perth?
Once you finish your Master's degree in Art Therapy, you will be eligible to register with the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA). You will also need to meet the yearly requirements of the Continuing Professional Education in order to maintain your credentials and continue practising as an art therapist in Perth. You have a vast range of workplaces to choose to work in, such as:
- Aged care facilities
- Crisis centres
- Clinical research facilities
- Mental health agencies
- Assisted living facilities
- Domestic violence shelters
- Psychiatric wards
If you are looking to gain more control and have a greater say in the way you conduct your art therapy sessions, you should consider setting up your private practice specialising in art therapy. Natural Therapy Pages will be there to assist you along the rewarding but sometimes tough process of establishing your own business by allowing you to list your face-to-face art therapy services or online sessions via the practitioner listing page. This will help boost traffic to your services and even build your client base.