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M.A. in Psychology: MFT Art Therapy

M.A. in Psychology: MFT/Art Therapy

Mission Statement

The program utilizes a systems approach to the understanding and treatment of human relationships, integrating marriage and family therapy practices, art therapy approaches, and the application of interpersonal neurobiology theory. An experiential learning environment prepares students for clinical practice. The interpersonal, cognitive, and emotional roles of art making, imagery and creativity for health and well-being are emphasized throughout the course of study. The faculty aim to inspire future mental health professionals to embody self-awareness, professional and personal integrity, and a commitment to relational responsibility.

About Art Therapy

Art Therapy is the use of art making within a therapeutic relationship. Through creating art and reflecting on the art product and process, a person can increase awareness of self, cope with stress, enhance cognitive abilities and enjoy the life affirming pleasure of making art.

About the Program

Our unique program, initiated in 1999, provides an interdisciplinary approach to learning contemporary marriage and family therapy. Students learn systemic marriage and family therapy models, art therapy practices, and interpersonal neurobiology approaches geared toward the master’s level clinician.

Our art therapy classes are small and allow for individualized teaching, yet art therapy students belong to a larger cohort of MFT students as well, which provides opportunities for extensive networking and the professional support systems critical to success in the field. Students also benefit from exposure to many instructors allowing them to glimpse diverse practice styles and areas of specialization.

Program Schedule Options

Applications for the fall or spring entry programs are accepted on a rolling basis. The program can be completed in two years/five semesters or in three years/seven semesters. Both fall and spring entries have at least one required summer semester. Participation in other summer semesters is optional and can assist students in meeting research and clinical hours requirements. Prospective students are encouraged to consult with their admissions advisor regarding the details of the program options and multi-program choices.

Master of Arts in Psychology students who wish to add Art Therapy coursework after their first semester need to schedule an appointment with their academic advisor. A personal interview and an academic planning meeting with the Art Therapy Department Chair are required for all students prior to official acceptance into the program.

Students interested in the concentration option must apply to be accepted. Concentration students are not eligible to apply for Art Therapy Registration (ATR). Please contact an admissions advisor for more information regarding the concentration program.

Career Paths

Our Art Therapy graduates pursue work in a variety of settings including:
  • Inpatient Facilities
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Community Mental Health Centers
  • Business and Consulting Companies
  • Schools and Head Start Centers
  • Social Services Agencies
  • Universities and Research Centers
  • Courts and Correctional Facilities
  • Private Practice

Art Therapists can also work in teams with other health care professionals, such as family physicians. Some are involved in family research and public policy analysis from a family perspective.

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Program Goal 1: Understanding Theories and Applying Research

Student Learning Outcomes:
1.1 Explain theories foundational to clinical practice.
1.2 Integrate marriage and family therapy theories with art therapy approaches and interpersonal neurobiology knowledge.
1.3 Utilize research to guide theoretical orientation, treatment planning and develop a personal area of inquiry for a diverse population

Program Goal 2: Clinical Competency

Student Leaning Outcomes:
2.1 Engage in assessment practices.
2.2 Manage legal and ethical issues.
2.3 Provide treatment based on marriage and family therapy theories, art therapy approaches, and interpersonal neurobiology constructs for a diverse population in a variety of settings.

Program Goal 3: Communication

Student Learning Outcomes:
3.1 Communicate effectively in written, oral and imagery formats.

Program Goal 4: Develop a Professional Identity

Student Learning Outcomes:
4.1 Evaluate impact of self on relationships.
4.2 Engage in personal art making. 
4.3 Understand the importance of involvement in the profession, continuing development, and advocacy.

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