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Creative Arts Therapist

   

Creative Arts Therapists are human service professionals that help individuals, families, and groups improve their overall physical and mental health. They apply the principles and techniques of each art form in an effort to improve communications, allow expression of feelings, improve coordination, and increase cognitive and social function. Creative arts therapists usually specialize in a single area such as dance and movement therapy, drama therapy, art therapy, music therapy, or poetry therapy. They begin by interviewing patients and consulting other health professional to determine the psychotherapeutic needs of the patient. They then develop and implement a customized creative arts therapy program. They observe patients and maintain accurate records so they can consult with the rest of the therapeutic team, which may include physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, counselors, and teachers. Creative arts therapists work with a variety of patients including those with learning disorders, emotional problems, mental retardation, and physical disabilities. They may also be called upon to conduct scientific research and teach students and other professionals the latest therapeutic methods. Individuals interested in this type of therapy should have exceptional artistic ability, good communication skills, and enjoy working with people with a wide range of therapeutic needs.

 
Work Environment:

 

Creative arts therapists work in a variety of environments including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, colleges and universities, correctional institutions, halfway houses, residential treatment centers, behavioral health centers, and art studios.


High School Preparation:

 

High school students interested in becoming a creative arts therapist should take courses in biology, physics, algebra, English, literature, fine arts (dance, drama, art, music, etc.), physical education, computer skills, psychology, sociology, and health occupations/medical professions education.


College Requirements:

 

Creative arts therapists are required to have a master’s level education to practice. Each specialty has its own set of professional standards and requisite qualifications. To become a Registered Art Therapist (ART) an individual must complete 1,000 hours of supervised postgraduate service. Dance therapists can obtain two levels of certification, Registered Dance Therapist and Registered Academy of Dance Therapist.

 

Students interested in creative arts therapy should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

 

Employment opportunities for creative arts therapists are expected to grow steadily through the end of the decade. Employment will continue to grow as the benefits of creative arts therapy becomes increasingly recognized by professionals and clients. While hospitals and nursing homes are cutting back on their therapy services due to budget restraints, outpatient settings will see a tremendous increase in the number of trained personnel needed. Because of the small size of this profession, employment will not fluctuate due to individuals retiring or leaving the profession for other reasons. Individuals with a master’s degree or postgraduate experience will have the best career opportunities in this field.
 

 

Salary:

 

Average Annual Salary

$36,600

 

Salary Range

$30,700-$43,200

 

Professional Organizations:

 

American Art

Therapy Association

1202 Allanson Road

Mundelein, Illinois 60060-3808

Phone: (888) 290-0878

Fax: (847) 566-4580

www.arttherapy.org

 

American Dance Therapy Association

2000 Century Plaza, Suite 108

Columbia, MD 21044

Phone: (410) 997-4040

Fax: (4l0) 997-4048

www.adta.org

 

American

Music Therapy

Association, Inc.

8455 Colesville Road, Suite 1000

Silver Springs, MD 20910

Phone: (301) 589-3300

Fax: (301) 589-5175

www.musictherapy.org

 

National Association for Drama Therapy

15 Post Side Lane
Pittsford, NY 14534

Phone: (585) 381-5618
Fax: (585) 383-1474

www.nadt.org

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