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Art Therapist Jobs

Art therapy is mostly used in the treatment of many mental disorders including bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, abuse, trauma, and even neurological problems. However, it can be used to treat patients with physical disabilities or terminal illnesses, as art therapy helps to reduce stress, manage problems and behaviors, increase self-confidence, express feelings and resolve conflict. By using forms of art such as painting, sculpting, drawing and more, art therapists help patients work through their physical, mental and emotional pain.

Art therapy first became recognized as its own profession during the 1940s and has become renowned for its ability to help individuals.

While it can be used on individuals of any age, the majority of the time it is used with children, as art allows them to express their feelings and explain what has happened to them or what they are going through by drawing a picture.

Education: Art therapists are required to have a graduate degree, many of which split courses between art and psychology. Most applicants to graduate programs in art therapy are required to have a minimum number of undergraduate hours in psychology and art. Therefore, anyone interested in becoming an art therapist will need to plan on taking certain coursework while obtaining their bachelor's degree. Once art therapists have received their master's degree they can become certified as a registered art therapist through the Art Therapy Credentials Board, where they must be recertified every five years.

Where to Work: Art therapists have the option to work in a number of different settings including hospitals, schools, mental health centers, social service agencies, clinics and private practice.

Average Pay: The average income for art therapists is $38,000 - $48,000, although most entry-level positions begin at $32,000.

Job Outlook: While there are only about 5,000 art therapists practicing in the United States today, the job outlook for this profession is good. More and more medical facilities and practitioners are recognizing the health benefits provided by art and are incorporating it into the therapy and rehabilitation of their patients.

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