Jun 19, 2018  
2017-2018 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    
2017-2018 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

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Art Therapy Counseling, M.A.



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Art therapy is a dynamic and growing profession, blending a passion for being of service with the creative power of art. Marylhurst University’s art therapy admissions committee is seeking applicants with well-developed art skills, academic competence, and the personality attributes and interpersonal skills that indicate an aptitude for the profession.

Career Paths

Our program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Oregon. Graduates of our program can earn credentials as board-certified art therapists and as national board-certified counselors. In many states, graduates may become licensed as professional counselors. Most graduates find employment as team members in facilities such as community mental health agencies, psychiatric hospitals, therapeutic schools, and day and residential treatment programs for clients with mental illnesses. Some graduates choose to work in residences or day programs serving people with memory problems, or in correctional settings.

Applying for Admission

Students must complete the following prerequisite coursework prior to entry in the program:

  • A minimum of 27 crs. in art, distributed among painting, drawing, and sculpture.
  • 18 crs. in psychology, including 6 crs. of general psychology: Abnormal Psychology, Human Development, and Theories of Personality or Research Methods.

Admission Requirements

For detailed application instructions, please contact the Office of Admissions.

  • Marylhurst University Application for Admission
  • Official, sealed transcripts from each college or university where a degree was earned
    • Minimum GPA for graduate admission is 3.00
    • Student must have conferred bachelor’s degree before starting the program
    • Additional transcripts may be required to show proof of program pre-requisites
  • Résumé, including experience working with people (minimum 300 hours volunteer or paid)
  • Statement of Intent
  • Art portfolio
  • Recommendations (2)
  • Students with a Grade Point Average (GPA) lower than 3.0 are required to take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the GRE and earn a score in 50th percentile.
  • Admissions interview with department faculty

Application Deadline and Process

The priority deadline for Fall admissions is January 31st. Later applications may be submitted and will be reviewed on an on-going basis. Applicants will be notified in writing of the decision of the admissions committee.

Background Check

Applicants who are admitted and wish to enroll will be asked to submit their information for a criminal background check at their expense. Details will be supplied with the admission decision.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 12 transfer credits may be applied toward the degree with department approval.

Program Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes are adapted from the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education from the American Art Therapy Association Master’s Education Guidelines developed by the Association’s Education Standards Revision Task Force with input from art therapy educators, professionals, and students and approved by the AATA Board of Directors in 2015. This program at a minimum will prepare competent entry-level Art Therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

They will be able to:

  1. Understand the historical development of Art Therapy as a profession, and how Art Therapy theories and techniques are a foundation for contemporary Art Therapy professional practice.
  2. Distinguish among the therapeutic benefits of a variety of art processes and media, strategies and interventions, and their applicability to the treatment process for individuals, groups, and families.
  3. Recognize that Art Therapy, from a multicultural perspective, takes into consideration the specific values, beliefs, and actions influenced by a client’s race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, political views, sexual orientation, geographic region, physical capacity or disability, and historical or current experiences within the dominant culture.
  4. Select culturally and developmentally appropriate assessment and evaluation methods and administer and interpret results to identify challenges, strengths, resilience, and resources for Art Therapy treatment planning.
  5. Develop culturally appropriate, collaborative, and productive therapeutic relationships with clients.
  6. Know federal and state laws and professional ethics as they apply to the practice of Art Therapy.
  7. Recognize and respond appropriately to ethical and legal dilemmas using ethical decision-making models, supervision, and professional and legal consultation when necessary.
  8. Recognize clients’ use of imagery, creativity, symbolism, and metaphor as a valuable means for communicating challenges and strengths and support clients’ use of art-making for promoting growth and well-being.
  9. Recognize the legal, ethical, and cultural considerations necessary when conducting Art Therapy research.
  10. Apply principles of human development, artistic and creative development, human sexuality, gender identity development, family life cycle, and psychopathology, to the assessment and treatment of clients.
  11. Understand professional role and responsibility to engage in advocacy endeavors as they relate to involvement in professional organizations and advancement of the profession.
  12. Continuously deepen self-understanding through personal growth experiences, reflective practice, and personal art-making to strengthen a personal connection to the creative process, assist in self awareness, promote well-being, and guide professional practice.
  13. Pursue professional development through supervision, accessing current Art Therapy literature, research, best practices, and continuing educational activities to inform clinical practice.
  14. Recognize the impact of oppression, prejudice, discrimination, and privilege on access to mental health care, and develop responsive practices that include collaboration, empowerment, advocacy, and social justice action.
  15. Understand the basic diagnostic process and the major categories and criteria of mental disorders, corresponding treatments, and commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications.

Program Requirements


A maximum of six credits of coursework with C or C+ grades may be applied towards the degree. Grades of C- or lower may not be applied toward any program requirement.

Total for the Degree: 90 credits


Two-Year Program Plan


Second Year


During this year, students complete 720 hours of practicum in a clinical setting, and attend a weekly supervision seminar. Students must be in good standing academically to continue in practicum seminars and related courses.

Three-Year Program Plan


Third Year


During this year, students complete 720 hours of practicum in a clinical setting and attend a weekly supervision seminar. Students must be in good standing academically to continue in practicum seminars and related courses.

Four-Year Program Plan


Fourth Year


During this year, students complete 720 hours of practicum in a clinical setting and attend a weekly supervision seminar. Students must be in good standing academically to continue in practicum seminars and related courses.

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