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Chicago | Master of Arts

Art Therapy

Program Overview

Program Overview

Adler University’s Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling: Art Therapy program prepares socially responsible counselors to use the creative process to improve individuals’ physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of some of society’s most marginalized populations. Students gain the knowledge and skills to create real change in individuals’ lives through art.

Our innovative program is approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), and graduates are eligible to apply for several licensures and credentials.

The M.A. in Counseling: Art Therapy is designed to prepare counselors and art therapists to serve diverse populations in a range of settings, from clinics and mental health centers, to correctional settings and private practice.

Curriculum

Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy is a 64-credit hour program, and includes coursework and a training practicum from those listed below.

Core Courses
  • Professional Development Seminar
  • Professional Development, Issues and Ethics in Art Therapy, Counseling and Psychopathology
  • Community Psychology
  • Advanced Counseling Methods and Adlerian Psychology and Psychopathology
  • Adlerian Theories & Integrative Interventions for Parents & Teachers
  • Introduction to Addictive Disorders
  • Lifestyle and Career Development
  • Biopsychosocial Bases of Health and Dysfunction for Counselors
  • Basic Skills for Psychotherapy and the Use of Art Therapy
  • Research Methods in Art Therapy, Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Historical & Theoretical Perspectives of Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy
  • Assessment and Appraisal in Art Therapy, Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Use of Art Therapy in Group Psychotherapy and Psychopathology
  • Life Span Development in Art Therapy, Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • Sociocultural and Multicultural Approaches in Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy
  • Theories and Methods of Intervention in Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy I: Couples, Families, and Older Adults
  • Theories and Methods of Intervention in Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy II: Trauma, Loss, Grief, and Bereavement
  • Neuroscience in Art Therapy, Counseling and Psychotherapy: Special Populations
  • Studio Art in Therapy, Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Special Populations: Adaptive Methods in Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy
  • Master of Arts Clinical Qualifying Examination (MAQE)
Field Training
  • Social Justice Practicum I
  • Social Justice Practicum II
  • Practicum Seminar in Art Therapy, Counseling and Psychotherapy I
  • Practicum Seminar in Art Therapy, Counseling and Psychotherapy II
  • Practicum in Art Therapy, Counseling & Psychotherapy I
  • Practicum in Art Therapy, Counseling & Psychotherapy II
  • Practicum Continued in Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy: Consultation and Supervision (This extended practicum course is offered ONLY in Summer II Session)
  • Practicum Seminar in Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy: Consultation and Supervision III
  • Practicum in Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy: Consultation and Supervision III

Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University course catalog here.

Social Justice Practicum

Social Justice Practicum

Doing is learning. A unique and proven program designed to give students real world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes

Our innovative program is AATA-approved, key for job placement and obtaining licensure. Our rigorous curriculum focuses on using counseling methodologies, art therapy, and art making to foster personal growth, gain deeper insight, and to apply clinical training in counseling and art therapy within the context of the Adlerian principles of social responsibility, service in the community, and cultural competence. Our dual-degree program prepares students to be both counselors and art therapists, through a clinical-based model, where students are supervised at their clinical sites by not only an art therapist, but also a licensed counselor, psychologist, social worker, or couple and family therapist. A third and fourth component of our degree is that we incorporate Adlerian Theory/Individual Psychology and Adlerian Art Therapy into the curriculum, giving our students additional techniques and healing modalities to apply in clinical practice.

We offer an immersive learning experience across diverse areas of study, including courses in Neuroscience; Trauma, Loss, Grief, and Bereavement; Adlerian Psychology and Psychopathology; Special Populations and Adaptive Methods; Socio-Cultural and Multi-Cultural Approaches to Art Therapy, Counseling, and Psychotherapy, as well as studio coursework—all led by core faculty members and adjunct professors who are experts in the field. Adler University is a nationally recognized pioneer in graduate education, training professionals who are committed to a more just society.

Careers

Our groundbreaking program is designed to prepare counselors and art therapists to serve diverse populations in a range of settings, including:

  • Clinics
  • Mental health centers
  • Children’s agencies
  • Nursing homes
  • Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Correctional facilities
  • Violence shelters
  • Residential treatment centers
  • Private practice
Professional Development & Training

Gain the knowledge and skills to create real change in individuals’ lives through art. Our diverse faculty brings together rigorous classroom learning with individualized mentorship, artistic guidance, and hands-on professional experience.

We offer extensive field training, including a 700-hour+ counseling and art therapy practicum focused on the clinical work and principles of art therapy in hundreds of settings such as schools, mental health centers, and community organizations.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • An undergraduate/baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution.
  • A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate and graduate coursework. Exceptions may be made for applicants who demonstrate improved academic performance or academic ability in other ways.
  • The equivalent of 12 semester credit hours in psychology with grades of C or better. These courses need to include general or introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, and life span development. All prerequisites should be completed by the end of a student’s first semester at Adler University.
  • Eighteen semester credit hours or 27 quarter credit hours in studio art that demonstrate proficiency and disciplined commitment to visual art in three or more visual art media.
  • A portfolio of original artwork (15 examples in three or more different media) demonstrating competence with art materials is required to be presented at the admission interview.
  • Approved applicants will be invited for a personal interview as the final step in the application process.

Applicants are required to submit the following items to be considered for admission:

  • Application and application fee
  • Statement of Intent (2-3 pages, double-spaced) answering the following questions:
    • Why are you interested in your chosen field and program?
    • Why is Adler University’s program a good fit for you?
    • What are your career goals and interests?
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended (U.S and Canada)
    • Please have official transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions
    • Unofficial transcripts may be accepted for any schools in which a degree was not received
    • International transcripts must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service
  • Two letters of Recommendation
    • These should be from someone who can specifically speak to your academic and professional abilities

Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview with faculty. Please submit all application materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.

Official transcripts should be sent to:

Adler University – Office of Admissions
17 N. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60602

Official electronic transcripts should be sent to [email protected].

 

For more information for International Applicants, click here.

Licensure

Licensure

Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for the following licensures:

  • The credential of Registered Art Therapist (ATR) through the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB), may be attained upon completing all necessary post-graduate training.
  • Students are eligible to take the exam for the Licensed Professional Counselor exam (LPC) credential in the state of Illinois, and the National Counselor Examination (NCE) may be attained upon completion of the program.
  • The Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) credential in the state of Illinois may be attained upon completing all necessary post-graduate requirements. Students interested in applying for licensure elsewhere should work with their appropriate state licensing boards and faculty advisors to plan their curriculum accordingly.

Chicago Campus

Located in the heart of the city, the Adler Chicago campus was designed to provide and inspire the learning and living experience. To that end, we have created an environment that caters to your mental, emotional and intellectual growth. Our classrooms are bright and spacious with windows to the outside world. Our technology is the very latest and best. In our Library, you will find every resource you need to research, form and shape your journey. At Adler, we have made it our mission to create a space with more than enough room to share your thoughts and flex your intellect.

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