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Vancouver | Master of

Master’s in Art Therapy

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Program Overview

Adler University’s Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy program prepares students to work as counsellors, art therapists, and educators in a leading-edge field that combines the arts and psychology to improve physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Our unique degree offering trains graduates to be socially responsible practitioners who work with both words and images to treat individuals facing trauma, stress, and other life transitions.

The innovative program aligns with the requirements set forth by the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association to become a Registered Clinical Counsellor in the province of British Columbia or a Canadian Certified Counsellor in Canada. It is also designed to meet the registered art therapist requirements of the British Columbia Art Therapy Association, the Canadian Art Therapy Association, the American Art Therapy Credentials Board, and the American Art Therapy Association.

Graduates are prepared to be counsellors and art therapists that serve diverse populations in a range of settings including clinics, correctional facilities, private practice and more.

Request Information

      You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.

      Okay

      Student Outcomes

      Careers in Counselling with a Focus in Art Therapy

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

      • Clinics
      • Mental Health Centres
      • Children Agencies
      • Nursing Homes
      • Community Organizations
      • Schools
      • Hospitals
      • Correctional Facilities
      • Residential Treatment Centres
      • Private Practice
      Professional Development & Training

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

      We offer extensive training in the field, including a 700-hour clinical practicum focused on learning the skills of art therapy and counseling by working in settings such as hospitals, criminal justice systems, nonprofit organizations, school systems, mental health organizations, addiction services, and private practice.

      Graduate Spotlight

      John Gingrich, graduate
      Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy

      John Gingrich’s experiences at Adler University inspired him to bring art therapy and large-scale public art together to create change in his community. A student in the Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy program in Vancouver, he recently planned and painted a mural with local youth and young adults who have been affected by the opioid epidemic.

      Learn More

      Curriculum

      The Master of Counselling Psychology: Art Therapy is a 60-credit hour program. Successful completion of this program includes the courses listed below.

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

      Masters in Art Therapy Courses

      MART 200 - Professional Development Seminar I (1 cr.)

      This professional seminar will provide students with an opportunity to meet in a small group with peers and faculty. The professional orientation covers advisement and mentoring around Adler University degree requirements and mission, and an orientation to the fields of counselling and art therapy informed by Adlerian values and concepts as they relate to the students’ personal and professional growth.

      MART 201 - Professional Development Seminar II (1 cr.)

      This professional seminar will provide students with an opportunity to meet in a small group with peers and faculty. The professional orientation covers advisement and mentoring around Adler University degree requirements and mission, and an orientation to the fields of counselling and art therapy informed by Adlerian values and concepts as they relate to the students’ personal and professional growth.

      MART 202 - Social Justice Practicum I (1 cr.)

      By serving in a practical way in the community, students will acquire knowledge about community-based problems and the range of programs and services designed to address these problems; public health approaches, policy development and implementation; and professional networking.

      MART 203 - Social Justice Practicum II (1 cr.)

      By serving in a practical way in the community, students will acquire knowledge about community-based problems and the range of programs and services designed to address these problems; public health approaches, policy development and implementation; and professional networking.

      MART 344 - Historical and Theoretical Perspectives of Art Therapy (3 cr.)

      This course introduces the history, philosophy, theory, and practice of art therapy within counselling psychology. The fundamental elements of art therapy are addressed with attention to the influences of diverse cultural values, beliefs and practices. Learning in this course will be attained through lectures, oral and written assignments, and experiential exercises.

      MART 345 - Arts-Based Assessment Research & Treatment Planning (3 cr.)

      This course will introduce the purpose, issues, and process of arts-based assessment, research, and treatment planning. The main categories of arts-based assessment, the tools of report preparation, and treatment planning will be addressed with attention to the influences of diverse cultural values, beliefs, and practices

      MART 346 - Theory & Interventions III: Group Skills & Practice (3 cr.)

      This course provides an in-depth overview of clinical counselling and art therapy theories and interventions in therapeutic group work skills and practice.

      MART 402 - Introduction to Adlerian Psychology (2 cr.)

      This course covers the theoretical principles of Individual Psychology/Adlerian Theory as a basis for understanding each individual’s creation of a unique “style of life” or personality.

      MART 433 - Adlerian Theory & Interventions I: Children & Parents (1 cr.)

      This course prepares students to provide child guidance and parent education based on Adlerian principles which emphasize the ideas that children are naturally good, inherently curious and desire a sense of belonging in their families.

      MART 438 - Introduction to Addictions (3 cr.)

      This course provides an introduction to alcoholism, substance abuse, and other addictive disorders. It includes an overview of assessment methodologies; the treatment models of addictive disorders; and the tools for recognizing the signs and symptoms of substance use, misuse, abuse, dependence, dual disorders; and mentally ill substance abusers.

      MART 451 - Methods, Theory, & Applications of Intersectionality & Community Engagement (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to help students critically examine issues of diversity and dimensions of culture as it pertains to the self as clinical counselors, art therapists and citizens of the world.

      MART 452 - Theory & Interventions Ii: Families, Couples & Older Adults (3 cr.)

      This course focuses on applications of current theories and methods of intervention in the field of clinical counselling and art therapy regarding the treatment of families, couples and older adults.

      MART 453 - Theory and Intervention IV: Trauma (3 cr.)

      This course provides information and skill-building exercises that elucidate several aspects of the trauma spectrum. The subjects of trauma conceptualization, neurobiological research implications, resilience, trauma and attachment, vicarious trauma, and self-care are covered in-depth, as well as the effects of trauma on diverse populations.

      MART 466 - Studio Art (3 cr.)

      This course explores the roots of the profession of art therapy in the studio environment. Students experience personal art making as central to the field and are encouraged to develop a perspective of practice from an arts-based model which relies on products and processes of art as core.

      MART 467 - Clinical Seminar I (3 cr.)

      The clinical practicum seminar is taken in conjunction with the clinical practicum and offers small group opportunities to engage in regular supervision.

      MART 468 - Clinical Seminar II (3 cr.)

      This clinical practicum seminar is taken in conjunction with the clinical practicum II and offers small group opportunities to engage in regular supervision. Students participate in supervision through case presentations, discussion, art-based experiential activities, reflecting upon and evaluating their field experiences.

      MART 472 - Basic Intervention & Assessment Skills (3 cr.)

      This course teaches basic relationship, intervention, diagnostic, and interviewing skills working with role-plays and other experiential activities to prepare students for clinical work in practicum. The course covers clinical interviewing, mental status exams, treatment planning, and providing client feedback.

      MART 473 - Pre-Practicum Counselling/ Art Therapy Lab (0 cr.)

      This lab is designed to provide additional practice of basic counselling and intervention skills before the students start their clinical practicum experience. Students will have the opportunity to record clinical relationships and receive support/supervision and feedback on the recordings in class. Students will integrate verbal counseling and art therapy skills as required on a case by case basis

      MART 480 - Clinical Practicum I (1 cr.)

      This supervised clinical training will provide students with a field experience designed to apply socially responsible counselling and art therapy practice under the direction of competent clinicians. Students will acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values needed to become competent practitioners.

      MART 481 - Clinical Practicum II (1 cr.)

      This supervised clinical training will provide students with a field experience designed to apply socially responsible counselling and art therapy practice under the direction of competent clinicians.

      MART 495 - Research Methods (3 cr.)

      This course surveys the major methodologies in the field of social science research within a context of philosophical debate about ethical and culturally relevant strategies for studying human beings, art and the creative process.

      MART 505 - Professional Development, Issues and Ethics (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation for the ethical practice of clinical counseling and art therapy. Emphasis will be placed on critical thinking, clinical integrity, and on sensitizing advanced practitioners to the complexity of professional identities in the context of community relationships

      MART 516 - Individual Appraisal for Counsellors in Practice (3 cr.)

      This course will familiarize students with assessment and evaluation commonly used in counselling practice. The following topics will be addressed: theoretical and historical bases for assessment techniques; validity; reliability; appraisal methods; strategies for selecting, administrating, interpreting, and using assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in counselling. Assessment procedures in areas of risk will be emphasized (Duty to Protect/Warn/Report). Ethical and legal considerations of psychological testing within an inclusive and culturally sensitive practice perspective will be highlighted.

      MART 520 - Theories of Psychotherapy (3 cr.)

      This survey course presents an introduction to and examination of the treatment theories, principles, and techniques associated with major schools of thought in psychology.

      MART 623 - Life Span Development (3 cr.)

      This course explores human development from conception to late adulthood, including social, cultural, biological, and psychological perspectives. Application to the fields of counseling and art therapy will be emphasized. Students will examine the theoretical frame and applications of research findings to selected issues, such as cognitive development, life transitions, resilience, work and retirement, bereavement, and related concerns.

      MART 647 - Biopsychosocial Bases of Health (3 cr.)

      Upholding the complementary relationship between assessment and intervention, this course is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level clinical practice. In the area of intervention, the course familiarizes students with the essential elements of the psychotherapeutic relationship, common factors in counselling and psychotherapy, meta-theoretical views on human change processes, and basic diversity competency in helping relationships.

      MART 995 - Master’s Clinical Art Qualifying Examination (0 cr.)

      This examination provides an effective assessment of the three core student learning outcomes for students who complete the Master of Counselling Psychology-Art Therapy program. These learning outcomes are: 1) preparation for entry-level practice at the MART level; 2) ability to integrate research and practice; and 3) ability to practice in an ethical and socially responsible manner. The Capstone (MCAQE) is comprised of three parts. Part One focuses on the integration of theories and practice in the field of Counselling and Art Therapy.

      Social Justice Practicum

      200-hour internship to give students real world experience

      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.

      Learn about Adler’s Social Justice Practicum

      Faculty Spotlight

      Jennifer LaCivita, Psy.D.
      Department Chair, M.A. in Counseling: Art Therapy

      As an Adler graduate, advocate of the arts in the community, and a witness to urban revitalization through the arts, I value self-expression, self-reflection, critical thinking, and arts advocacy. As a fourth generation Chicagoan, my roots in neighborhood support, social responsibility, unity in diversity, and activism run deep.

      Learn More

      Admissions Requirements

      At Adler University, we take great pride in our diverse student body. Students represent a wide range of professional interests, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and academic and work histories. We admit individuals with a strong record of academic achievement and a commitment to social responsibility.

      Applicants to the program must have the following:

      • A baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, preferably in psychology or counselling-related discipline.
      • A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate or graduate coursework.
      • The equivalent of at least 12 semester credit hours in baccalaureate-level psychology coursework with a grade of C or better. These courses must include introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, research methods, and a fourth foundational course in life span/development.
      • The equivalent of 18 semester credit hours in studio art that demonstrate proficiency and disciplined commitment in art-making. Students may earn these hours in traditional as well as non-traditional, informal ways. Please contact an Admissions Advisor for more information.
      • A portfolio of original artwork (15 examples in three or more different media) demonstrating competence with art materials. Please note that no previous artistic experience is required.
      • Coursework or volunteer/work experience that involves the use of counselling-related skills and demonstrates counselling capacity is required.

      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 are accepted for any schools in which a degree was not received
      • 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.

      International applicants are also required to submit the following:

      • Course-by-course transcript evaluation
      • All transcripts from outside of North America (including Mexico) must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service such as World Education Services (WES) (www.wes.org) or Educational Credentialing Evaluators (ECE) (www.ece.org). Please note that we require all official transcripts (and official translations if not in English) as well as the course-by-course international credential evaluation.
      • If a WES ICAP course-by-course evaluation is ordered, applicants will only be required to submit the official international credential evaluation to the University as this service provides a verified copy of the official transcript(s) and translations to the University.

      Tuition & Fees

      Tuition for Adler University’s programs is charged each term according to the number of registered academic credits. The number of credits a student will register for varies by academic program and by term. To estimate the amount of tuition and fees that would be charged in a given term, please use our Tuition Estimator tool below, or read about tuition and fees for all Vancouver programs.

      Tuition Estimator

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