Art Therapy

Featured Courses

Art Therapy Student painting

Courses in the art therapy program cover a range of topics designed to help the student gain a broad understanding of theory, methodology, and the skills of an art therapist. Every course includes an experiential component which enables the student to learn while creating art.

Art as Therapy
You know that you’re interested in art therapy, but you’re not sure exactly what it is. This course answers your questions by providing an overview of art therapy. It will examine art as an alternative to verbal expression, and explore how art is applied to diagnosis and treatment. You will create various art projects so you can learn through experience. You will understand how art is a pathway to greater self-awareness and is used for emotional healing. We will discuss the original pioneers in the field to gain insight into the field’s inception. The course will study the application of art therapy in different settings. The focus of the course will be on the creative arts as therapy, primarily art therapy, but dance, drama, music, poetry, and play therapy may be part of the curriculum.

Applications of Art Therapy
Now you understand what art therapy is, but you may wonder where do art therapists work? This course introduces the student to the application of expressive arts therapy with diverse populations. The student will explore the use of various techniques, materials and approaches while considering the special needs of individuals and groups. The student will have contact with art therapists both in the field and in the classroom who specialize in working with specific populations. In particular, students will take field trips to see art therapists in action in the following settings: Hearts and Crafts, a bereavement program; Bristal Assisted Living Program; the Living Museum at Rockland Psychiatric Center; and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. 

Internship in Therapeutic Art
At this point you will have completed 7 semesters at St. Thomas Aquinas.

You have studied fine art, psychology, and art therapy. You are ready to apply what you have learned. The art therapy program provides a list of potential field placements with various populations such as children, teens, the elderly, people with psychological challenges, the medically challenged, and people who may be on the autistic spectrum. Students select the population they are interested in working with and are guided through the process of applying for an internship. This course places the student in the professional arena at an internship where they will observe and apply the use of art experiences under the supervision of a practicing art therapist or other approved clinician in a selected human services facility. The student will spend 120 hours at their field placement site.