Appointments & Fees
Art therapy does not require talent in art, only a willingness to create. Set up an appointment with the GW Art Therapy Clinic (GWATC) today.
A typical art therapy session lasts 45–50 minutes, although occasionally the clinician may find extended sessions to be helpful. Most clients are followed in 1:1 individual therapy sessions with one therapist throughout the academic year. The GWATC also offers group and family art therapy as needed, usually in the spring semester.
The GWATC offers about 40 sessions each week from September through July. The clinic is closed on university holidays and breaks, as outlined in the GW Academic Calendar.
For on-campus visitation please review our COVID Visitor Requirements.
Make an Appointment
Contact the GWATC to set up a free intake meeting. In the initial screening, you will meet with the graduate student(s) and/or director to review your history and reasons for pursuing art therapy.
All patients must fill out a Visitor Registration Form.
A client who is currently abusing substances that interfere with daily functioning, or who is actively suicidal or homicidal, or who has a serious mental illness requiring intensive treatment and medical management may not be appropriate for services at the GWATC. We are also not an appropriate provider for those who are involved in legal issues or court referred.
In some cases we will work with clients who have recently been discharged from a more intensive therapeutic setting (hospital or day center) and who is also in treatment with another outside primary therapist.
If a person is deemed ineligible for art therapy services at the clinic, we can provide referral to other providers and agencies. If a current client becomes suicidal or it becomes evident that the individual being seen in the clinic requires a higher level of treatment, clinicians may be required to terminate services and/or refer that person to a more appropriate level of care.
- What to Bring to Your Appointment
All new patients will need to fill out an intake form. You may also be asked to sign a release form so that clinicians can collaborate with their peers who you may be working with. You are also welcome to bring any pertinent records you would like us to see, such as psychological or educational evaluations.
GW requires all visitors to register with the university due to COVID restrictions.
- Intake Session
At this meeting we will determine if art therapy is a good fit. Intake meetings are usually scheduled during daytime hours and last about an hour. For children age 8 or younger, we typically suggest that parents or guardians accompany them to the initial session. You may want to bring any testing or other background reports to this meeting.
Sometimes clients may be working with other “verbal” therapies in conjunction with the art therapy. In these cases, we may ask your permission to consult with other clinicians who are treating you. In such cases, you will sign a release form at intake.
- Taping of Sessions
For training purposes, all sessions are digitally recorded so that students can review their work in a confidential classroom setting. All clients will be informed of the recording policy upon their initial contact with the GWATC and will not begin treatment in the center without agreeing to and signing the forms regarding audio or video taping. Confidentiality regarding taping and viewing tapes will be strictly maintained according to the American Art Therapy Association and Virginia Board of Counseling codes of ethics.
- Typical Therapy Session
Contrary to popular belief, one does not need to have any art “talent” to benefit from art therapy. Art therapy provides a unique vehicle for accessing and expressing feelings that may be difficult to describe with words.
Art making can include a range of tasks such as simple line drawings, exploring watercolor, making a clay sculpture or sewing in cloth. Depending on the needs and goals of the individual client, the art therapist may suggest another spontaneous drawing medium or method.
Once artwork is complete, the art therapist and client will review together the process and product. In art therapy, we tend to focus more on the process than the final art product, as we are interested in each individual’s personal experience of creating artwork. Often through this exploration, clients will find symbolic meaning in artwork. Art therapy is a great way to learn about oneself.
Our art therapy sessions are conducted on a weekly basis at a time that is convenient for you and your student art therapist.
We require 24 hours' notice for cancellation; otherwise clients will be expected to pay in full for missed sessions.
- Termination of Therapy
We realize that art therapy is not for everyone, and sometimes a therapist and client are not a good fit. We encourage clients to be as open as possible with their therapist and discuss any concerns, discomfort or problems as they arise. This openness can make all the difference between a “bad” and a “good” ending.
Whether it is time to end therapy due to schedule changes or clinical or personality issues, we ask that you spend at least 1-2 sessions discussing the situation with your art therapist. Sometimes the discussion can lead to a resolution or facilitate a good way to move forward.
Saying goodbye when ending therapy is an important aspect of the therapeutic relationship and often helps both client and therapist wrap up the work that has been done.
Services and Fees
We offer a sliding-fee scale to keep our services affordable. Fees range from $5 to $75, depending on income and other circumstances. At the initial intake session, we will ask you what you feel you are reasonably able to pay. Payment can be made by cash or check made out to “The George Washington University.”
Our fees allow us to provide a range of quality art materials. We are a fee-for-service clinic, meaning that you are responsible for payment in full at each session. Because we do not officially diagnose clients, we are unable to provide you with a statement or bill for your sessions, and we do not work with any insurance companies.