Information Sessions

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Information Session: MA in Art Therapy

Program Goals

The GW Art Therapy Program prepares graduates in accordance with the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) requirements: “To prepare competent entry-level Art Therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.”


To reach this goal, our program revolves around the following goals that are aligned with both GW’s themes and the ACATE Student Learning Outcomes.

Program Goals

GW Themes

  1. Students will acquire broad art therapy knowledge, skills, and values based in psychotherapy, neuropsychology, art processes, creativity, metaphor, assessment, human development, psychopathology, trauma, and counseling.

Innovation through Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration

  1. Students will engage in clinical and studio work with insight, self-awareness, and a high level of professional, ethical, multicultural, and relational expertise with diverse local and international communities.


  1. Students will utilize classroom interactions, supervisory experiences, art making, gallery exhibitions, and service-learning opportunities to cultivate their identities as art therapy leaders, artists, researchers, supervisors, advocates, and innovators in the workplace, community, and profession.

Citizenship and Leadership

  1. Students will develop proficiency in sustaining the rich history of art therapy by engaging in on-going professional development; advancing the inter-relationships among socio-cultural contexts, institutional regulations, and governmental laws; and expanding access to art therapy.


and Policy

  1. Students will synthesize the latest theories and clinical skills of neuropsychology and art therapy in the treatment of trauma related disorders.

Innovation through Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration


ACATE  Student Learning Outcomes

a. Understand the historical development of Art Therapy as a profession, Art Therapy theories and techniques, as a foundation for contemporary Art Therapy professional practice.

b. 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.

c. 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.

d. 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.

e. Develop culturally appropriate, collaborative, and productive therapeutic relationships with clients.

f. Know federal and state laws and professional ethics as they apply to the practice of Art Therapy.

g. Recognize and respond appropriately to ethical and legal dilemmas using ethical decision-making models, supervision, and professional and legal consultation when necessary.

h. 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.

i. Recognize the legal, ethical, and cultural considerations necessary when conducting Art Therapy research.

j. 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.

k. Understand professional role and responsibility to engage in advocacy endeavors as they relate to involvement in professional organizations and advancement of the profession.

l. 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.

m. Pursue professional development through supervision, accessing current Art Therapy literature, research, best practices, and continuing educational activities to inform clinical practice.

n. 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.

o. Understand the basic diagnostic process and the major categories and criteria of mental disorders, corresponding treatments, and commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications.