Art Therapy Psychology
The Art Therapy Psychology Department at Notre Dame de Namur University is the only one of its kind in northern California. It is unique because it provides two courses of study leading to a master's degree, both of which emphasize theoretical and experiential learning. Both courses of study are taught and supervised by Registered Art Therapists and licensed professionals and lead to registration as an ATR. For students who hold a graduate degree in a related field (Art, Education, and Behavioral Science) from an accredited institution and who wish to meet the requirements for registration as an ATR, the Department offers a Graduate Art Therapy Certificate (GATC) program. See the Graduate Art Therapy Certificate page.
Course of Study I leads to a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy. This course of study consists of 56 units (not including foundation courses) and is designed to prepare a Marriage and Family Art Psychotherapist whose education is intended to fulfill the requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in California. This can often satisfy certification or licensure in other states. This is in addition to Registration by the Art Therapy Credentials Board.
Course of Study II leads to a Master of Arts in Art Therapy. This course of study consists of 48 units (not including foundation courses) and prepares students who wish to be eligible for the ATR, but who are not intending to pursue clinical licensing as an MFT in California or any other state.
Advancement to candidacy is not automatic. The Professional Evaluation Committee (PEC) provides ongoing professional and academic evaluation of students as they progress throughout the program. Both master's studies in the Art Therapy Psychology Department at Notre Dame de Namur University are approved by the American Art Therapy Association, Inc.
Foundation CoursesA bachelor's degree in art, psychology, or behavioral science is preferred.
Three semester units or 4.5 quarter units are required in each of the following foundation areas:
|Additionally, eighteen units, 27 quarter units, or equivalent are required in the foundation content areas of two and three dimensional studio art and design. All foundation areas must be completed within the first year.|
|Course I||Course II|
|PY213||Methods of Group and Family Therapy||3||3|
|PY214D||Substance Abuse: Theory/Assessment/Intervention||2||-|
|PY235||Human Sexuality *||2||2|
|PY255||Communication and Counseling Skills||3||3|
|PY260||Advanced Human Development||3||3|
|PY280||Principles of MFT||3||3|
|PY290A/B||Professional Ethics and Law (*PY290A only)||2||1|
(nine month, 700 hour practicum with an ATR supervisor; for Course I the supervisor must also be state licensed)
|PY302A||Art Therapy Techniques: Group Experience||1||1|
|PY302B||Art Therapy Techniques: Special Populations||1||1|
|PY302C||Art Therapy Techniques: Integrating Creative Arts||1||1|
|PY304A||Metaphors in Psychopathology: Children||1||1|
|PY304B||Metaphors in Psychopathology: Adolescents||1||1|
|PY304C||Metaphors in Psychopathology: Adult||1||1|
|PY359T||Research: Thesis Completion||3||3|
| * All
courses taught by Registered Art Therapists except those
designated with an asterisk.
Orals: Thesis/Grant must be satisfactorily completed before graduation. Orals Guidelines are available in the Art Therapy Office.
Licensing Options after Graduation
Course of Study I
Course of Study II
|(55 units)||(48 units)|
1000 art therapy direct contact hours
500 of these hours must be supervised by a
| MFT Exams
Art Therapy Registration and Board Certification (BC) Exam
|Art Therapy Registration and Board Certification (BC) Exam|
|Primary Family Therapist and Art Therapist||Art Therapist
Part of a Therapeutic Milieu Team
All classes are offered every other semester unless otherwise noted.
PY205A/B/405A/B Psychological Assessment (2/1/2/1)
Studies the design and use of psychological tests of ability, personality, interests, and attitudes. The major intelligence tests and projective tests are emphasized, along with family and art-based assessment.
PY205C/405C Explorations in Sandplay (1/1)
This course reviews the basic tenets of sandplay and its use in psychotherapy. The work of founder Dora Kalff is viewed and discussed. Students study sandplay figures and their meaning, especially in the sequencing of trays, with a variety of patients. Experientials and the deepening of symbols are included.
PY210 Psychopathology (3)
Systematically examines major paradigms of mental distress including medical, behavioral, and psychosocial models. Primary emphasis is on familiarity with and differential diagnosis of conditions covered by the current DSM.
PY213/413 Methods of Group and Family Therapy (3/3)
Explores the composition, development, and process of the family and the larger group as a vehicle for individual and social change, including a cursory survey of current group methodologies using verbal and nonverbal modalities. Development of effective interventions and leadership skills is emphasized.
PY214A/414A Child Abuse (1/1)
The laws for reporting child abuse are covered. Assessment and treatment are studied and family approaches explored.
PY214D/414D Substance Abuse: Theory, Assessment, and Intervention Strategies (2)
Issues within the physiological, psychological, social, and familial context are explored using both verbal and nonverbal modalities. Assessment issues are addressed. Treatment interventions appropriate to individuals and families in various phases of recovery are explored through both verbal and nonverbal modalities.
PY225/425 Psychopharmacology (2/2)
PY225 satisfies the requirements of AB253 for MFT licensure for those beginning graduate study on or after January 1, 2001. Participants are provided with an overview and working knowledge of current common psychopharmacological interventions. PY425 may be taken in the certificate program.
PY230/430 Cross-cultural Issues (3/1)
Studies the effects of ethnicity in the counseling process with attention to the unique cultural traits and symbols of each individual within family structures. Addresses historical, ethical, and socioeconomic issues and their verbal and visual psychological impact.
PY235 Human Sexuality (2)
Analyzes normal and dysfunctional sexual behavior with attention to diagnosis of sexual problems and to the major approaches to sex therapy using both verbal and nonverbal modalities.
PY255/455 Communication and Counseling Skills (3/3)
Systematically studies communication skills and the major approaches to family counseling and psychotherapy. Through experiential exercises and group discussions, such areas as self awareness, feelings, self-concepts, perception, nonverbal communication, and resolving interpersonal conflicts are covered.
PY260 Advanced Human Development (3)
Analyzes major approaches to the study of human development throughout the lifespan. Ability to recognize and understand theoretical presuppositions of various approaches to human development from a systemic point of view is emphasized.
PY280/480 Principles of MFT (3/3)
Provides an overview of the theoretical concepts from the major theories of family systems therapy with an emphasis on assessment and treatment planning. Assessment and consultation skills are explored. Domestic violence and its effects on the family system are reviewed. Integrates art as a second language in family diagnosis, communication, and treatment.
PY290A/B/490A/B Professional Ethics and Law (2/1/2/1)
Focuses on the laws related to marriage, family, and child counseling and the ethical issues that pertain to the practice of Art Therapy.
PY300A/B Practicum (3/3)
Prerequisites: Completion of all prerequisites in art and psychology and at least two courses of the required Art Therapy Master's Core. Internship is a 750-hour nonresident period in which the student works with clients in an institutional or community setting. Schedule may be worked out to the advantage of the student and the agency.
PY302A/402A Art Therapy Techniques: Group Experience (1/1)
Provides an opportunity for members to explore group membership and dynamics using art therapy techniques.
PY302B/402B Art Therapy Techniques: Special Populations (1/1)
Focuses on the specific adaptations of art activities for special needs populations.
PY302C/402C Art Therapy Techniques: Integrating Creative Arts
Emphasizes integration of creative arts therapies.
PY304A/B/C/404A/B/C Metaphors in Psychopathology (1/1/1/1/1/1)
Emphasizes the dynamics, metaphors, and DSM classification of abnormal characteristics, disorders, and behavior. The course is offered in three sections: children, adolescents, and adults.
- Children: Offers a comprehensive overview of art therapy approaches for children with abnormal characteristics, disorders, and behaviors.
- Adolescents: Offers a comprehensive overview of art therapy approaches for adolescents. Emphasis is on understanding major highlights of normal and pathological developments.
- Adults: Offers a comprehensive overview of art therapy approaches for adults with mental disorders or psychiatric diagnosis as classified in DSM-IV. Emphasis is on acute inpatient treatment from both an individual and group perspective.
PY333A/B/433A/B Seminar (3/3/3/3)
Provides an opportunity for presentation of cases from the field and feedback from a faculty member and students. PY333A/B taken in conjunction with PY300A/B.
PY359A/P/T/D Research: Methodology, Project, and Thesis Completion
This series of courses is taken near the end of the program. Students have up to one year after the semester of registration to complete the research project or the course must be repeated. The research is completed in three segments. In the first segment students examine methods and tools of scientific research and the interpretation of research reports; in the second segment students submit a proposal of an in-depth investigation of a clinical topic utilizing an appropriate research methodology or a grant they submit for funding. In the final phase (thesis completion) the student submits the formal written presentation.
PY400 Supervised Field Experience (1-3)
Supervised practicum hours for MFT licensure which are not part of the degree program. Approval is required.
PY411A/B Introduction to Clinical Art Therapy (1/2)
Explores the uses of art therapy in schools, special education, and psychiatric settings as well as in personal growth.
PY415 Explorations in Art Therapy Literature (1)
An independent study review of classic and recently published literature in the field of art therapy.
PY441A Trauma and Art Therapy Treatment (1)
Students explore history and verbal and graphic narratives of theory and practice in Trauma. The course features a variety of proven art therapy interventions including "externalized" dialogues and self-soothing clay experience.
PY495 Special Topics in Clinical Art Therapy (1-3)
One-unit classes that are offered periodically in the GATC provide students an opportunity to investigate topics in clinical art therapy.
- Completed application materials are due by April 1, August 1, or December 1 for entrance in Summer, Fall, or Spring, respectively
- A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
- A cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 or better
- Two letters of recommendation
- An autobiographical statement which discusses the applicant's interests
- A portfolio of 12 color pictures or slides of personal art work
For further information contact the Art Therapy Psychology Department at (650) 508-3556 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Graduate Admission at (800) 263-0545.