Students hanging out in New Hall quad

Catalog

Art Therapy Psychology

Dr. Amy Backos
Chair
(650) 508-3556
abackos@ndnu.edu

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 a Master of Arts in Art Therapy (MA-AT), a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MA-MFT), and a Ph.D. in Art Therapy. The MA-AT meets the requirements of the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) and qualifies students to apply to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). The MA-MFT is a clinical licensure course of study, leading to a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, while preparing students to apply for a license to become a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT).

Both the MA in Art Therapy and the MA in Marriage and Family Therapy degree programs are approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and meet the eligibility requirements to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB). The department also offers an option for a Post- Master’s/Advanced Standing Master of Arts in Art Therapy (MA-AT).

The Art Therapy Psychology Department draws applicants from around the world. Approximately 30 percent of students come from outside of California. NDNU's Art Therapy Psychology graduates work with children, adolescents, couples, adults, elders, families, groups and communities. The students bring Art Therapy into a wide variety of settings, which include schools, mental health organizations, inpatient and outpatient programs, hospitals, community centers, nursing homes, assisted living centers, prisons, private practices and more.

The Master’s programs in the Art Therapy Psychology Department at Notre Dame de Namur University are approved by the American Art Therapy Association, Inc. (AATA).

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge
  • Clear understanding of Theory of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Clear understanding of Theory of Art Therapy
  • Ability to communicate ideas in a clear, coherent fashion
  • Ability to conceptualize course material in a scholarly manner
  • Ability to understand and thoughtfully critique research
  • Ability to conceptualize case material drawing on theoretical models
  • Ability to evidence originality and critical and independent thinking with appropriate organization and format
Skills
  • Demonstrate ability to effectively apply intervention strategies
  • Integration of Art Therapy theory and practice
  • Clinical competence
  • Ability to work responsibly and responsively with clients and colleagues
  • Ability to apply therapeutic techniques in an effective manner
  • Ability to integrate theory literature and practice
  • Ability to successfully integrate the cognitive linear process and the creative artistic process
  • Ability to understand and implement ethical and legal guidelines in treatment as well as in scholarly work
  • Ability to understand and implement parameters regarding Protection of Human Subjects
Attitudes
  • Demonstrate Professional Development and Clinical Suitability
  • Professional skill development
  • Ability to separate personal needs from professional work
  • Ability to apply supervision
  • Demonstration of psychological mindedness

Courses of Study

Course of Study I: Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MA-MFT)

This course of study leads to a Master of Art in Marriage and Family Therapy. The MA-MFT program consists of 63 units (not including prerequisite courses) and is designed to prepare a Marriage and Family Art Therapist whose education is intended to fulfill the requirements of the Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license in California. This course of study can often satisfy certification or licensure in other states and meets the eligibility requirements to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) by the Art Therapy Credentials Board.

Course of Study II: Master of Arts in Art Therapy (MA-AT)

This course of study leads to a Master of Arts in Art Therapy. The MA-AT program has two courses of study (IIa and IIb). The first course of study (IIa) is designed to prepare the student to apply to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). The second course of study (IIb) is the Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing option. Both courses of study (IIa and IIb) meet the eligibility requirements to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB).

  • IIa. Those with a bachelor's degree who are interested in clinical licensure as an LPCC in California take this course of study, which consists of 63 units (not including prerequisite courses). This program prepares students who wish to be eligible for the ATR.
  • IIb. Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing option is a 30-unit course of study (not including prerequisite courses) and is for students who hold a graduate degree in a related field (e.g., Art, Education, Behavioral Science) from an accredited institution. This program prepares students who wish to be eligible for the ATR. Seven hundred (700) hours of supervised clinical practicum are required over at least two academic terms. See admission requirements below for qualifications to enter this course of study.
Registration as an Art Therapist (ATR)

Students in the Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing program who desire to become an ATR must complete an additional 2,000 hours of supervised art therapy experience upon completion of their program. A minimum of 50 percent of these hours must be supervised by an ATR or ATR-BC. The additional hours of supervision can be from a licensed professional.

Students in full master’s programs (MA-MFT or MA-AT IIa) who desire to become an ATR must complete an additional 1,000 hours of supervised art therapy experience upon completion of their program. One hundred (100) hours of supervision are required (one hour of supervision for every ten hours of direct client contact), of which a minimum of fifty (50) hours must be provided by an ATR or ATR-BC. The additional hours of supervision can be from a licensed professional.

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.

Program Requirements

Foundation Courses/Prerequisites for Course of Study I (63 units) and IIa (63 units)
  1. A bachelor's degree in Art, Psychology, or Behavioral Science is preferred.
  2. A total of 12 semester units (or 18 quarter units) in Psychology, which includes courses in general psychology, personality theory, developmental psychology and abnormal psychology is required. Preference is given to candidates who have completed all required foundation courses/prerequisites. A minimum of 6 semester units (9 quarter units) must be completed prior to applying.
  3. Eighteen units (27 quarter units), or the equivalent are required in the foundation content areas of two- and three-dimensional studio art and design. )A minimum of 12 units must be completed prior to applying.) Applicants need to have at least one class in each of the following: drawing, painting and clay. All foundation areas must be completed within the first year.
Foundation Courses/Prerequisites for Course of Study IIb (30 units)

Students planning to follow the Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing course of study must adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Students must have completed and provided a transcript of a master’s degree (minimum 48 semester units or 72 quarter units) from an accredited institution in the United States or equivalent academic preparation outside of the U.S. Related Master’s degrees include Expressive or Creative Arts Therapies, Counseling, Social Work, Psychology, Psychiatric Nursing and other mental health professions. Related degrees not tied to licensure include the Fine Arts, Art Education and Special Education. Other related degrees may be considered with approval from the Department Chair.
  2. Eighteen semester units (or 27 quarter units), or the equivalent in a range of media in studio art must be completed.
  3. The prerequisites for the Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing degree require that the student must supply the Art Therapy Psychology Department with documentation of study in the following content areas at the graduate level:
    • psychopathology
    • human growth and development
    • counseling and psychological theories
    • cultural and social diversity
    • assessment
    • research

Content areas can be completed as part of a related Master’s degree, or some courses may be taken concurrently during Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing Art Therapy studies; however, a completed Master’s degree in a related field is required in order to pursue the Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing option.

Programs of Study and Course Requirements

Requirements    Course I

63 Units

Course IIa

63 Units

Course IIb

30 Units

GPY4100 History and Foundations of Art Therapy 1 1 1
GPY4179 Introduction to Art Therapy II - - 2
GPY4200 Communication and Counseling Skills 3 3 -
GPY4205 Advanced Human Development 3 3 -
GPY4210 Methods of Group and Family 3 3 -
GPY4215 Principles of MFT 3 - -
GPY4220 Psychological Assessment I 2 2 -
GPY4225 Psychological Assessment II 1 1 1
GPY4230 Psychopathology 3 3 -
GPY4236 Substance Abuse: Theory/Assessment/Intervention 3 3 -
GPY4240 Cross-Cultural Issues 3 3 1
GPY4245 Human Sexuality 2 2 -
GPY4251 Psychopharmacology 3 3 -
GPY4255 Professional Ethics and Law I 2 2 -
GPY4260 Professional Ethics and Law II 1 1 1
GPY4263 Child Abuse 1 1 1
GPY4266 Domestic Violence 1 1 -
GPY4269 Eldercare 1 1 -
GPY4300 Art Therapy Techniques: Group Experience 1 1 1
GPY4305 Art Therapy Techniques: Special Populations 1 1 1
GPY4310 Art Therapy Techniques: Integrating Creative Arts 1 1 1
GPY4315 Metaphors in Psychopathology: Children 1 1 1
GPY4320 Metaphors in Psychopathology: Adolescents 1 1 1
GPY4325 Metaphors in Psychopathology: Adults 1 1 1
GPY4348 Career Counseling - 3 -
GPY4350 Practicum I 3 3 3
GPY4355 Practicum II 3 3 3
GPY4365 Seminar I 3 3 3
GPY4370 Seminar II 3 3 3
GPY4384 Research: Methodology 2 2 -
GPY4396 Research: Project 3 3 3
GPY4397 Research: Thesis Completion 3 3 -
Special Topics course work from the following: 1 1 2
      GPY4268       Starting a Private Practice (1)
      GPY4286       Special Topics in Art Therapy (1)
      GPY4360       Explorations in Sandplay (1)
      GPY4400       Trauma and Art Therapy Treatment (1)
      GPY4900       International and Multicultural Art Therapy Service (2)
      GPY4905       Art as a Way of Knowing: International Ancient Sites and Living Art (2)
      Other GPY courses approved by the Program Chair
Total Unit Requirement  63  63  30

An Oral Presentation and Thesis/Grant must be satisfactorily completed before graduation. Oral Presentation Guidelines are available in the Art Therapy Office.

Licensing Options after Graduation

Course of Study I: MA in Marriage and Family Therapy

MFT/ATR Internship

MFT

  • Register for an MFT Intern Number
  • 3,000 hours supervised by licensed clinician
  • May include up to 1,300 pre-graduation hours
  • MFT licensure process requires two exams

ATR/ATR-BC

  • 1,000 art therapy direct client-contact hours
  • Post-education supervision hours: 100 hours, of which a minimum of 50 hours must be under a current ATR or current ATR-BC
  • Art Therapy Registration and Board Certification (BC) Exam

Course of Study IIa: MA in Art Therapy

ATR/LPCC Internship

LPCC

  • Register for a LPCC Intern Number
  • 3,000 hours, supervised by a licensed clinician
  • LPCC Exam

ATR

  • 1,000 art therapy direct client-contact hours
  • Post-education supervision hours: 100 hours, of which a minimum of 50 hours must be under a current ATR or current ATR-BC
  • Art Therapy Registration and Board Certification (BC) Exam

Course of Study IIb

Currently, PostMaster’s/Advanced Standing graduates are required to complete 2,000 art therapy direct-client contact hours, post degree.

  • Art Therapy Registration and Board Certification (BC) Exam

Program-Specific Admission Requirements

Completed application materials are due by:

  • April 1 – Summer entrance
  • August 1 – Fall entrance
  • December 1 – Spring entrance

Courses I (MFT 63 units) and IIa (MA in Art Therapy, 63 units)

The following are required:

  1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  2. A minimum of 18 semester units or 27 quarter units of study in studio art (at least one class in each of the following:  drawing, painting, and clay). A minimum of 12 semester units (18 quarter units) must be completed prior to applying.
  3. A minimum of 12 semester units or 18 quarter units of study in psychology: general psychology, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology and personality theory. A minimum of 6 semester units (9 quarter units) must be completed prior to applying. Preference is given to candidates who will have completed all required foundation courses/prerequisites.
  4. A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or better
  5. Two recommendation letters
  6. A three- to four-page autobiographical statement which discusses the applicant's interests in art therapy
  7. A portfolio of 12 color images of personal art work representing a range of media. Portfolios may be submitted on paper or on a disc with JPEG or PowerPoint images.

For further information, contact the Art Therapy Psychology Department at (650) 508-3556 or arttherapy@ndnu.edu or Graduate Admissions at (800) 263-0545, (650) 508-3600, or grad.admit@ndnu.edu.

Course IIb: Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing (MA in Art Therapy, 30 units)

The following are required:

  1. Transcript of master's degree (minimum 48 semester units or 72 quarter units) from an accredited institution in the United States or equivalent academic preparation outside of the U.S. (Related Master's degrees include counseling, social work, psychology, psychiatric nursing, other mental health professions and expressive or creative art therapies. Related degrees not tied to licensure include the fine arts, art education, and special education. Other related degrees may be considered with approval from the Department Chair.)
  2. Eighteen semester units (or 27 quarter units) or equivalent in a range of media (including drawing, painting and clay) in studio art must be completed no later than 12  months after entering the program (including credits taken before admission).
  3. Prior to completion of the Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing Master of Arts in Art Therapy degree, the student must supply the Art Therapy Psychology Department documentation of the following content areas at the graduate level:
    • psychopathology
    • human growth and development
    • counseling and psychological theories
    • cultural and social diversity
    • assessment
    • research

Content areas can be completed as part of related Master’s degree, or some courses may be taken concurrently with the Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing course of study; however, a completed Master’s degree in a related field is required in order to pursue the Post-Master’s/Advanced Standing option.

For further information, contact the Art Therapy Psychology Department at (650) 508-3556 or arttherapy@ndnu.edu or Graduate Admissions at (800) 263-0545, (650) 508-3600, or grad.admit@ndnu.edu.