Graduate art therapy program to offer counseling licensure
November 25th, 2014 | SMWC
Students in the Master of Arts in Art Therapy (MAAT) program at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) now have the opportunity to achieve counseling licensure. With the counseling licensure track now a part of the MAAT program, the College adds a range of expertise in faculty and a more dynamic interplay between courses.
“Students can expect a quality education with a good balance between theory and practicum,” states Jill McNutt, operations director and assistant professor of art therapy at SMWC. “Our students come with a passion for art, psychology or both. The program challenges students to grow in professionalism and art therapist identity.”
Art therapists work closely with clients of varying mental and physical capabilities, using art as a form of expression and communication. Licensure and regulation protect clients from unethical practitioners and require keeping up to current standards and offering the best care possible.
Currently, counseling licensure is the only license available for art therapists in many states. Licensing is important for regulation, to protect consumers and third-party billing. The new counseling licensure track is necessary for students to be covered by financial aid when taking courses to complete state specific licensing requirements.
“Students graduating will be qualified for art therapy positions, organizational positions like program directors, community leadership roles, experiential therapy positions or counseling equivalent positions,” states McNutt.
The counseling licensure track is in addition to the 51-credit hybrid residency art therapy program currently in place at The Woods. The MAAT program offers additional courses that may meet counseling licensure requirements in many states. There are five courses designed to meet the licensing needs in several states. Previously, students had to take these courses at other institutions.
Each state has its own licensing requirements, so students can select among the counseling courses to best meet the needs of their state’s counselor licensing requirements. Additionally, there will be a completion track, designed for students who have already completed the MAAT program and are looking to be granted counseling licensure.
Heralded by the American Art Therapy Association, SMWC is the only distance art therapy hybrid program to gain its approval.
“Many of our students live in areas of the country where art therapy education is not available,” states McNutt. “The hybrid residency program allows students a master’s education without having to relocate.”