Updated: Jul 8, 2020
This post is dedicated to providing information and guidance on becoming an art therapist in Texas! I will tell you about my experience and the many obstacles I faced in working backward from masters level licensed therapist to art therapist. I know I can't be the only one who has found it challenging to find information about this profession especially when there are no art therapy programs in Texas!
My journey to becoming an art therapist was very challenging for many reasons. Let me tell you a little here about my story. I have always had a passion for the expressive arts. Throughout my life I have been involved in either creating art, engaging in arts and crafts activities, or dance. I also enjoyed helping others and found psychology class very interesting in high school. So I decided early on after graduating from high school to pursue a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master degress in counseling, and then became fully credentialed as a licensed professional counselor (LPC). About 2-3 years into my career decided that something was missing. To my surprise, I discovered art therapy and set off to figure out how to become an art therapist. I felt I had finally found how to merge my passion for helping others and the creative arts. I quickly learned, however, that it was going to be a little complicated to work backward.
So how did I do it?! Well, with lots and lots of patience and lots and lots of research. I wanted to share my experience here in order to help others who may find themselves also frustrated or overwhelmed with the process. I wish I had someone to lean on and consult with when I started my journey. I often found myself trying to connect to other art therapists in hopes of asking how they did it, only to find they had completed their art therapy education out of state and were not familiar with the process in Texas. I will begin first with the easiest route to becoming an art therapist.
A Recipe for Success:
If you know that art therapy is the way to go for you, then continue reading. I wish I would have known what I know now because this would have saved me lots of time. I guess things always work out for a reason. One thing that is very certain to me is that I have a great appreciation for art therapy because of all the hard work I put into getting where I am now!
It can be confusing to understand everything when you are just starting out. Also, keep in mind this is alot of information. It is not meant to discourage you, but to inform you of your decision to pursue a career in art therapy. It is a wonderful profession and worth the time and energy you put into the process.
The process begins with undergraduate studies. You will need credit hours of studio art which is outlined in detail on the American Art Therapy Association (AATA) and Art Therapy Credentialing (ATCB) website. These two sites will be your best friends and these are the best resources for you to reference along with your state licensing board and the Texas administrative code. Studio art credits can be attained at the undergrad level at a community college or 4-year university. The next step is the completion of a bachelor's degree in psychology or related field.