The Master of Arts in Art Therapy program balances the sensibilities and insights of the artist with the skills and training of the clinician. Both clinical and aesthetic understanding play a key role in assisting clients in gaining new insights or reaching higher levels of functioning through the art making process. Whether in a psychiatric hospital, therapeutic school, residential facility or medical center, the role of the art therapist is to facilitate and nurture a creative engagement with art that is constructive and growth enhancing.
The curriculum combines learning experiences in the classroom, studio, and clinic to prepare graduates for work in a wide range of settings with a variety of clients. In addition to registered art therapists, the faculty includes experts from the fields of fine art, psychiatry, psychology, and counseling. While at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, students combine theoretical and experiential learning in the classrooms and studios with practical application of this learning in their fieldsite placements. The Master’s thesis is a natural extension of this learning, and provides students with the opportunity to research, develop, and document their ideas in a formal, scholarly format.