Jul 25, 2024  
2018-2019 Springfield College Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Springfield College Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Art Therapy / Counseling

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Major Programs of Study

Program / Degree Information

The Master’s degree in Art Therapy / Counseling is designed to train art therapists through a course of study that blends theory, technique, and practice. Springfield College’s graduate program in art therapy uniquely builds upon the College’s philosophy of humanics in educating students to become professionals who are able to integrate art and psychology as a vehicle for healing and therapy. The focus is on the development of the total person to promote the enrichment of society. Art Therapy / Counseling graduates can be found practicing their profession in mental health centers, clinics, hospitals, outpatient clinics, hospices, schools, residential homes, rehabilitation centers, private practice, service for the elderly and other social service settings.

The Graduate Art Therapy Program provides a synthesis of our major components: 1) art therapy; 2) psychology/counseling; 3) development of the student’s artistic and creative skills; and 4) training in research methodology. Students develop an understanding of the variances in typical art development before they work with problems and pathology. Art therapy is an exciting and growing profession. The faculty and supervisors at Springfield College are practicing art therapy clinicians who are committed to a partnership in training. The sharing of a wide range of experience and knowledge is incorporated into each individual learning and creative style. The Art Therapy/Counseling Program is dedicated to academic, artistic, and clinical excellence.

Admission requirements:
All candidates for the Master of Science or Master of Education Degree in Art Therapy / Counseling are required to have completed a Baccalaureate degree in one of the following: Art, Art Education, Art Therapy, Psychology, or a related field. The American Art Therapy Association mandates the following prerequisites: A minimum of 18 credits in studio art courses at the undergraduate level as well as 12 credits in psychology, which should include courses in introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and studio art, including one course in 3 dimensional art. Students who are 6 semester hours deficient can be accepted but are required to complete these prerequisites as soon as possible and within the first full-time year of graduate study.

Master’s degree candidates must submit transcripts of completed undergraduate study.

Applicants to the Master’s program must submit a portfolio of a minimum of 8-10 images (on a CD or in .jpeg format) labeled with size, materials and title.  The work should feature a variety of works ranging from 2-D to 3-D work.  The art work chosen must appeal to aesthetic qualities of composition, color and design for both two and three dimensional work.

The candidate must present an artist statement, and a written statement highlighting his or her interest in the field, personal goals, and academic objectives. Evidence of previous experience working with people in a human service setting or in an educational setting should be included with letters of recommendation. Each applicant is required to have an interview to discuss personal and academic characteristics appropriate for successful study and practice in art therapy.

Program description:
Students are required to take courses in art therapy, psychology, research, and studio art. During the second semester, students begin their practicum experience. Working with the faculty, students choose from a diverse selection of field placements. Graduate students work with individuals, families, and groups of all ages and abilities, including those with varying degrees of functional or organic impairment.

The program is committed to teaching research skills in order to prepare students to be cognizant of advances in art therapy and related fields and to enable them to contribute to the field of art therapy. Students begin working on final research projects in consultation with faculty during the first year of study.  Students in the M.Ed program focus on arts based research.

There are two program tracks: the M.Ed. and the M.S. track.  The M.Ed. track focuses on an understanding of arts based research.  By selecting this track, the student develops as an art therapist with an emphasis on academic scholarship surrounding clinical applications of research.  The M.S. track focuses on understanding and conducting research.  The M.S. includes clinical training and practice, studio art, and a completed research project.

While both programs require participation in a final art exhibit, students in the M.Ed. track concentrate on an aesthetic vision that includes materials, techniques, invention, expression and observation. Emphasis of the final art exhibit for students in the M.S. track is related to their clinical experience.

Matriculation requirements:
All students are required to matriculate after enrolling in the practicum course, ATPY 625, and the completion of at least 15 hours of course work. Matriculation requires a cumulative professional art therapy index of 3.25, professional competency, and completion of clinical evaluation forms. Students cannot matriculate if undergraduate prerequisite courses are still outstanding. Students’ matriculation files will be reviewed by the Visual Art Department Matriculation Committee.

Accreditation information:
The Master’s Program in Art Therapy/Counseling Program is an approved program by the Educational Program Approval Board of the American Art Therapy Association.

This program follows the guidelines set by the American Art Therapy Association, the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) and includes course work mandated by the Board of Mental Health Counselors in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Board regulations may change.  This program is designed for students seeking to apply for state licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Students seeking licensure in Connecticut and Vermont should enroll in PSYC 643, Career Development and Counseling.

Undergraduate prerequisites:
All candidates for the Art Therapy graduate degree are expected to have completed a Baccalaureate degree in art, psychology, or a related field. A minimum of eighteen (18) credits in studio art is required. Studio art course work should include a class in three dimensional art.  A minimum of twelve (12) credits of course work in psychology is also required. Psychology course work must include a 3 credit course in each of the following: introduction to psychology, development, abnormal psychology or psychopathology, and a psychology course of the student’s choice.

The Program and Curricula:
The Art Therapy/Counseling program includes two tracks: an M.S. degree and an M.Ed. degree track.  Both tracks have identical Core and Elective courses but differ in the research requirements and elective possibilities.

Contact Information

Dr. Simone Alter-Muri, ATR-BC, ATCS, LMHC 
Director, Graduate Art Therapy Program
(413) 748-3752
email: saltermu@springfieldcollege.edu

Martin Shell 
Chairperson, Visual and Performing Arts Department
(413) 748-3443
email: mshell@springfieldcollege.edu

Core Requirement: Total 3 credits

*Art Therapy / Counseling electives:

 Total 4-6 credits for M.S. degree
 Total 5-6 credits for M.Ed. degree

(Students must take a minimum of two (2) courses in this category for the M.S. degree)
(Students must take three (3) courses in this category for the M.Ed. degree)

Research requirements M.S. - 8 credits

Additional Program Information

  • Students who graduated from the undergraduate art therapy programs at Springfield College and are registered in the graduate Art Therapy/Counseling Program, may be able, upon advisement, to waive up to 3 credits required in the Art Therapy Electives section of the program requirements. Eligible students must have completed a 500 level art therapy elective course at Springfield College in their undergraduate program and received a grade of B or above to be waived. 
  • All Art Therapy/Counseling students are required to have a minimum of 60 credits total upon graduation to apply for their LMHC after graduation.
  • All Art Therapy/Counseling students graduating with a minimum of 60 credits from an approved art therapy program will be partially qualified for the provisional art therapy credential (ATR-Provisional). Employment under the supervision of a credentialed art therapy professional will complete the ATR-P option.
  • NOTE: Courses may change due to approval requirements of the Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) and the American Art Therapy Association and licensing requirements of mental health counselors (LMHC) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Currently (2018-2019), students wishing to obtain licensure in Connectcut, New Hampshire, and/or Vermont as a mental health counselor will need to enroll in PSYC 643, Career Counseling.
  • Arrangements with the gallery director for the graduate students’ final art exhibit must occur before registering for final semester.  

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Major Programs of Study