Careers in Art Therapy.

Careers in Art Therapy.

My name is Neil Springham – I’m a consultant
art therapist and I’m also head of art therapy across the trust. And that means I’m
involved in both delivering art therapy as a
physiological therapy but also involved in social inclusion where it involves the arts.
Art therapy is really very much like it sounds,
its working with people therapeutically using art.
So someone would come into the room, make a piece of art, and we try and build up
communication through their art, so it’s a way of helping people to talk about things
that is hard to put into words.
My name is Ellet Ghorbani, I’m a service user – “Hello Ellet – come in..” – I
was referred by my psychiatrist for six to nine
months art therapy after I had psychosis. Personally I thought I was beyond help and
I was consumed by a lot of thoughts that weren’t based in reality.
The kind of people who would come to art therapy in the trust would be those people
who have quite serious and complex mental health issues. So that would be schizophrenia,
other forms of psychosis, quite serious depression and personality disorder.
Art therapy was something new for me, I had never heard of it. I knew from school time
that in my background in education I had some lessons in art but that’s all about it,
I never realised how effective or what kind of impact
it can have. Often people will have art therapy alongside
other interventions like medication or perhaps when they are working with a community
psychiatric nurse. Sometimes people have art therapy when everything else has been
tried, that’s been quite a pattern in art therapy. I
think nowadays people think of art therapy a little bit earlier for people, particularly
where they have serious communication problems.
Talking was the main thing that I couldn’t do very well at all, then especially, and
I was given a paper and I had different mediums
from pencil to watercolour to pastels which I quite
like, oil pastels especially, and I could sit there and the first few sessions went
by in a very quiet silent way because I was resisting to
talk. Gradually I opened up and it gave me a
window to talk about my inner world. I see my role as an art therapist as being
involved with treating people as a physiological therapy but also to think about
what comes after the treatment because that is
very important because people suffer a lot of isolation, a lot of stigma. I do a lot
of work going out to local arts organisations, in
a sense to make them more mental health friendly so
that they can take the people that we see, and actually people can have a life within
the arts and actually there is a lot of evidence now
that the arts can be very very useful for supporting people and giving a wider participation.
I’m glad to say that now a piece of my work has been published in a magazine called
Reflections. This is a fascinating job, it’s always different,
you know people are the most fascinating subject there is, and actually working with
the arts is just wonderful. A lot of what we do is
just trying to understand how to maximise the potential of the arts both as a physiological
intervention but also social intervention – what could be more interesting than that?
My art therapist was like a guardian angel for me, she brought the worst and the best
out of me in that period that I had with her during art therapy I had in that nine months,
and I came out as a better person thinking somebody
cared, somebody cared to listen.

34 thoughts on “Careers in Art Therapy.

  1. Hi there. Thanks for your query.
    Take a look at our website (links available in the description box) for information about pay bands and pay rates for art therapists.
    Best wishes, the NHS Careers team.

  2. art therapy can be anything from collages to molding with clay to making crafts with cloth or yarn. It's basically crafts, drawing, painting, anything that relaxed the patient enough to express themselves through the art and eventually verbally. If you search it on youtube you'll get some cool projects that art therapists use.

  3. This is a brilliant introduction into art therapy. I'm an art therapist working with young people in the South East England. I've just started a facebook account and I'm looking forward to sharing my ideas with others. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected]

  4. I am planning on doing this after high school. Can someone tell me if this is a good career to go into?

  5. Hi Yovanna,

    Art therapy is a rewarding and interesting career to go into although positions are limited within the NHS. If you want to learn more about becoming an art therapist and the training you will need, visit our website at look at the information under the allied health professions section.

    Good luck!

    The NHS Careers team.

  6. Hi Christina, if you give our helpline a call on 0345 60 60 655 they will be able to talk you๏ปฟ through how to become an art therapist including A level results needed and university courses.

  7. You usually need at least three A levels including art but it's always a good idea to check with the university or universities you are thinking of applying to for their requirements.

    Good luck!

  8. Hi Erika, as we are the careers service for healthcare staff๏ปฟ in England we are cannot tell you which courses to take at your community college but it is worth asking them and what opportunities are available locally. And people with pyschiatric disorders often help people with similiar problems. To work as an art therapist in England you will also need to undertake a university degree but worth speaking to someone at your college who can provide more specific advice. Good luck!

  9. "Therapy is Art and Art is Therapy" R.Wiesner Psychologist and Artist
    Rachel Wiesner Regev. combines her profession analytical psychology with her artistic creation

  10. Thanks Neil. Really useful to our online foundation diploma art therapy students:)

  11. I'm really interested in becoming an Art Therapist. I completed my first Art degree three years ago and have since been teaching in a glass blowing studio. But is there any way to get funding for the postgrad? Is the qualification eligible for the new masters funding the government are introducing in August this year? It is so expensive and I don't think I can afford the fees, I'm in the south so I would be studying in pricey London.

  12. i am also very excited and liberated with art therapy. I am going to attend Cal State La to study rehabilitation and counseling program in Spring 2017 but have a degree in sociology. Do i need more of an art degree or program for my BA rather than social work. Ive been an artist all my life but havent taken much proper classes in college. i am very happy i saw this video.

  13. Great video! Im starting my postgraduate masters on September 5th in MSc Art Psychotherapy at Queen Margaret University! To become an art therapist has been my dream for a long time! My only problem is funding but it wont stop me from avhieving my dream as an art therapist! Any advice for starting this course?! โ˜บ

  14. Hi I'm interested in art therapy for my future career! I've just done my GCSEs and did art and design. Now I'm doing sociology and fine art for a level! I'm just wondering though are there any specific grade requirements or subject requirements? For example would I have to study phycology alevel? Unfortunately due to my d in science I couldn't choose it. So would that reduce or exclude my chances of ever being able to study art therapy? Obviously I'm not thinking about degrees yet, but it would be great to hear what are some good subjects for me to pick! Or would art therapy be something you study at university itself? Sorry I have a lot of questions, but I'm interested!

  15. I'm currently studying graphic arts and I concider working as an art therapist… Do i have to study phychology or take some courses on psychology? I was thinking about doing my Master degree in art therapy, but im afraid I need more knowledge in psychology and counceling. Any advice? ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. I'm studying therapeutic psychology at uni and it's designed for arts and play therapy. i don't have an art degree or a strong art background…. i just draw when i'm free but i'm interested in making art therapist my future career. I'm having personal therapy as my course required and also a befriender placement with a client who has mental illness. can i have some advice please??

  17. Wow, this is so amazing! I'm now studying to become a teacher through an ACP (alternative certification program) and hopefully my next step will be to complete whatever is necessary to become an art therapist. It seems so rewarding and, from what I've gathered, appears to be a very natural and organic way to accommodate and even facilitate the healing of others! I've read the information you've provided another viewer. Is it possible to get that information (and any other recommendations) emailed to me? I'd greatly appreciate that!!! [email protected]

  18. Hello! Iโ€™m currently a sophomore
    in high school trying to figure out what Iโ€™m going to do with my future, Iโ€™ve thought about doing art therapy for a long time but Iโ€™m confused as to how I would become an art therapist, do you go to art school or medical school? Is it expensive and how long does it take? If you answer this it would be super cool if it was in words and terms I could understand haha. โ˜บ๏ธ

  19. I would like to study art therapy full time at uni however Iโ€™m not sure if you need a degree in health and social care. Do you?

  20. I am an avid #MentalHealthAwareness advocate and performer, and I love this so much. I travel the country trying to bring that awareness on stages, in classrooms, hospitals, and on my YouTube channel, so I get excited when I see other advocates. ๐Ÿ’™โค

  21. Iโ€™m thinking about doing art therapy but was wondering if you can get an apprenticeship in it, also Iโ€™m not great at drawing would this matter. Another question can you choose what kind of patrons you get for example I donโ€™t think Iโ€™d be good at helping people who have experienced loss.

  22. This is very true art therapy really works … Its can change the mood, behaviour etc..

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