Back in January 2011 I put together a series of posts on the challenges of art therapy as a career path. Since that time I continue to get a couple of emails each day from students asking for more information on the field, job prospects, graduate schools, and doctoral studies. Some of you are art majors in search of a “real” career, others have an interest in using art to serve others; a few are already mental health or health care professionals who have discovered the value of introducing creative expression into your work with clients.

Much of what I said in these posts still holds true, but I do have some updates to share with you in the next few weeks. Since so many readers have asked me to put all this information in one place, here is a recap of the topics with links to each post:

So You Want to be an Art Therapist, Part One: Art Therapy as a Career Path. Seriously, can you really make a living in the 21st century?

So You Want to be an Art Therapist, Part Two: Art Therapy Education. The good, the bad and the “challenging” of art therapy education.

So You Want to be an Art Therapist, Part Three: The Art Therapy Credentials Maze. The alphabet soup maze of art therapy credentials.

So You Want to be an Art Therapist, Part Four: Can I Get an Art Therapy Job? A counselor in art therapist’s clothing?

So You Want to be an Art Therapist, Part Five: The Tale of Two Art Therapists. Two tales of art therapy career paths.

So You Want to be an Art Therapist, Part Six: Should I Get a Doctorate? Is it idealistic, a form of madness or a Ponzi scheme?

So You Want to be an Art Therapist, Part Seven: Art Therapist Identity Confusion Disorder. You have now entered the Art Therapy Twilight Zone…

In the next few posts, I will explore some of the current [and continuing] challenges to art therapy as a professional field, where it is making progress and where its identity confusion disorder continues to remain untreated. And I will try to articulate some strategies for those of you with a passion for using art and the creative process to help others so you can work toward making that career vision become a reality.

Be well,

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC [see my website for free downloads and additional information on art therapy and related topics]

Recent Posts in Arts and Health

Oliver Sacks and Creative Arts Therapies

Oliver Sacks says farewell, but he leaves a creative legacy.

Don Jones: Make Art (Therapy), Not War

An art therapy icon is deeply missed.

Getting into the Flow for the New Year

Take some time to creatively self-regulate and transcend in the new year.

Expressive Arts and Resilience: Hope for Ferguson

Telling one's story is the beginning of reparation and resilience.

Children’s Art as Visual Narrative

Children show us their suffering and their hopes through art.

Creative Art Therapies: Health or Mental Health Professions?

Being a creative arts therapist requires a flexible GPS.