Department of Creative Arts Therapies Faculty of Fine Arts
Why pursue a master's in art therapy?
Art therapy involves helping those with emotional and psychological difficulties to deal with their problems through a cooperative process of discovery. Clients are encouraged to come to their own understanding of what their art reveals, facilitated by the therapist, who helps to negotiate interpretations of the client's drawings, which are created through a therapeutically oriented art-making process.
The program educates and trains art therapists to function as recognized professionals within their field, who are committed to a strong sense of ethical and social responsibility. It aims to provide students with a thorough understanding of the history, methods and theoretical foundations of art therapy. Investigation of the interrelationship between the visual arts and the therapeutic process is approached through experiential and didactic learning methods. Students acquire skills in the practice of psycho-dynamically oriented art therapy through their practicum and the study of theories of art therapy, as developed by leading practitioners. Students learn a variety of research methodologies as a foundation for completing the required research component of the program.
Admission Requirements. Entry into the program requires a bachelor’s/baccalaureate degree with courses in Visual Arts (24 credits, which must include 18 credits in Studio Arts, and 6 credits in Art History/Art Theory/Art Education, or approved equivalents); Psychology (24 credits, which must include courses in Introductory, Developmental and Abnormal Psychology, Theories of Personality, and Strategies of Inquiry, or approved equivalents); and An Introduction to Art Therapy (3 credits). Since enrolment is limited, applicants are selected on the basis of a past academic record of no less than a B average, a 500-word letter of intent and three letters of recommendation. Applicants must submit a portfolio of up to 20 slides, clearly identified in their name. They may choose to present pictures of their work in an 8.5” x 11” plastic pocket or submit digital pictures on CD. Previous work experience in a clinical, rehabilitative or educational setting is expected. Direct experience with the therapeutic process is highly desirable.
Priority will be given to those who apply within the official deadlines listed above. Some programs may continue to accept applications after these deadlines. For more information, please contact the department.
The practicum component of our creative arts therapies training programs provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills that they are acquiring in their coursework. It is the vehicle for integrating theory with clinical experience – a critical element in the development of the professional competence of an art therapist, drama therapist or music therapist. Practicum includes both clinical experience and supervision.
Clinical experience is acquired in a variety of agencies in the greater Montreal area, providing the student with practical application of art therapy, drama therapy or music therapy. Supervision is provided at both the agency and at the University.
In Art Therapy and Drama Therapy, each student is placed in one major placement per year. In the Graduate Certificate in Music Therapy, each student is place in one major placement per term, with a total of three different client populations over the course of the 12-month program. A student may be placed in one major and one minor placement concurrently if where appropriate. In the Music Therapy MA, students have the opportunity for advanced specialization in teh clinical area of their choice in either one or two terms.
The largest in the department, the Art Therapy studio is flooded with light and equipped with an assortment of arts supplies (clay, paints, paper, brushes, craft supplies, etc.) replenished throughout the year. The space is used to host department community meetings between faculty and students.
Lecture-based classes can be held in the seminar room, recently updated with new tables and chairs. All Creative Arts Therapies students can use the seminar for quiet study outside of class time and during business hours.
Art Therapy students are required to complete two practicum placements as part of their course requirements. This is of tremendous benefit in familiarizing students with the working environment. A number of graduates have gone on to full or part-time work at health care institutions, schools and clinics, where they were initially placed as students. Graduates have found employment throughout Canada, the United States, and abroad.
Graduates may also choose to join professional associations such as: