Who's an Art Therapist?
Are you interested in arts and crafts? What about the world of psychology? How does the idea of combining the two to help people cope with emotional and mental problems sound?
That is exactly what you’ll be doing as an art therapist. You will help people with a history of mental disabilities. Developmental disorders, depression and other disorders by allowing them to express themselves through the medium of art.
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What would you do?
Planning and facilitating activities
The primary role of an art therapist is to curate suitable art activities for patients depending on their needs, objectives, comfort levels and preferred forms of artistic expression.
Example: You can curate a customised project for your client that would help them express their feelings through a non-verbal approach such as, drawing, painting, or clay modelling.
Evaluating patients’ reactions and behaviours
You will discuss your patient’s artwork with them to evaluate the meaning, emotions and thoughts behind it.
Example: Your client may express their inner thoughts through metaphors and symbols in their art. As an art therapist, you should be able to understand and address the meaning of it.
You will maintain detailed records of your client’s progress and of the observations made during the therapy sessions. It will help you recall details of their lives and the treatment provided.
Example: You would require to maintain a record of different items relevant to the patient and their sessions such as healthcare notes, treatment plans, medical history, etc.
Creating a safe environment for your clients
It is your responsibility to create a secure and trustworthy environment for your clients to make them feel safe and confident in your presence. They should feel comfortable sharing their innermost thoughts and fears with you.
Example: Some of your clients may be trained artists while some may be new to the art-making process. You must guide them through the process of creating without any judgement.
Carrying out workshops
You should carry out educational workshops that include discussions, presentations, debates, or hands-on demonstrations to engage with new concepts and techniques.
Example: You could have an educational workshop to create awareness about art therapy and its benefits.
Where does an Art Therapist work?
After completing the necessary education and courses, you would work in clinical settings like hospitals, rehabilitation centres, crisis counselling centres and mental health agencies to assist patients in expressing their inner thoughts and emotions. You would be working as per the shift timings provided by the organisation.
Home/Visiting your clients
As a certified self-employed Art Therapist, you can conduct private sessions for your clients at home or in an environment where they feel safe. In this case, you can choose your own clients and working hours.
You might find yourself employed in a school to help students with inner expression and counselling while using art as a medium. Your work hours will follow the school’s functioning hours.
How do you get there?
What skills do you need?
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As a marketer, you need to get people hooked on your brand. This requires you to come up with fun, entertaining, and exceptional ways to engage your audience. There is a lot of competition in the market, and the only way to be on top is by constantly doing something new and innovative.build this skill
You will be working on a lot of cool projects and will be meeting a lot of potential clients and customers on the job. And so, a big part of your job will involve interacting with these people. You could be great at coming up with ideas, but that is only one part of your job. You will need to talk and meet people, build a rapport with them, to establish your credibility. Especially if you’re a freelancer, you will need to have certain social skills.build this skill
Attention to Detail
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How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing Career locally versus overseas
A full-fledged degree course in Art Therapy may not be available in India at present, however, you can take up a B.A. in Psychology from top colleges like St. Xavier’s College (Mumbai), Hansraj College (New Delhi), Jesus and Mary College (New Delhi), Fergusson College (Pune) and Jai Hind College (Mumbai), among others. You can also take up a post-graduate diploma course in art therapy from Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), Art Design Technology University (ADT), Indian Institute of Psychology and Research (IIPR), among other private institutes. Degree courses cost between INR 20,000 to INR 3 lakhs, while diploma courses cost between INR 20,000 to INR 1 lakh.
You can become an Art Therapist abroad by pursuing a full-fledged art therapy degree course from top universities like The George Washington University (USA), New York University (USA), University of Derby (UK), Whitecliffe (New Zealand), Western Sydney University (Australia), and University of South Wales (UK). For more colleges, click here. The fees ranges from INR7,50,000 to INR 18,80,000 per year.
Art Therapist: Pay Scale
The salary of an art therapist depends on whether you are self-employed or working in an organisation. As a self-employed art therapist, you can charge per session, depending on your experience.
What are Art Therapist's career options?
As an art therapist, you develop valuable project management skills such as fundraising, event planning, data entry, social media planning, filing and art exhibit installation.
An online art therapy entrepreneur is someone who creates content for the internet. They appear online with interesting videos and blogs and share their expertise in the field. This approach requires you to be highly creative and confident to be visible to the audience. In this case, you use the internet to attract clients and make a living from what you post.
An art therapist can set up their own private practice where they can provide art therapy services to their clients from their own office/organisation. In this scenario, they must take full responsibility for their business, whether it’s dealing with income irregularities or managing their own retirement plans.
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