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How to Take a Test to Get Professional Certification in Art Therapy

Updated on January 18, 2012

Art therapy is an increasingly popular way to obtain healing and well-rounded health. In addition to getting a degree in art therapy, it is a wise career move to get certification in art therapy after obtaining relevant education in this exciting field.

First, you need to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) with the Art Therapy Credentials Board. This requires the completion of a master's degree plus supervised clinical experience after obtaining your degree. The master's degree need not specifically be for art therapy. The requirement to become an ART and then take the art therapy certification exam is to have a degree in mental health plus a certain number of credits in art therapy.

You will need at least 18 semester credits in studio-based art in drawing, painting and clay. In addition, the ATR registration requirement that qualifies you to test for certification in art therapy requires a core curriculum of art therapy consisting of at least 24 graduate semester credits.

Candidates for an ATR must then have at least 700 hours of a practicum/internship, half of which must be in providing actual services, and 10% of which must be directly supervised.

Finally, before taking the certification test by becoming an ATR, art therapists need at least 1000 hours of experience (after the internship), 100 hours of which must be supervised.

Look at the ATR application form for the specific requirements (see link below). As of 2011, it costs $125 to apply for registration as an art therapist.

Now, assuming you are accepted as an ATR, you can then apply to take the Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination. You may download a copy of the board certification exam from the link below. As of 2011, there is an additional fee of $235 for the exam (late fee may apply). If you are otherwise in good standing with the board and pass the exam, you will then become a Board Certified Art Therapist.


Art Therapy Credentials Board: ATR Application Form

Art Therapy Credentials Board: Board Certification Exam Application Form


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    • TeriSilver profile image

      Teri Silver 6 years ago from The Buckeye State

      Informative and useful. Thumbs up!