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.
Concordia University's MA in Creative Arts Therapies, Art Therapy Option, established in 1982, is the only full master's level professional training program in Canada within a creative arts therapies environment. It is recognized as an accredited art therapy training program by the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) and the American Art Therapy Association (AATA).
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.
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