Cedar Crest College Home


School of Adult and Graduate Education

Traditional Admissions

Jill K. Odegaard
Associate Professor and Chair
610-437-4471 ext. 3347

Art Therapy:
Michelle L. Dean
Art Therapy Director, Undergraduate and Graduate Programs
610-437-4471 ext. 3505

An Overview of Art Therapy

Learn more about this creative and caring profession.

Student Jewelry MakingArt therapy is a form of psychotherapy that engages the client in the creation of artwork, using the process of artmaking as a key component to healing—emotionally, mentally and physically.

By selecting the art therapy major at Cedar Crest College, you will be introduced to issues in psychology while developing your talents in multiple art studio areas.

This degree will fully prepare you to pursue a graduate degree in art therapy, which is essential for students wishing to become board-certified and work in private practice. Your B.A. will also prepare you to work in an array of fields.

Learn more about careers in art therapy »

What Art Therapists Do

Art therapists are highly trained mental health professionals who are skilled in applying the act of artmaking (using drawing, painting, sculpture and other media) to assess and improve the mental, emotional and physical well-being of their clients.

In an art therapy session, the art therapist helps a client express himself or herself through art mediums. During the session, the focus is not on creating a beautiful piece of artwork but on gaining insight and healing through the creation of the artwork. The art therapist is trained to assist clients in the interpretation of their artwork to help them work through difficult feelings and situations.

Art therapists work in a wide variety of settings, including:

  • Health care facilities such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and psychiatric facilities
  • Residential facilities such as long-term care and assisted living
  • Educational settings
  • Private practice

Who Is Helped by Art Therapy

Art therapists work with people of all ages, including those who:

  • Are in individual therapy, group therapy and/or family therapy
  • Have mental or emotional problems or disorders, including anxiety and depression
  • Have addictions or substance abuse problems
  • Have family or relationship issues
  • Are victims of abuse and/or domestic violence
  • Are experiencing social and emotional issues related to an illness or disability
  • Are grieving or suffering from trauma or loss
  • Have problems that are physical, cognitive, or neurological in nature