The master’s program is designed to meet the educational requirements and standards set out by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) and the American Art Therapy Association (AATA), to prepare students for the professional roles of a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a nationally Registered Art Therapist (ATR). The curriculum also allows students to pursue licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).
The mission statement of the program is to provide the highest quality education and integrated training in individual, couples and family therapy, art therapy, and clinical neurobiology approaches. The interface of art-making process and applied interpersonal neurobiology is emphasized throughout the course of study. The program aims to graduate ethical professionals who are committed to well-being of a diversity of individuals, children, couples, families, organizations, and communities primarily through improving relationships and the use of the expressive arts. The faculty members inspire to explore the positive and negative impact of experiences on human development and psychology, and to develop a mature personal and professional identity while maintaining an expressive practice.
The program delivery method integrates online and in classroom learning and is designed to take advantage of both teaching methodologies. For most semesters students attend school for one day a week. For some semesters executive format teaching, such as all day meetings is required.
Fall and Spring entry options are available.
Students will demonstrate:
- Fluency in theories, methods and scholarship of marriage and family therapy, art psychotherapy, and interpersonal neurobiology psychological topics by describing, explaining, analyzing, integrating, researching and presenting this body of knowledge.
- Clinical practice skills by engaging in assessment practice, managing legal and ethical issues, providing treatment for a variety of patients in diverse clinical settings based on the knowledge areas listed above, and by conducting ongoing evaluation of psychotherapeutic and expressive art processes.
- Cultural competencies, in accordance with Alliant international university’s and CSPP multicultural and international mission, by engagement in the classroom setting, in clinical practice, and in communities, in service of social justice, an appreciation for a diversity of artistic expression and an understanding of the impact of self on others.
- Expressive non-verbal arts skills in accordance with the American Art Therapy Association standards for mental health, relational well-being as evidenced in clinical practice evaluations and by an ongoing professional and personal engagement with process-based arts.
- Independent and collaborative learning skills and strategies as demonstrated by consistent, ethical and specific participation in hybrid learning methods.
The practicum experience, part of the student’s clinical training, allows students to provide counseling services to clients under the supervision of licensed professionals. The approved training sites can include counseling centers, schools and mental health programs. Students are required to complete two traineeships, for a minimum of 700 hours of supervised art therapy practicum/traineeship hours, out of which 350 are direct client contact hours.
This requirement meets the Board of Behavior Science in California practicum requirements experience which must be completed at an approved training agency prior to degree completion. This requirement also meets the pre-graduation requirements for Art Therapy Registration (ATR). Students receive assistance with field placement, providing students with a valuable link to community resources, clinical training opportunities, and professional organizations.
Specialized Admissions Requirements
A portfolio of artwork will be required for the interview.
The interview is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their strengths and meet the program director and/or a faculty representative personally. Additional admissions interview apply.
Curriculum and Degree Requirements
The faculty values and welcomes open communication with students. Students are encouraged to make appointments with other members of the core and adjunct faculty to answer questions and provide consultation. New students will meet with their faculty advisors to develop a degree completion plan. Academic plans must comply with required course sequences and with clinical placement requirements. Students will also meet with faculty advisors to plan any modifications to their schedule or academic plan.
In addition to the regular curriculum, students are required to take one workshop in evidence-based treatment. Examples include: EFT, CBT, etc. In lieu of workshops, students may take course electives offered through the department. The workshop hours taken can be used towards fulfilling the 60 hours professional development requirement.
The following requirements must be met prior to degree posting:
- Completion of all 63* units of required courses with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Completion of all culminating projects.
- Verification of required clinical hours and 60 hours of professional development. It is highly recommended that a portion of these hours (24) be personal therapy hours. In order to become an effective therapist, an individual must first be willing to work on his/her own issues in a therapeutic relationship. This experience is in keeping with the CSPP-Alliant International University philosophy of theory, experience and application as it represents integrated learning. Moreover the BBSE allows students to triple-count these hours. Therapy may be individual, couple, family, or group sessions. The therapist must be licensed as a psychologist, LMFT or LCSW and preferably also registered as an art therapist. Referrals to art therapists are available through the department. The cost of therapy is to be met by the student. Students are not required to discuss personal information from the therapeutic context as part of coursework.
* Students entering in the Spring must complete 65 units. For the Spring Entry schedule of coursework, please contact the program director.
Post Graduation ATR Registration Requirements
After receiving a Master’s degree in art therapy and after accumulating a required number of supervised hours and submitting professional references attesting to your competency, graduates may apply to become a registered Art Therapist (ATR) through the Art Therapy Credentials. After being granted the ATR, the graduate then can sit for the ATR-BC examination. Having the ATR is a prerequisite for the ATR-BC exam, which is offered once a year at various locations throughout the United States. Students are required to keep abreast of all ATCB requirements.
Year 1, Fall
- Community Based Studio Art Therapy (3 units)
- MFT Theories and Techniques (3 units)
- Introduction to Psychopathology (3 units)
- Law and Ethics (3 units)
- Writing Lab I (1 unit)
Year 1, Spring
- Child, Adolescent, and Family Life Cycle (3 units)
- Art Therapy and Relational Neurobiology Studio (3 units)
- Psychology/Behavior/Health (2 units)
- Chemical Dependency (2 units)
- Dimensions in Diversity (1 unit)
- Writing Lab II (1 units)
- 7360 Practicum (Optional; 3 units)
Year 1, Summer
- Group and Family Counseling (3 units)
- Art Therapy History and Literature (3 units)
- Cultural Diversity Skills (1 unit)
- Practicum I (2 units)
- Psychopharmacology (2 units)
Year 2, Fall
- Research Methods (3 units)
- Child and Adolescent Therapy (2 units)
- Practicum II (3 units)
- Writing Lab III (1 unit)
Year 2, Spring
- Crisis and Trauma (3 units)
- Assessment, includes lab (3 units)
- Human Sexuality (2 units)
- Practicum III (3 units)
- Masters Project I (1 unit)
Year 2, Summer
- Couples/Adult Counseling (2 units)
- Practicum IV (3 units)
- Masters Project II (1 unit)
Spring Entry Includes One Additional Course
- Studio Art Therapy Digital Practices (2 units)
Psychology with Emphasis in Marriage Family Therapy and Art Therapy Faculty
Core faculty for the program are listed below:
Noah Hass-Cohen PsyD, Associate Professor and Program Director, Los Angeles Marriage Family Therapy and Art Therapy
For a detailed description of program faculty background and research interests, please see the alphabetical listing of faculty for the California School of Professional Psychology.