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Art Therapist

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What They Do

Art Therapists Career Video

Plans or conducts art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients' physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Observes and documents client reactions, progress, or other outcomes related to art therapy.
  • Designs art therapy sessions or programs to meet client's goals or objectives.
  • Conducts art therapy sessions, providing guided self-expression experiences to help clients recover from, or cope with, cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments.
  • Talks with clients during art or other therapy sessions to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to the artistic process.
  • Confers with other professionals on client's treatment team to develop, coordinate, or integrate treatment plans.
  • Assesses client needs or disorders, using drawing, painting, sculpting, or other artistic processes.
  • Develops individualized treatment plans that incorporate studio art therapy, counseling, or psychotherapy techniques.
  • Writes treatment plans, case summaries, or progress or other reports related to individual clients or client groups.
  • Selects or prepares artistic media or related equipment or devices to accomplish therapy session objectives.
  • Interprets the artistic creations of clients to assess their functioning, needs, or progress.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Therapist
  • Art Psychotherapist
  • Creative Arts Therapist
  • Oncology Art Therapist
  • Registered Art Therapist (ATR)
  • Group Therapist
  • Board Certified Art Therapist (ATR-BC)


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733