How to become an Art Therapist

Overview, Courses, Exam, Colleges, Pathways, Salary

Medicine & Allied Healthcare


Who is Art Therapist ?

"Art therapist" refers to someone who has received specialised training in the use of artistic expression as a therapeutic way to improve mental well-being, such as via painting or drawing. Participants in art therapy sessions engage in a variety of creative activities such as sketching, painting, colouring, and sculpting in order to improve their mental health and well-being by providing them with an outlet to express themselves and learn new things about themselves. Art therapy sessions are held in a variety of settings.

People suffering from a broad variety of physical problems, as well as mental health concerns or disorders, among other things, may seek help from these organisations for aid. In addition to helping their clients develop self-awareness and self-esteem, the artists also assist them in developing emotional resilience, strengthening cognitive and sensorimotor processes, and cultivating emotional resilience. Instead than criticising the artwork created by the client, they explore deeper into the fundamental ideas conveyed by the artwork in question. This is in contrast to how the client feels about the artwork.

Clients benefit from taking part in the creative process of creating artwork because it allows them to have a better understanding of their underlying challenges and receive better therapy for them. When providing complete therapy, they often collaborate with other mental health experts such as psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, language therapists, and occupational therapists to ensure that the patient`s needs are met. In the course of his or her professional practise, an art therapist may deal with people of various ages, from youngsters to senior citizens. Individual, family, couple, and group therapy sessions may involve art therapy as a component. They also provide services in the area of art therapy.

Typical day at work

What does Art Therapist do?

  • Assess the clients’ need, temperaments, and emotions
  • Create a safe, non-judgemental and comfortable space for the clients
  • Encourage and enable the clients to explore their artistic output and introspect about the process that led to the same
  • Conduct individual or group sessions for art therapy
  • Maintain accurate records of the clients
  • Ensure that the art therapy space is clean and orderly 
  • Ensure the availability of all the materials and equipment required for art therapy
  • Consult with or refer to other professionals in the field
  • Keep up-to-date with the developments in the field

Abilities and Aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Art Therapist?

As an art therapist you will need to have a degree in psychology and a diploma in art therapy from a reputed institution. Art therapists usually work with children hence they need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills in order to build rapport and form strong working relationships with their clients. They should have sharp observation skills and good active listening skills in order to understand the client’s art and their experiences.

An art therapist needs to possess sensitivity and a non-judgemental approach towards their clients in order to create a safe space for them to explore their issues. This job also demands the mental stamina needed to support their clients in distress. They should be empathetic, creative, and patient individuals with a strong understanding of visual art and a commitment to work for the wellbeing of others. They should have strong analytical thinking abilities and detective reasoning skills in order to effectively facilitate the client’s self-exploration through art. They should have good problem-solving skills and leadership abilities to guide their clients through the process of art therapy.


Salary for Art Therapist?

The salaries of an "Art Therapist" can vary based on factors such as experience, qualifications, location, and employer. 

  • Minimum Monthly Salary: The minimum salary can be from INR 25,000 to INR 40,000.
  • Maximum Monthly Salary: The maximum salary can be from INR 70,000 to INR 1,00,000 or more.
  • Annual Salary: The annual salary can be from INR 3,00,000 to INR 12,00,000 or more.
  • Highest Paying Job and Scope: Art therapists may be in leadership or specialized positions within healthcare or mental health organizations. The scope for art therapists is expanding as the use of art therapy in healthcare, mental health, education, and community settings is gaining recognition. Art therapists can work with individuals of all ages, including children, adolescents, adults, and elderly individuals, helping them express themselves and explore emotions and thoughts through creative processes.

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How to become an Art Therapist?

Entrance Exam

Entrance Exam for Art Therapist ?


Which course I can pursue?


Which Industries are open for Art Therapist?

  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation care units
  • Clinical research facilities
  • Wellness centers
  • Assisted living centers
  • Psychiatric facilities
  • Detention centers
  • Forensic institutions
  • Crisis centers
  • Senior communities and schools.


Are there internships available for Art Therapist?

Take the opportunity to work with experienced Therapist. It will allow you to have a practical learning and will also give you contacts for future reference.

Career outlook

What does the future look like for Art Therapist?

Employment opportunities for art therapists are expected to improve as the practise of art therapy becomes more popular as a psychotherapeutic intervention in response to an increase in the number of people seeking mental health care services. Individuals, couples, families, and organisations may all benefit from their services. They have the option to work full-time or part-time, or even work autonomously, depending on their schedule.

Among the places where they can find work are mental health agencies, hospitals and psychiatric hospitals, orphanages, rehabilitation care units, assisted living facilities, correctional institutions, eldercare facilities and crisis centres. They can also find work at veteran`s clinics and veteran`s hospitals, to name a few. Aside from that, they might work in educational and research institutions all around the nation. Most of the time, it is an office-based employment with normal nine-to-five business hours. The decision to operate independently is made by some of these specialists, who establish their own private practise.