Art therapists work with a client or a group of clients to help them address emotional and psychological issues through creative activities such as drawing, painting, sculpting and collage.
To become an art therapist you usually have to study art, counselling, psychology, nursing, social science or a related field at university, followed by a postgraduate qualification in art therapy and 750 hours of supervised field experience on a clinical placement. To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Most universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Entry to postgraduate courses usually requires completion of an appropriate bachelor degree. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for further information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks. The postgraduate course must be recognised by the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA). See their website for an up-to-date list.
Art therapists may perform the following tasks:
Art therapists work in any area where people require assistance with achieving a better quality of mental health. This includes psychiatric wards, prisons, rehabilitation centres, and drug and alcohol units.
Art therapists are employed in public and private hospitals, non-government organisations and community-based organisations such as welfare centres, aged-care facilities and schools. They are also employed in private practice and in private health clinics.