Promote Change and Growth Through Creative Exploration

Harness the healing power of creative expression and exploration with the Expressive Arts Therapy (EXAT) Specialty. As part of our CACREP-accredited MA in Counseling, this unique, 12-credit online specialty integrates the practical application of the expressive arts with Adlerian theory. You will learn to apply a multimodal approach, addressing client issues and needs through various expressive modalities that connect the mind, body, and spirit, including:

  • Visual arts
  • Movement-based creative expression
  • Sound/music
  • Creative writing
  • Nature-based practices

Powerful, Expressive Curriculum

The 12-credit online curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning through experiential coursework that fosters sensory integration, somatic experiences, and independent self-development. You will learn to identify appropriate expressive arts modalities when working with diverse individuals, families, and groups. The program consists of:

  • 100% online courses in our time-tested virtual format
  • Supervised internship
  • Final capstone project
  • Completion of a professional portfolio

Make Expressive Arts Therapy Part Of Your Master’s

The 12-credit EXAT program can be added to the following concentrations of our CACREP-accredited Master of Arts in Counseling program:

  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling
  • Co-Occurring Disorders and Addictions Counseling

The Master of Arts in Counseling degree program can be completed online or in person, while the EXAT specialty is fully online. Students pursuing their MA in person are eligible and able to participate in and complete this online specialty.

If you are not enrolled in one of our graduate degrees, you can still apply to and take courses in the Expressive Arts Therapy specialty program as a student-at-large. You will be required to meet the prerequisites for each course you take; electives do not have prerequisites.

Registration as an Expressive Arts Therapist

Our EXAT specialty program is designed to meet the educational requirements to become a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA). Please see the post graduate requirements at Program graduates must independently apply for registration through the IEATA.

Chart Your Course

The online Expressive Arts Therapy specialty seamlessly integrates into each CACREP-accredited Master of Arts in Counseling concentration, both online and in person.

EmphasisClinical Mental Health Counseling
60 Credit Hours
Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling
60 credit hours
Co-Occurring Disorders and Addictions Counseling
64 credit hours
SpecialtyExpressive Arts Therapy
12 credit hours
Expressive Arts Therapy
12 credit hours
Expressive Arts Therapy
12 credit hours
Internship700 hours (200 of which integrate expressive arts)700 hours (200 of which integrate expressive arts)880 hours (200 of which integrate expressive arts)
Total72 credits72 credits76 credits

Program Highlights

Hands-on Field Experience

The EXAT specialty requires a 200-hour internship completed while completing the counseling internship. Approaches used include visual arts, movement-based creative expression, music, creative writing, or nature-based practices. Cultivate your creative skills and grow as a professional through:

  • supervised EXAT experience
  • exploration of a variety of expressive modalities
  • building one’s professional identity
  • cultivating trust in the creative process

Final Capstone Project

Demonstrate your comprehensive understanding of theory and application of the expressive arts in counseling practice. Capstone projects can include artwork, performance art, projects with clients, or community-based projects. You are encouraged to apply social interest in action when developing your capstone project, showcasing the role of the expressive arts in a community context.

Required Courses

Please refer to our course catalog for the most up-to-date course requirements.

Upon completion of the program, students will have mastery over the following:

  • Theory and Technique: Describe the theories, techniques, and functions of multimodal expressive arts therapy, emphasizing cross-cultural contexts of creative expression.
  • History and Context: Describe the historical uses of the expressive arts in different cultures and the evolution of contemporary expressive arts practices.
  • Foundational Principles: Demonstrate understanding of the basic principles of different expressive arts modalities, such as art therapy, dance therapy, psychodrama, and music therapy, and how these principles can be applied through a multimodal approach.
  • Professional Perspective: Apply the expressive arts through a systemic lens to address diverse clinical, social, and cultural issues that present in clinical and community-based practice.
  • Adlerian Psychology: Demonstrate how Adlerian theory can inform the application of the expressive arts through conceptualization and technique.
  • Artistic Expression and Mental Health: Conceptualize the relationship between artistic expression and individual mental health, including assessment, treatment planning, and techniques, as applied to selected client disorders within a cross-cultural context.
  • Multimodal Approach: Apply a multimodal approach of the expressive arts, including visual arts, movement, music, creative writing, and nature-based practices to foster the mind-body-spirit integration.
  • Ethical Consideration: Identify possible professional and ethical issues when using the expressive arts.
  • Inclusive Understanding and Ability: Identify and apply appropriate expressive arts modalities when working with special populations and diverse individuals, families, groups, and systems to help foster healthy self-expression and movement toward mental health wellness.
  • Personal Growth: Demonstrate personal and professional growth through the expressive arts.

Next Steps?

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