Art Therapy Concentration

Art Therapy Concentration

Contemplative Wisdom – Compassionate Action

Mission Statement of the Naropa University Art Therapy Program

The foundation of the Naropa University art therapy program is mindfulness meditation training, studio art, and an integration of transpersonal, traditional, and community-based approaches to counseling. Within an atmosphere of contemplative education including respect for ethnic and cultural differences, students cultivate their introspective wisdom while skillfully applying this awareness to their clinical work. Learners ultimately develop flexible professional identities by participating in a studio-based practicum, a clinical practicum, and a fulltime internship. Graduates work in multidisciplinary teams, including social service agencies, community art studios, and with proper supervision, in private practice. Additionally, graduates work as advocates addressing institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and client success.

Approved by the American Art Therapy Association, Naropa University's Art Therapy program emphasizes the integration of intellectual and emotional development with social and spiritual awareness.

"Transpersonal Art Therapy, as taught at Naropa, is both a perspective and a path. As a perspective, it encourages one to hold and blend spiritual convictions with therapeutic work. In terms of assessment and treatment, the transpersonal Art Therapist works toward the balance of body, mind, emotions and spirit." -- Art Therapy faculty Mimi Farelly-Hansen and Michael Franklin

This practical approach begins with oneself. It is essential that the transpersonally based Art Therapist be grounded, be open to the fruits of contemplative and creative practices, and continue to strive for the integration of diverse viewpoints.

The Transpersonal approach to Art Therapy embraces a visionary perspective for the field without ignoring traditional therapeutic applications of art and psychotherapy. As flexible as the creative process itself, Transpersonal Art Therapy mindfully integrates traditional and new paradigms with the wisdom of ancient spiritual systems. The discipline of creating art, which has been the inspiration for the field, invites you to enter into an authentic relationship with culture, self, process and product.

Integrating diverse perspectives, the Art Therapy concentration strives to support your spiritual / contemplative, artistic and academic unfolding. The program features an innovative learning environment that encourages your journey toward professional and spiritual wholeness. This is accomplished through progressive approaches to the field of art therapy as well as active participation with a sitting meditation practice.

As an Art Therapy program student, you'll do two practica and a full time internship in your third year. During your first practicum in the Naropa Community Art Studio (NCAS), you work with various community groups. You will also learn how to design, create a community-based art studio. In your second year, you will do a clinical practicum at a local or regional agency. And in your final year, you participate in a full-time internship at a local or regional agency. In addition, you will have completed the overall course work necessary to fulfill the postgraduation requirements for eventual registration (ATR) with the American Art Therapy Association.

Naropa University's Art Therapy graduates have found meaningful work in schools, hospitals, hospices, private practice, community-based agencies, community mental health centers, youth centers, senior centers, and more.

Request more information about the MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Art Therapy