MA PSYCH 2000x872art_therapy
mA PSYCH 828x738ArtTherapy

Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with a concentration in

Transpersonal Art Therapy

The foundation of Naropa's Transpersonal Art Therapy program is mindfulness meditation training, studio art, community-based service, and integration of transpersonal theory with clinical approaches to counseling.

Our clinically focused master's in transpersonal art therapy exists to prepare competent entry-level Art Therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Alumni of our art therapy master's program become art therapists or mental health clinicians who treat the whole person through a transpersonal, social justice lens. Build a fulfilling career that weaves your passion for studio art with your desire to help others.

The Transpersonal Art Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs ( upon the recommendation of The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education.

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

Meet Transpersonal Art Therapy Graduate
Paula Gasparini-Santos

Check out the video below to learn more about how one can bridge art and a clinical approach to counseling.


Quick Facts









Studio Art and Clinical Experience

of Studio Art
& Clinical Experience




Supervised Clinical Hours Needed for Licensure

Supervised Clinical Hours Needed for Licensure


Courses You Could Take

in Transpersonal Art Therapy

Learn how to be a transpersonal art therapist from nationally recognized faculty. Our graduate courses emphasize academic rigor, emotional and imaginal intelligence, and spiritual values. Throughout the Naropa transpersonal art therapy program, graduate students will also complete 190 direct art contact hours of studio-based work. Master’s in transpersonal art therapy courses include:

Other Concentrations in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling

Learn how to put mindfulness at the center of your future counseling practice in a master's degree program that extends your study of body and mind to an exploration of heart and soul.

Transpersonal Wilderness Therapy

Prepare for practice as a psychotherapist in both clinical mental health settings and the great outdoors through a graduate degree program that explores the transformative power of nature.

Somatic Counseling: Body Psychotherapy

Learn to heal both mind and body using powerful somatic techniques that combine clinical mental health theory and body psychotherapy in a master’s degree that’s one of the first of its kind.

Somatic Counseling: Dance/Movement Therapy

Develop clinical skills in using movement as a tool for healing in a master's degree program that allows you to design a career around your love for dance.

Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology

Learn to guide others with humility and compassion in a master's degree program grounded in the Buddhist contemplative wisdom tradition. 

The Naropa Difference

Naropa’s Transpersonal Art Therapy concentration in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program integrates transpersonal theory with clinical approaches to counseling. Our graduate degree program helps you—and your future clients—find healing through art.


Community Engagement

The Naropa Community Art Studio (NCAS) and the Naropa Community Counseling Center offer deep engagement for burgeoning art therapists.

Through the NCAS, transpersonal art therapy concentration students learn to design, create, and finance a community studio space to serve diverse groups of people.

The Community Counseling Center, an internship location for third-year art therapy graduate students, offers contemplative and mindfulness healing services to low- and middle-income community members on a sliding fee basis.

Through these and other opportunities, Naropa’s graduate program in transpersonal art therapy is dedicated to developing socially engaged art therapists.


Social Justice Focus

Being a therapist no longer means sitting across from another person without an understanding of their larger social context. Naropa’s transpersonal art therapy master's program requires art therapists to take courses with a social justice and multicultural approach.

Our Social and Multicultural Foundations graduate course explores cultural awareness and the nature of biases as they relate to the role of counselor. The Civic Engagement Studio Practicum, a fifty-hour community-based placement for transpersonal art therapy graduate students, stresses civic responsibility, service-learning values, and cultural/social interventions for art therapists.


Expert Faculty

Naropa's award-winning transpersonal art therapy faculty are published authors, accomplished artists, and community innovators with extensive clinical experience in transpersonal art therapy. The faculty approach to educating graduate students in transpersonal art therapy integrates the insights, attitudes, and practices of world wisdom traditions with modern psychological approaches.

In accordance with the tenets of the transpersonal art therapy concentration, each of the program’s faculty value mindfulness, creative communication, and civic engagement in their course development and interaction with graduate students.


Students Transformed

Paula Gasparini-Santos

“My training at Naropa has opened up a whole new world of insights as to how to be in relationship to others. I show up more authentically in my relationships now, and as a therapist there is no greater tool to learn.”

Paula Gasparini-Santos

MA in Transpersonal Art Therapy, 2018
Julie Mearkle Meditation Bowl

“The Naropa Art Therapy program has prepared me by teaching me to be open to questions, to be curious, and to trust the process, myself, and my training. I also find that my art therapy education gives me a wider avenue with which I can approach students and assist them in exploring, expressing, and healing themselves.”

Julie Mearkle, MA Art Therapy, 2007, LPC, ATR

School-based Therapist: Community Reach Center, Thornton, Colorado

“[A transpersonal art therapy perspective] takes all information into account, even the data that we can’t define, even the things we don’t have words for, even the things that seem to only exist in felt sense, even the things that seem impossible; and that type of approach allows for healing that goes deeper than some approaches have ever dared to brave.”

Elise Colley, MA in Clinical Mental Health

Counseling, Transpersonal Art Therapy, 2019

What to Expect