AcademicsGraduate AcademicsClinical Mental Health CounselingTranspersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling

Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Concentration in Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling

The foundation of Naropa’s Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling 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 degree exists to prepare competent entry-level art therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

This fall, students will be engaging two new courses, Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Legal and Ethical Aspects of Counseling. The content and learning experiences presented in these courses was formerly distributed across several courses, and with this change Naropa provides more dedicated space for student learning on these two critical areas of professional counseling.

Graduates of our MA in Clinical Mental Health 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 Contemplative Art–Based Counseling 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

Discover Career Pathways for Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Graduates

Meet Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Graduate Paula Gasparini-Santos

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




of Studio Art
& Clinical


Clinical Hours
Needed for

Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Courses

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. Courses include:

Other Concentrations in Clinical Mental Health 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.

Nature’s power to improve our mental health is profound. Gain counseling skills, leadership capabilities, and experience in a number of nature-based therapeutic modalities.

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

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.

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 Contemplative Art–Based Counseling 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 Contemplative Art–Based Counseling 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.


Two people sitting together side by side, only visible from the chest upwards. One is a man with short grey hair and round glasses, and the other is a woman with long, wavy dark brown hair. They are both wearing aprons and their hands are stained with clay.

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

Student Transformed

What to Expect

Find your calling as a licensed professional counselor or registered art therapist.
Readiness for a Fulfilling Career
Develop moment-to-moment awareness for yourself and your future clients.
Leverage the power of art therapy to meet the needs of diverse communities.
Community Involvement
Learn a respectful, justice-oriented approach to your role as counselor.
Diversity Awareness
Explore the benefits of art therapy in a studio setting.
in Studio
Art Therapy

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.