AcademicsGraduate AcademicsClinical Mental Health CounselingTranspersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA

Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Concentration

Naropa’s Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling integrates transpersonal theory with a clinical approach to counseling. This concentration of our Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate degree program helps you—and your future clients—find healing through the transformative power of art. 

About this Concentration

The foundation of this concentration program is mindfulness meditation training, studio art, community-based service, and integration of transpersonal theory with clinical approaches to counseling.

Our clinically focused Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling program exists to prepare art-based counselors in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

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

Naropa’s CMHC concentration program in Art-Based Counseling is dedicated to developing socially engaged creative arts counselors. Students engage with the community through practicum and internship, offering art-based counseling services in a variety of clinical settings. The Naropa Community Art Studio (NCAS) teaches students how to design, create, and finance a community studio space to serve diverse groups of people. 

Being a counselor requires awareness of one’s own social context, and the social context of those we serve. Naropa’s Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling master’s program requires counselors-in-training to take courses with a social justice and multicultural approach.

Naropa’s award-winning Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling faculty are published authors, accomplished artists, and community innovators with extensive clinical experience.

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Quick Facts

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Program Format

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Concentration is a 3-year on-campus degree.

It consists of specific art-based counseling coursework combined with counseling and contemplative studies training to prepare competent entry-level counselors holistically.

Throughout the program, students also participate in 190 direct art contact hours of studio-based work. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education. 

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Course Spotlight

Studio I: Inquiry, Process & Materials

Art-based research combined with contemplative practice is carefully integrated into the investigation of various art processes and materials throughout the semester. The open studio model is followed, allowing students to practice mindfulness through process painting, drawing, and sculpture projects.


The Transpersonal Contemplative Art–Based Counseling Concentration is a 67.5-credit program. Besides completing regular coursework, students are required to complete a Counseling Practicum during their second year, to develop their counseling skills through fieldwork at a community agency with on-site supervision. During their third year, students will complete a 700-hour clinical field placement with on-site supervision.

Transpersonal Contemplative Art-based Counseling

  • CMHC 600, Foundations and Orientation of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)
  • CNSA 600, Orientation Seminar (0)
  • CNSA 604, Foundations of Transpersonal Art Therapy in Counseling (3)
  • CNST 622, Foundations of Mindfulness (2)
  • CNSA 634, History and Theory of Art Therapy (3)
  • CMHC 603, Counseling and Helping Relationships I (3)
  • CMHC 601, Social/Multicultural Foundations (3)
  • CNSA 664, Civic Engagement Studio Practicum (0.5)
  • CMHC 606, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Counseling (3)

Choose One of the following:

  • CNST 670, Transpersonal Counseling (3)
  • CNST 673, Jungian Approaches in Counseling (3)

First year, summer (Off, 0 credits)

  • CMHC 604, Counseling and Helping Relationships II (3)
  • CMHC 602, Human Growth and Development (3)
  • CMHC 605, Group Counseling (3)
  • CNSA 755, Art-based Counseling with Adult Populations (2)
  • CMHC 607, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning (3)
  • CMHC 620, Counseling Practicum (3)
  • CNSA 624, Studio I: Inquiry, Process & Materials (2)
  • CNSA 734, Art-based Counseling with Children & Adolescents (3)
  • CMHC 621, Initial Internship (2)
  • CMHC 609, Research & Program Evaluation (3)
  • CMHC 608, Assessment (3)
  • CMHC 615, Capstone I (1)
  • CMHC 622, Internship I (3)
  • CMHC 610, Career Development (3)
  • CMHC 623, Winter Intercession Internship (0)
  • CMHC 624, Internship II (3)
  • CMHC 616, Capstone II (1)
  • CNSA 834, Studio II: Inquiry, Process & Materials (1)
  • CNST 721, Cultivating Mindful Presence (2) 

Why Choose Naropa?

CAAHEP Accreditation

Naropa’s Art-Based Counseling program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) upon the recommendation of The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education.

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Agency Network

Naropa has an extensive network of human service agencies where students can carry out their practicum and field placements. In addition to acquiring real work experience and developing their skills, students can connect with professionals and institutions in the field.

Licensure Support

Naropa provides Credentialing and Licensure support to students who want to obtain licensure or credentialing to practice Clinical Mental Health Counseling, even post-graduation.

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How this Program Prepares You

Real-life professional experience

Practicums and field placements provide real-life scenarios in which students apply their knowledge and skills in a professional setting and capacity, allowing them to develop and improve their counseling abilities.

Transdisciplinary approach & skill set

As a transdisciplinary profession, art-based counseling involves intensive studies in the visual arts, the behavioral sciences, and the development of adept counseling skills. Students become culturally competent, clinically astute, socially engaged counselors, artists, and art therapists.

Comprehensive & multifaceted program

The program provides training grounded in rigorous academic work, the practices of critical thinking and contemplation, and the skillful application of effective clinical skills. As such, the program is well-rounded in all critical areas that pertain to the professional formation of art-based counselors.

What You'll Learn

Readiness for a Fulfilling Career

Find your calling as a licensed professional counselor or registered art therapist.


Develop moment-to-moment awareness for yourself and your future clients.

Community Involvement

Leverage the power of art-based counseling to meet the needs of diverse communities.

Diversity Awareness

Learn a justice-oriented approach to your role as a counselor.