Art therapists are masters level professionals who hold a degree in art therapy or a related field. Educational requirements include: theories of art therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy; ethics and standards of practice; assessment and evaluation; individual, group, and family techniques; human and creative development; multicultural issues; research methods; and practicum experiences in clinical, community, and/or other settings. Art therapists are skilled in the application of a variety of art modalities (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other media) for assessment and treatment.

Art therapy is used with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, groups, and families to assess and treat mental health issues. Art therapists are masters level professionals who hold a degree in art therapy. To learn more about the professional credentialing of art therapists, please visit the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB).

The American Art Therapy Association’s Code of Ethics can be downloaded here. More information on on the ethical principles for art therapists can be found on AATA’s ethics page.


How do I become a registered and/or board certified art therapists?

Contact the ATCB National Office for Official Requirements at

The ATCB provides national registration (ATR) of completion for Master’s level work at an approved Art Therapy education program, two years of supervised practice and, board certification (BC) to those ATR art therapists who pass a nationally administered exam.

What are the advantages of becoming registered and board certified?

The ATR-BC is the highest credential you can earn as an art therapist. The ATR-BC is an assurance to employers, clients, and the public that you have met the rigorous standards set by a nationally recognized credentialing body.

What are the advantages of being a credentialed art therapist?

The ATR-BC is a national credential and is portable from state-to-state. The ATR-BC also means that you provide services within the ethical guidelines of the ATCB’s Code of Professional Practice.