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The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Art Therapy program at SVA is interdisciplinary in approach, integrating the experiential components of art therapy practice within a comprehensive framework of academic theory and clinical application. Students learn to adapt the creative process to the specific therapeutic needs of the individual, population and setting, with a consideration of how socio-political and cultural issues impact treatment. SVA believes in active engagement with the community utilizing the diverse, multi-dimensional, artistic, and innovative atmosphere of NYC and beyond to enhance training.

Degree candidates must successfully complete 60 credits, including all required courses, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. A residency of two academic years is required. In exceptional instances, students may be allowed to transfer up to 15 credits from other accredited graduate programs. Decisions concerning transfer of credit and course exemptions are made by the committee on graduate admissions.

Students are trained in the psychodynamic roots of the art therapy profession along with contemporary theories of human development, creativity, and related fields. Students analyze changes in physical, cognitive, artistic and social-emotional development across the lifespan. Courses work in tandem with two years of internship and special projects in clinical, academic, medical and community settings. First year coursework involves training in fundamental theories, methods and evidence-based art therapy research. This includes an in-depth academic and experiential exploration of the therapeutic use of art materials with specific populations. The second year focuses on specialization, professional development and practical application. Students develop a clinically oriented thesis, which includes designing and conducting research that follows ethical guidelines. In addition, students choose from two specialization tracks: Addictionology or Trauma.

Tracks: Addictionology and Trauma
In the second year of study, students choose between two areas of specialization. Track selection informs the second year internship placement and is the focus of thesis work.

The Addictionology track explores neurobiology and its role in substance use and other addictive behaviors, the influence of attachment and trauma on capacities for self-regulation, and consequent reliance on chemical assistance and non-drug dependencies. Students will understand the role of art therapy in promoting enhanced capacities for integration and communication among neural systems and networks, allowing for optimal self-regulation and overall functioning.

The Trauma track explores the nature and effects of interactions between the environment and physiology of the individual. The impacts of profound, event-related or shock trauma, as well as developmental, attachment-based, and strain trauma is examined throughout the life cycle. Students will understand the role of art therapy in promoting a sense of efficacy and mastery that offsets the learned helplessness acquired during traumatic experience, and reintroducing clients to experiences of pleasure and play in a safe and manageable way.

Internships
The internship, a core component of SVA student training, is integrated into all academic coursework from the first semester of study, so that theory is consistently connected to practice. Students are required to complete an intensive 960 hours of on-site clinical work at two separate and diverse year long internships where they gain in-depth art therapy experience and professional training under the supervision of a licensed art therapist.

Affiliations with a wide range of prominent institutions and non-traditional sites in and around NYC ensure students are exposed to innovative advancements and current trends in art therapy, the fine art world and related fields. Through on-going individual consultation with a full-time internship coordinator, students obtain internships that correspond to their experience and SVA training standards while developing skills specific to seeking employment as an art therapist. Second year internships are based on

track selection and are the focus of thesis work so that didactic material is reinforced by work in the field. Students are expected to take an active role on-site and in supervision, developing leadership, advocacy and critical thinking skills. A fundamental part of internship training is considering the impact of socio-political issues, culture and power structures on treatment, as well as upholding the standards and ethical guidelines of the American Art Therapy Association, Art Therapy Credentials Board, and the New York State Education Department Office of Professions.

First-Year Requirements

ATG-5030 Theoretical Foundations of Art Therapy
ATG-5100 Child Art Development
ATG-5110 Adolescent Art Development
ATG-5130 Methods and Materials in Art Therapy
ATG-5150 Internship/Supervision in the Studio I
ATG-5155 Internship/Supervision in the Studio II
ATG-5180 Group Therapy and Practice
ATG-5240 Adult Art Development
ATG-5460 Psychiatric Populations/Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
ATG-5550 Interviewing and Counseling Skills

 

Second-Year Requirements

ADDICTIONOLOGY TRACK
ATG-6060 Clinical Topics in Addictionology
ATG-6090 Physiology of Addictions
ATG-6120 Thesis Project I
ATG-6125 Thesis Project II
ATG-6170 Internship /Supervision in the Studio III
ATG-6175 Internship/Supervision in the Studio IV
ATG-6210 Art Assessment and Diagnosis
ATG-6270 Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy
ATG-6490 Family Art Therapy
ATG-6520 Community Access Through the Arts
ATG-6700 Mandated Reporter Training Seminar

TRAUMA TRACK
ATG-6120 Thesis Project I
ATG-6125 Thesis Project II
ATG-6130 Physiology of Trauma
ATG-6140 Clinical Topics in Trauma
ATG-6170 Internship/Supervision in the Studio III
ATG-6175 Internship/Supervision in the Studio IV
ATG-6210 Art Assessment and Diagnosis
ATG-6270 Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy
ATG-6490 Family Art Therapy
ATG-6520 Community Access Through the Arts
ATG-6700 Mandated Reporter Training Seminar

MPS Art Therapy - General Requirements

ATG-5030
Theoretical Foundations of Art Therapy
Fall semester: 3 credits
The history of the theoretical aspects of art therapy will be explored. Analytic, behavioral, cognitive, interpersonal and humanistic approaches, important events, practitioners and the development of art therapy as a distinct therapeutic practice will be reviewed through readings, didactic and experiential sessions. Ethical and legal issues of art therapy practice, including certification, values, malpractice, confidentiality and an overview of psychotherapy theories relevant to art therapy will also be included in discussions and examined through case presentations and lectures.

ATG-5100
Child Art Development
Fall semester: 3 credits
The behavior of children—from birth through pre-adolescence—is the focus of this course. Through case presentations, readings and discussion, we will examine the physical, emotional and intellectual growth of children, and explore psychological and physiological factors, as well as cultural and environmental influences that impact learning, creativity and personality development. Psychopathology and art therapy treatment approaches are included.

ATG-5110
Adolescent Art Development
Spring semester: 3 credits
It is essential for art therapists to have an understanding of the individuals with whom they work. This course provides a theoretical framework from which adolescence will be examined in such areas as developmental processes in art expression, cognition, intra-psychic dynamics, environmental influences and the interrelationships among them. The role and impact of family, society, culture and trauma have upon adolescent development and functioning will be emphasized. Establishing a safe arena and therapeutic alliance in order to effectively implement art therapy as assessment, intervention and ongoing treatment will be addressed.

ATG-5130
Methods and Materials in Art Therapy
Fall semester: 3 credits
This course will enable students to examine the use of paints, inks, organic art processes, sculpture materials and other traditional and nontraditional art media and their uses with specific client populations. Salient features of particular materials and expressive dimensions will be discussed, including relevant technology. Students will explore the impact of art processes and materials through ongoing participation in personal art-making. By strengthening their connection to the creative process, students will gain an understanding of personal symbolic language, and arts-based learning allowing for the opportunity to integrate intellectual, emotional, artistic and interpersonal knowledge.

ATG-5150 / ATG-5155
Internship/Supervision in the Studio I and II
Fall and spring semesters: 3 credits per semester
The MPS Art Therapy Department has developed numerous affiliations with a wide variety of institutions in and around New York City. Working with the field placement coordinator, each student will be placed in a supervised internship that corresponds with his or her area of specialization. Students are required to spend 16 hours per week at an internship site each semester. Small-group supervision will also be provided by SVA faculty members through a unique studio-based component of this course. This will give students a regular opportunity to reflect on their work with clients and to further their own artistic development as they explore the challenges of artist-as-therapist. Students will explore professional identity, professional ethics and the ethical practice of art therapy and the proper application of ethical and legal principles of art therapy practice, and gain familiarity with the ethical standards of the American Art Therapy Association and Art Therapy Credentials Board as well as other related fields.

ATG-5180
Group Therapy and Practice
Spring semester: 3 credits
This course will assist in the development of clinical skills through an exploration of techniques and practices. Topics will include standards and methods of documentation, treatment planning, treatment team reports (oral and written) and case presentation. Emphasis will be placed on theoretical and experiential understanding of group art therapy techniques—group dynamics and process, counseling methods, leadership styles and approaches, member roles and behaviors, selection criteria, short- and long-term group process, therapeutic factors and stages of group development. Contemporary theorists will also be critically surveyed. In addition, research methodologies and design will be explored for thesis/special project preparation.

ATG-5240
Adult Art Development
Spring semester: 3 credits
This course will examine the physical and emotional development of adults and explore the psychological and physiological factors involved. Specific emphasis will be placed on the variations of the aging process and how these manifest in behavior and creative expression. Normal development, psychopathology, clinical interventions and art therapy treatment approaches will be included.

ATG-5460
Psychiatric Populations and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
Spring semester: 3 credits
Psychopathology, as determined by the DSM multi-axial system, will be examined in depth. Case material will be presented for each diagnostic category and the clinical implications for the art therapist will be explored. Treatment approaches will be considered, as will indicators of functional and organic disorders in behavior and artwork of clients. Types of psychopharmacological medications will also be covered.

ATG-5550
Interviewing and Counseling Skills
Fall semester: 3 credits
Students will be introduced to assessment and evaluation techniques for the treatment of traumatized populations, chemically dependent clients and their families. Intake strategies for both short- and long-term settings, and developing counseling skills will be the primary focus. We will examine psychological theories, systems perspective, application to case material and critical thinking with regard to similarities and differences between art therapy and counseling interventions. Contemporary theories for treatment of substance abuse will be included, and we will address areas such as behavioral, cognitive, educational, creative arts and experiential work.

ATG-6060
Clinical Topics in Addictionology
Fall semester: 3 credits
The phenomenology of substance abuse, utilizing a bio-psychological model, will be examined. A review of the history and evolution of current modes of treatment, in addition to the rationale for the disease concept of alcoholism, will be offered.

ATG-6090
Physiology of Addictions
Spring semester: 3 credits
Contemporary neurochemical theories of addictions are the focus of this course. Neuroanatomy and physiology will be examined, as well as the use of psychotropic medication for treatment of substance abuse. An in-depth look at theories regarding the genetic etiology of substance abuse will be reviewed.

ATG-6120 / ATG-6125
Thesis Project I and II
Fall and spring semesters: 3 credits per semester
In these courses, students will be supervised by art therapy faculty members in the development and production of a thesis topic. Each project must be clinical in scope, present an original point of view and include supporting documentation of its concepts and findings. In addition, students may opt to explore grant-writing opportunities or other extensive in-depth projects. Structured methods and formats such as quantitative and qualitative research, formal case studies and arts-based research will be discussed. Students are required to present their thesis projects to peers and faculty. The department chair will oversee all projects.

ATG-6130
Physiology of Trauma
Fall semester: 3 credits
The effects that sudden and sustained trauma can have on brain chemistry will be examined in this course. We will consider the ways in which trauma biochemically alters how we process experiences, store memories and respond to external stimuli. Clinical approaches to assessing and addressing neurological results of trauma will be included, with consideration given to current neuro-biochemical research and the implications for art therapy treatment.

ATG-6140
Clinical Topics in Trauma
Spring semester: 3 credits
This course will explore psychological trauma and its broad range of causes and manifestations. Long-term negative consequences that result from single, prolonged and/or repeated traumatic experiences will be considered, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Situational trauma, such as those caused by living in an unstable or dangerous environment, will also be addressed. We will discuss various assessment methods and treatment approaches, with an emphasis on art therapy.

ATG-6170 / ATG-6175
Internship/Supervision in the Studio III and IV
Fall and spring semesters: 3 credits per semester
The MPS Art Therapy Department has developed numerous affiliations with a wide variety of institutions in and around New York City. Working with the field placement coordinator, each student will be placed in a supervised internship that corresponds with his or her area of specialization. Students are required to spend 16 hours per week at an internship site each semester. Small-group supervision will also be provided by SVA faculty members through a unique studio-based component of this course. This will give students a regular opportunity to reflect on their work with clients and to further their own artistic development as they explore the challenges of artist-as-therapist. Students will explore professional identity, professional ethics and the ethical practice of art therapy and the proper application of ethical and legal principles of art therapy practice, and gain familiarity with the ethical standards of the American Art Therapy Association and Art Therapy Credentials Board as well as other related fields.

ATG-6210
Art Assessment and Diagnosis
Fall semester: 3 credits
Art assessment and diagnostic materials will be explored through experiential sessions, didactic learning and casework. The fundamentals of art therapy assessment, statistical concepts (including reliability and validity) and familiarity with a variety of art therapy instruments and procedures used in appraisal and evaluation will be examined. Topics include: administration and documentation of art therapy assessment, formulation of treatment goals, basic concepts of testing and assessment, psychological and biopsychosocial assessment, statistical concepts including reliability and validity. Projective tests such as the Diagnostic Drawing Series (DDS), Levick Emotional and Cognitive Art Therapy Assessment (LECATA), Mandala Assessment Research Instrument (MARI), Silver Drawing Test of Cognition and Emotion, Ulman Personality Assessment Procedure (UPAP) and other psychometric instruments will be explored.

ATG-6270
Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy
Fall semester: 3 credits
The effect of ethnicity and culture in the therapeutic process will be examined in this course through case material, slide illustrations, didactic and experiential sessions. We will explore cultural determinants of problems encountered in the field of art therapy, and provide a foundation in cultural diversity theory and competency models that are applied to an understanding of artistic language, symbolism and meaning in artwork and art-making. Students will investigate the role of the art therapist in social justice, advocacy and conflict resolution, including theories of counseling and development of competencies essential for a responsive therapist with regard to age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socio-economic status, developmental disability and education, as well as family, religious and spiritual values. Cultural self-awareness through self-assessment and strategies for working with diverse communities with regard to attitudes, beliefs and competent practice will be examined.

ATG-6490
Family Art Therapy
Spring semester: 3 credits
Systems theory will provide the theoretical foundation for this course; family art therapy and strategic learning will be explored and experienced. To conceptualize the emotional phenomena within the family of origin offers practitioners the skills to maneuver in complex waters. When addiction, mental illness, physical disabilities and the effects of trauma exist within the system, every member is impacted with a life altering experience. To restore a functional adjustment and balance is the goal of the family art therapist. Research, genograms, case studies and literature will be part of the learning experience.

ATG-6520
Community Access Through the Arts
Spring semester: 3 credits
The professional role as an art therapist, with regard to function and relationship with other mental health providers, knowledge of professional organizations, credentialing and licensure will be covered. Students will learn how to create an in-service presentation, which will include didactic materials and client work, to appeal to various audiences. Alternatives to traditional methods of psychotherapeutic treatment will also be explored. Field visits to the Foundation Center, Materials for the Arts and museums will be included for observation and presentation purposes. Art therapy resources, grant writing, ethical and legal issues and the development of art therapy career counseling will be covered, plus skills considered essential in enabling individuals and organizations to positively affect career development and aptitude.

ATG-6700
Mandated Reporter Training Seminar
Students are required to receive training in the identification and reporting of child abuse offered by a New York State approved provider. Students are instructed in how to effectively report child abuse or maltreatment/neglect to the NYS Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register, evaluate situations to determine whether there is a reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment, and identify the physical and behavioral indicators commonly associated with child abuse. This seminar is offered at the beginning of each academic year.

 
SUMMER Art Therapy Program

ATG-6801
International Studies: Multicultural Issues
Summer semester, 3 weeks: 3 credits
Using an international location as a point of reference, the effects ethnicity and culture have on the therapeutic process will be examined through immersion, internship work and supervision. This course will explore the cultural determinants of issues encountered in the field of art therapy and provide a foundation in cultural diversity theory and competency models applied to an understanding of artistic language, symbolism and meaning in artwork and art-making. Students will investigate the role of the art therapist in social justice, advocacy and conflict resolution, including theories of counseling and development of competencies essential for a culturally responsive therapist with regard to age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socio-economic status, developmental disability, education, family values and religious and spiritual values. Cultural self-awareness through self-assessment, strategies for working with diverse communities and critical thinking with regard to attitudes, beliefs and competent practice will be explored. Students will be encouraged to share their own cultural beliefs and attitudes in relation to the practice of art therapy. On-site and small-group supervision and multicultural course work is provided. Students are required to attend and take an active role all class sessions, on-site internship work and related activities. Note: This course can be taken in lieu of ATG-6270, Multicultural Issues in Art Therapy.

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