NHS Scotland Guide to Careers as an Arts TherapistWritten by Super Admin
Arts Therapists have to be highly knowledgeable and accomplished in music, art or drama. But as healthcare professionals, they also need to be able to relate to their clients and to help them to cope with the powerful emotions that are sometimes released during therapy. Arts Therapists also need a high level of self-awareness, and their training involves personal therapy.
An Art Therapist needs a degree in art and design or a relevant subject, plus at least a year's full-time experience working in health, social services or education. Qualified teachers, therapists and other professionals with a longstanding commitment to the visual arts are also considered.
A Music Therapist usually needs to have completed a three-year course leading to a qualification from a college of music or to a university music degree. Alternative qualifications in a subject such as education or psychology may be accepted if students can show a high standard of musical performance.
A Drama Therapist needs a degree in a relevant subject, such as drama or psychology, or another appropriate professional qualification, plus appropriate clinical experience and experience of practical drama work.
To work as an Arts Therapist in the NHS or social services you need a Master’s Degree from a course approved by the Health Professions Council. These courses – full-time or part-time – are available at a number of colleges and universities. For details of recognised courses in Scotland contact Queen Margaret University College.
Experienced practitioners may go on to a training, supervisory or management role, perhaps as head of an Arts Therapy Department. Some arts therapists go on to take further training in psychotherapy.
In Scotland, degree courses in Arts Therapy are offered by Queen Margaret University College Department of Occupational Therapy, Art Therapy and Music Therapy.
The British Association of Art Therapists
The Association of Professional Music Therapists
The British Association of Drama Therapists