Clinical Art Therapy Diploma Program (CATD)



The CATD Program is a dynamic, comprehensive, and academically rigorous program that nourishes creativity, encourages critical thinking, and welcomes unique perspectives. Experiential and embodied learning fosters student competence, flexibility and professional skill development that enables art therapists to meet the complex demands of today’s clients.

We strive to be a community of equity and inclusion by welcoming students from many backgrounds and diverse cultures, creating space for all voices to be heard. The CATD Program helps students navigate the political and cultural challenges of our times by integrating traditional psychodynamic theories with contemporary theories in art therapy. 

Graduates of the program become leaders in the field in the areas of professional practice, research, and theoretical development. 

Art Therapy Feathers
Art Therapy Feathers



While we accept applications year-round, diploma classes start at four different times throughout the year: January, April, June, and September.

If you are applying to our program, please indicate which month you would like to begin classes. Please note that the admission process takes about 4-6 weeks from application to your first class.


Admission Requirements

Prospective students must submit or demonstrate:

  • A completed copy of the Application Form;
  • An undergraduate degree in Social Sciences, the Arts or a related field (the undergraduate degree requirement may be met through a documented Equivalency Assessment);
  • Proficiency in English;
  • A current resume and/or transcripts and certificates (showing proof of completion of 3 psychology courses that cover general counseling, abnormal psychology, and developmental psychology);
  • A portfolio of artwork (12-20 images showing a variety of media, which may include sculpture, painting, or photography)

Application Fees:

A non-refundable application fee of $150.00 is required to be submitted along with your application package. Payment can be made through calling or emailing.

Toll-free: 1-866-452-4428

Local: 1-778-817-1043

Email: [email protected]

Equivalency Assessments:

An Equivalency Assessment (EA) is available for applicants who do not hold or have not completed a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university required for admission to CiiAT.

The Equivalency Assessment application and process is to determine that the applicant has the required knowledge and skills that would match the equivalent of a university degree and would be successful in completing the program. The cost of applying for an EA is $200.

Interview and Acceptance of Admission

After your application has been accepted and approved, you will interview with a member of CiiAT’s faculty. Afterward, the Enrollment Director will notify you in writing of the admission decision. The Institute reserves the right to admit or deny admission to any applicant based on the professional judgment of the Executive and Clinical Directors and administration involved in the admission process.

Tuition Fees

$28,000 over a monthly payment period of 20 months
$1400 per month
$22,600 over a monthly payment period of 16 months
$1412.50 per month
Additional Fees
  • Textbooks
  • Art supplies
  • Courses must be completed within two years or a course extension fee may be applied.
  • Practicum must be completed within two years of practicum initiation or an extension fee may be applied.


The Lucille Proulx Legacy Scholarship

The Lucille Proulx Legacy scholarship is for prospective CiiAT students with a proven commitment to art as a tool for healing in their community.

Award: Up to $5,000 in tuition credit

Application Requirements: Requirements include submitting a 2,500 word written essay in APA format, about the applicant’s work in the field, with a pictorial compilation demonstrating community-based artwork. This scholarship will require an interview with a CiiAT Director.

Serve & Protect Scholarship

This scholarship is available to Canadian veterans, fire, police, and ambulance personnel.

Award: Up to $2,000 in tuition credit

Application Requirements: A 1,000 word written reflective essay, photo essay or video about how art and creativity have helped them or others. Proof of service is required.

CiiAT Master’s Stipend

For prospective CiiAT students who have finished their Master’s Degree in the field of humanities; such as Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy and related fields.

Award: $1,000-$3,000 tuition credit

Application Requirements: Requirements include submitting an arts-based description of their Master’s thesis along with the thesis abstract. This scholarship will require an interview with a CiiAT Director.

CiiAT Library Scholarship

This Library scholarship is designated to support students with purchasing art therapy books for their training.

Award: $500 tuition credit

Application Requirements: Eligibility criteria includes submitting a 1,500 word essay in APA format, about what art therapy means to them with personal art reflections embedded. Awardees will be required to submit for publication to the CATA newsletter in their second year of training.

The Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) also offers sponsorships and bursaries.

Course Description

Art Therapy History, Approaches and Applied Theories


Apply approaches from traditional psychotherapy to art therapy. Investigate client-inspired artworks using theories including psychoanalytic, object relations, humanistic, developmental, cognitive behavioural, gestalt, and phenomenological. Through lecture, video, art-making, and reflection with instructors, students will achieve a working knowledge of the similarities and differences between the various theoretical constructs, and be able to recognize when and how to apply such theories and approaches to best serve their clients.

Ethical and Legal Issues in Clinical Art Therapy


Explore the ethical considerations in art therapy that combine to form the basis of the practicing art therapist’s values and beliefs. Gain a thorough knowledge of the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) code of Ethics, evaluate the ethical dilemmas, and make clinical decisions based on art therapy ethical principles and legal requirements.

Art Therapy and Mental Illness

Mental IllnessExamine the relationship between art, psychopathology, creativity, and healing. Students are provided with the opportunity to expand the concept of the progressive development and application of art therapy, effective treatment goals, and interventions with various client populations. Investigate and learn how to use art therapy interventions with clients experiencing symptoms of the major diagnostic categories described in the current The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Art Therapy with Children and Youth

Children Youth

Gain a comprehensive overview of an attachment-informed art therapy model with a focus on dyadic work between children and caregivers, as well as adolescents and adults. Learn about the art therapy process as a vehicle for changing internal working models; creating a secure base in the therapeutic relationship with clients; formulating and processing relationship experiences; transference and countertransference; and working with different attachment styles or patterns, including insecure and conflicted.

Art Therapy with Families


Gain an introduction to the use of art therapy with families, including a review of the philosophy and epistemology of family therapy, systemic thinking, and attachment theory. Explore various applications and assessment techniques to family art therapy and family trauma, addressing family roles and hierarchies, strategic theory, re-framing, and role-playing. Investigate the complexities of culture in families and groups, and how this impacts the therapeutic relationship.

Studio Art Therapy with Individuals

Studio 1

This studio-based course focuses on art therapy with individuals. Learn how to work in a one-on-one model from the intake process through assessment, treatment planning, intervention, and closure. With a focus on applying theory, various techniques and key factors in clinical practice, students will have an opportunity to create art, and to practice the role of the art therapist with their instructor and peers.

Studio Art Therapy with Dyads

Studio 2

This studio-based course focuses on art therapy with adult dyads/couples, exploring ways to improve communication and build intimacy within a relationship.

Students have the opportunity to actively explore their own self-reflective process, and to integrate their experience into current conceptual frameworks for clinical practice. Explore how art therapy techniques might be used to support the attachment theory taken by an emotionally focused approach to couples’ therapy.  Students will blend their interpersonal art processes through instructor-led art-making, with small group debriefing sessions and discussions focused on theory, technique and clinical practice in art therapy with couples.

Studio Art Therapy with Groups


This studio-based course focuses on art therapy with groups. Learn group dynamic theories and approaches, and examine how to adapt facilitation practices for closed-ended and open-ended group formats. Experiment with a variety of art-making processes and materials and discuss their benefits in relation to a range of clinical presentations including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and stress-related disorders.

Mandated and volunteer groups, and community studios – commonly referred to as Art Hives, will also be discussed.  

Art Therapy Research and Arts-Based Methodologies

ResearchExplore advanced qualitative arts-based research approaches and gain a deeper understanding of research methodology and how to apply it specifically to a thesis question. Learn the construction of a literature review. There is a strong focus on critical thinking and further developing skills in presenting case studies as a research method.

*Post-MA students may not be required to take this course. Please check with your enrollment advisor.

Art Therapy Thesis/Arts-Based Research Project

ThesisGain the framework to focus on the integration of research skills that are relevant to art therapy practice and build an awareness of the ethical aspects of research and development work. With their research question at the forefront, students will gather data, analyze findings, and synthesize  results for their final presentation.
Arts Based Project


Two electives are required for the Diploma Program.
Electives on various topics will be delivered throughout the year. Special interest topics will include the expressive arts, mindfulness in the art process, ritual mandala making, and ecologically-based art therapy.
1. To explore in greater depth, media and its use.
2. To evaluate interventions based on a client’s age and stage of development.
3. To expand on the creative development of art therapy directives.


SupervisionAll students must receive a minimum of 70 hours supervision during the two-year program. Supervision includes planning, reviewing and evaluating art therapy services provided by the supervisee throughout the supervision process:

  • Review of the client art and clinical work
  • Case review of clinical files (includes intakes, progress notes, summary reports, treatment plans, termination
  • Discussion of referrals, agency relationships
  • Crisis intervention, limit setting, ethics, etc.
  • Discussion of group work: designing, planning, setting goals and exploring issues and dynamics.


Practicum Practicum (Work Experience)
A student proceeding toward a Diploma in Clinical Art Therapy is required to complete all requirements of clinical training in art therapy through Practica and Supervision. Students are required to complete non-paid clinical experience.

The practicum setting requires each student to be interviewed by the on-site supervisor prior to admittance into the Practicum site. Orientation by the practicum site staff may also be required.

Practicum includes direct client contact, set up, clean up, record keeping about the art and client notes.

2 Case studies (and/or participant reviews in open studio at the discretion of supervisor) are required within one month of completion of Practicum.