CiiAT - Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy
Equivalent Standing Application Information

If you do not meet the standard admission requirements for the Art Psychotherapy Program, you may still be eligible to enroll at CiiAT by passing an Equivalency Assessment (EA). Students who are accepted through this assessment will graduate with qualifications to practice as Professional Art Therapists. However, to become a Registered Art Therapist in Canada, the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) may also require you to have a degree (such as a BA, BFA, BSW, or equivalent) in addition to a diploma from a recognized art therapy program like CiiAT.

An Equivalency Assessment (EA) evaluates what you have learned through non-formal education, training, or experience using valid and reliable methods. The primary goal of an EA is to confirm the knowledge gained, not just the experiences had. Applicants are responsible for providing documentation that demonstrates this learning, meeting the entry requirements of the Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy. This assessment can be used to validate the equivalency of a Bachelor’s degree or to fulfill specific psychology course credits needed for admission.

To evaluate prior learning and clinical work experience in order to establish a documented equivalency, applicants are requested to present documentation and material for the following categories as completely as possible. Areas for assessment include:

  • Formal education: completion/noncompletion, accomplishments, coursework covering similar material
  • Documented hours: Equivalent hours are required in addition to equivalent content to that of a BA or BSc
  • Informal education: workshops, conferences, general knowledge
  • Health factors and family situation
  • Psychology background and experience
  • Personal life experience
  • Writing and research skills
  • Motivation, organization, and discipline
  • Art background and experience
  • Therapeutic perspective and experience: personal work, groups/workshops
  • Therapeutic and communication skills
  • Perseverance, response to challenges
  • Employment: resume, years of experience, hours of client work
  • References from supervisors and colleagues

The Equivalency Assessment looks for knowledge and experience consistent with what comes from graduating from many post-secondary Canadian degrees. These traits and skills are an asset to the aspiring art therapy diploma student and help to establish preparedness for the program. What follows is a list of relevant traits:

Personal and Professional Development

  • Gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups
  • Practice personal reflection and self-correction to ensure continual professional development
  • Demonstrate professional demeanour in behaviour, appearance, and communication

Knowledge and Skills

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • English literacy
  • Clear and effective communication skills
  • Professional and ethical behaviour
  • Psychology literacy, understanding basic terms and theories
  • Recognition of the extent to which a culture’s structures and values may oppose, marginalize, alienate, create or enhance privilege and power
  • Recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences
  • Distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour and the social environment
  • Application of Knowledge and Skills: ● Engage in innovative and integrative thinking and problem solving ● Interpret, design, and conduct basic research ● Demonstrate effective writing, presentation, and teamwork skills ● Engage in research-informed practice ● Critique and apply knowledge to understand persons and environment ● Demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities ● Apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions