FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are there prerequisites for your programs?
There are no prerequisites for the Therapeutic Arts Practitioner Program (TAPPs) or Attachment Informed Certification (AIC). The Therapeutic Arts Master Practitioner Program (TAMPs) requires TAPPs to have been completed before enrollment.
For information about prerequisites for the Clinical Art Therapy Diploma, please see the FAQs for the Clinical Art Therapy Diploma Program.
For prerequisites for the Specialized Expressive Arts Training Program, please see FAQs for the Specialized Expressive Arts Training Program.
What materials are needed for classes?
Each class may have specific basic art materials which will be outlined before your class. The following is a list of general art materials you can expect to use in your classes.
- Oil pastels
- Old magazines for collage
- Small recycled objects (toys, old jewelry, toilet paper cores, string, yarn, shells, etc.) for small sculptures
- Paper of various sizes, colours, and weights
- Paints (watercolour and tempera)
- Pipe cleaners
- Masking tape
- Pencil crayons
- Aluminum foil
- Glue stick
- Lego (optional)
Are there scholarships available to study at CiiAT?
Can I work during my program?
Yes. Most of our virtual classes run from 8 AM to 11 AM PST, and on weekends and holidays for in-person campus classes.
What is your refund policy?
We follow PTIB’s refund policy. Once evaluations have been completed for a student, CiiAT reserves the right to retain up to 50% of tuition if the student chooses to withdraw from a program.
Who can I contact for more information about your programs?
You are welcome to email enrollment specific questions to .
You may also contact us at or reach us by phone at +1-866-452-4428.
BECOMING A REGISTERED ART THERAPIST
Is there a license in art therapy?
Although it is not a license, the Registered Canadian Art Therapist (RCAT) credential is recognized as the professional credential in art therapy. The RCAT is registered by the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) and is awarded to students graduating from CATA-approved programs who also complete 1000 paid supervised hours in direct client contact in the practice of art therapy. Once a graduate completes 1000 hours, he or she is considered RCAT-eligible, and can apply to be a CATA professional member.
Art therapists do not receive licenses in most countries, including Canada. However, it is recommended that you become a Registered Art Therapist with the Canadian Art Therapy Association.
How do I become a Registered Art Therapist?
In order to become a registered art therapist, you must complete 1000 supervised client hours under a registered RCAT (Canadian Art Therapy Association) or ATR (American Art Therapy Association). During this time we recommend that you register with CATA as a professional art therapist. After completion of the 1000 hours, you may then apply to CATA to become a registered art therapist. In order to apply for registration, you must be a CATA member for at least 6 months.
Registration is only granted to members once they have completed specific hours. Please check the CATA website for more details.
CLINICAL ART THERAPY DIPLOMA PROGRAM (CATD)
How does your class schedule work? When does the school year start?
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.
Our classes run one at a time, and seldom overlap. We try to accommodate working students, professionals, and those with families as much as possible.
What are the prerequisites for the Clinical Art Therapy Diploma Program?
For the Post-Bachelor’s Diploma Program in Clinical Art Therapy, a bachelor degree or its equivalent in the humanities field is required. Special consideration may be given to mature students or foreign students as deemed appropriate by the Advisory Committee. For the Post-Master’s Diploma in Clinical Art Therapy, a master’s degree in a related field is required.
You must also have taken at least 3 developmental psychology courses and an accepted fine arts course, such as drawing or painting. The fine arts courses may have been taken either at a post-secondary institution or privately with a qualified artist.
You may be accepted with two prerequisites outstanding, but they must be completed during the course of the CATD program.
Do I need a background in art or psychology to apply? How well do I have to be able to draw and paint?
Personal knowledge of the creative process and art as a way of knowing are essential to art therapy practice. You should be comfortable enough that if clients ask you for assistance with drawing something, you will not add to their frustration by being unable to help. The American Art Therapy Association 2007 Education Standards recommends “proficiency and disciplined commitment to art making…it is imperative that the applicant evidence a range of experience using a variety of art materials and processes.”
What should my portfolio look like?
You will need to submit an electronic portfolio of 10 or more art pieces (in JPG format) demonstrating your creativity and interest in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics or other 3D work. These media are frequently used in art therapy. Photography, woodwork, and other media are also acceptable.
We do not judge based on your artistic ability, but rather your use of creative expression.
How are applicants selected for admission?
Students are reviewed for admission if they have satisfied the admission criteria. We look at the application package as a whole and acknowledge that students apply to the program with strengths in different areas. We value volunteer experience, student commitment to professional direction and completion of the program, good interactive skills, ability to be reflective, and strengths in other personal dispositions.
I already have a master's degree. Am I required to take all classes?
A shorter post-master’s diploma is possible for students who have a prior MA in a related field.
How long will it take me to complete my practicum placement?
You must complete 300 direct client contact hours as part of your practicum. You can complete the core courses of the CATD program within 18 months, but completion of practica depends on your individual situation.
How will my placement be supervised?
Each of your practicum sites will have an on-site supervisor with whom you will meet regularly. You will also be supervised in all of your practica by a registered art therapist either in-person or via live video conferencing depending on where you live.The ratio of supervision hours in relation to client contact hours is based on the educational guidelines of the Canadian Art Therapy Association.
Can I accept paid positions for my placement?
Yes, you are permitted to receive payment for practicum if you can arrange it.
How do I get a practicum placement in my community?
We will work with you to find a placement in a community of your choice. You will be provided with several resources and support, including a practicum orientation video and handbook.
Am I considered a Registered Art Therapist upon completion of the program?
Not right away. Upon graduation from CiiAT’s Clinical Art Therapy Diploma program, you are certified to work as an art therapist and are eligible for professional membership within the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA).
If you choose to further your accreditation and become a Registered Canadian Art Therapist, you will need to complete 1000 hours of direct client contact hours and complete registration with CATA.
SPECIALIZED EXPRESSIVE ARTS TRAINING PROGRAM (SEAT)
What is eco-art therapy?
Eco-art therapy is an umbrella term used to encompass a variety of emerging fields including nature-based therapy, environmental therapy, and ecopsychology.
In eco-art therapy, specialized expressive arts therapies, nature-based arts therapies, or however we choose to name it, we look at the merging of two fields: eco therapy and art therapy. The focus is on developing a reciprocal relationship with nature and art to foster personal well being and environmental health.
Eco-art therapy focuses on how we:
- use our outdoor environment as an art therapy studio
- form therapeutic alliances in open spaces
- utilize the gifts of nature to foster change within clients’ healing processes
- cultivate an aesthetic response to nature, as a form of transformation
- introduce nature-based elements into the indoor art therapy space
- explore these concepts in theory and practice in the Specialized Expressive Arts Training Program
What are the admission requirements for SEAT?
In order to apply to the SEAT Program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of the Application Form
- Minimum age requirement of 19
- Paraprofessional in the field of education, health, or counselling, with a bachelor’s degree in the liberal arts or social sciences
- Minimum of 2 years’ experience in education completed in English
What kind of certification will I receive and what can I do with it?
Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive Specialized Expressive Arts Training Certification. This program is accredited with the Ministry of Advanced Education in British Columbia and is PTIB-designated.
While we do not have a specific certification in eco-art therapy yet, this broader certification in Specialized Expressive Arts Therapy from our institution will be useful in education, therapy, mental wellness, and a variety of other fields.
Does this program certify me as an eco-art therapist?
While there is no designation as an eco-art therapist, we recommend this program as an adjunct to an existing therapy, counseling, teaching, palliative, or social work practice. You will learn specific tools to use with clients, students, patients in health care settings, community-based agencies, and medical organizations.
If you are interested in becoming a Registered Art Therapist, we welcome you to apply to our Clinical Art Therapy Diploma Program. Successful completion of this program will lead to designation as a Registered Art Therapist, the only art therapy professional title that is recognized by the Canadian Art Therapy Association.
THERAPEUTIC ARTS PRACTITIONER PROGRAM (TAPPS/TAMPS)
What is the difference between TAPPs and TAMPs?
The Therapeutic Arts Master Practitioner Program (TAMPs) includes three additional advanced modules. Each module is taught over 4 weeks, and classes take place weekly for 3 hours in our virtual interactive classrooms.
Do I need a BA or diploma prior to enrollment in TAPPs? I am a self-taught artist.
For the Therapeutic Arts Practitioner Program (TAPPs), you do not need to have a formal degree. However, a love for creativity and art is definitely required!
How long does it take to complete the 7 modules of TAMPs?
The TAMPs Certification requires the successful completion of all 7 modules that are usually offered a minimum of twice a year. Modules 1 to 4 are taught over four 2-hour classes, while Modules 5 to 7 are taught over four 3-hour classes.
Graduates of TAMPs will be granted the Therapeutic Arts Master Practitioner Certificate.
Do the modules need to be completed in order?
Modules 1-4 need to be completed in order. The modules are typically scheduled a month or two apart. Depending on the cohort you are in, when the modules are offered will vary. This is because we are usually running more than one cohort at a time, and our schedule tries to ensure that students are able to complete the first four modules in the shortest time period possible.
Modules 1 and 2 need to be taken first before 3 and 4. Modules 1 and 2 may be taken at the same time.
Modules 5-7 (Realigning Relationships, On the Spectrum, and Shifting the PTSD Paradigm) may be taken in any order after the completion of modules 1-4.
Does the TAPPs Program count towards training for IEATA's REACE Program?
Because we are an approved school with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA), TAPPS may be eligible for the REACE Program. However, please ask IEATA since their rules may change from time to time.
Fun Fact: Our Clinical Director is both an instructor at CiiAT and a teacher for REACE!
WORKING AS AN ART THERAPIST
Does CiiAT help graduates get hired as an art therapist?
CiiAT is committed to helping you find a job and building your entrepreneurial skills. If you wish to open a private practice in your community, we are able to provide practical tools. However, we cannot guarantee job placements.
Several assignments in classes and supervision activities are intended to help prepare you for a successful job search, including:
- creating program proposals
- offering in-service presentations to practicum agencies who do not have art therapy
- advocacy assignments providing public information on the benefits of art therapy for various populations
Where do art therapists work? What are my chances for finding a job?
A number of our students have been hired by their practicum sites. Many art therapists also work in hospitals, community-based organizations, immigration service centres, palliative care centres, schools, assisted living centres, cancer centres, hospices, veteran facilities, and other community service agencies.
Furthermore, some school districts employ art therapists to assist children with learning challenges, including autism and other concerns. Some of our graduates have created their own employment in private practice or open studio settings.
Can I work as an art therapist in other countries?
Completing our Clinical Art Therapy Diploma Program qualifies you to register as a Professional Member with the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA). Once you have completed 1000 hours of direct client contact hours, you then become eligible to complete CATA Registration and become a Registered Art Therapist with CATA.
In many countries, it is common to call yourself an Art Exploration Therapist or a similar title. Upon successful registration with CATA, you will have the opportunity to call yourself a Canadian Registered Art Therapist while working in the USA or elsewhere. Keep in mind that each country may have its own separate requirements. We encourage you to consult with your country’s art therapy association.
What can a graduate expect to earn as an art therapist?
There is a range reported by graduates who have been hired as art therapists. This range includes criteria such as whether the position is full-time, part-time, or contractual. Contractual positions often pay a higher hourly rate than full-time or part-time positions that offer health or other benefits. Some employers have established salary ranks.
We recommend that students inform employers that art therapists should be paid commensurate with other psychotherapeutic clinical positions.