Frequently Asked Questions

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GENERAL INFORMATION

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 or equivalent experience to have been completed before enrollment.

For information about prerequisites for the Art Psychotherapy Diploma, please see the FAQs for the Art Psychotherapy Diploma Program.

For prerequisites for the Specialized Expressive Arts Training Program, please see the 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
  • Scissors
  • Small recycled objects (toys, old jewelry, toilet paper cores, string, yarn, shells, etc.) for small sculptures
  • Paper of various sizes, colours, and weights
  • Shoeboxes
  • Buttons
  • Paintbrushes
  • Markers
  • Paints (watercolour and tempera)
  • Plasticine
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil crayons
  • Aluminum foil
  • Glue stick
  • Lego (optional)
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.

Please note that for the Clinical Art Therapy Diploma Program, our classes also include mandatory study groups that may occur in the morning or afternoon once per week. We will do our best to inform you of your upcoming class schedule, but please ensure that you make appropriate arrangements in order to successfully complete your educational requirements.

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 +1-250-419-7628.

Are there scholarships available to study at CiiAT?

Yes, several are available through CiiAT and CATA. CiiAT currently only has scholarships for the Art Psychotherapy Diploma Program (APD). To view scholarships for APD, please go to the program page and view “Tuition Fees & Scholarships”.

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our grants and donations have been impacted. Scholarships are based on availability of funds and strength of application.

To view CATA’s scholarships and bursaries, click here.

How can I reserve my spot in an upcoming non-diploma program?
After we receive your program application for TAPPs, AIC, or SEAT, we will invoice you for a $200 nonrefundable deposit. This deposit will be deducted from your first monthly tuition payment.

Until the deposit has been completed, we are unable to hold your seat for you.

What payment methods do you accept?
For students in North America, we accept direct payments through our secure invoicing system, Quickbooks. Available payment methods include Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and Apple Pay.

Canadian students have the additional option to pay by e-transfer to .

International students are invoiced through PayPal.

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.

BECOMING A REGISTERED ART THERAPIST

Is there a license in art therapy?
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.

From the Canadian Art Therapy Association:

“A Registered Canadian Art Therapist can use RCAT as a post nominal designation. They have a designated registration number and abide by the CATA-ACAT Standards of Practice. Registration with a professional association is increasingly being requested for employment in health practice. Registration indicates you are a Professional Member in good standing, have received additional training in your profession, received clinical supervision (50 hours for 1000 client contact hours) beyond graduation, display involvement in the art therapy community and are experienced in working with a variety of clients in diverse settings. Please see Registration Requirements for application details.”

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.

ART PSYCHOTHERAPY DIPLOMA PROGRAM (APD)

What's the difference between the Art Psychotherapy Diploma and the Clinical Art Therapy Diploma?

The Art Psychotherapy Diploma (APD) is effectively the Clinical Art Therapy Diploma (CATD), but expanded to include a stronger focus on telehealth and virtual art therapy. Aside from some additional courses, some course title changes, and a change in the general title from Clinical Art Therapist to Art Psychotherapist, no other changes have been made.

If you are a current student in the CATD Program, we will have already reached out to you. For additional questions, please contact the Enrollment Department.

Please note that graduates from either program are still able to register with the Canadian Art Therapy Association to use the title of Professional Art Therapist. For more information, please reach out to .

Like CATD, APD is approved by PTIB and recognized by CATA.

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, July, 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. However, when students begin their practicum, courseload increases to include Supervision, Case Studies, and Research & Arts-Based Methodologies (when applicable).

Do I need a background in art or psychology to apply? How well do I have to be able to draw and paint?

An educational or professional background in Social Sciences, the Arts, or a related field is a requirement for the diploma program.

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 or creating something, you will be able to sufficiently aid them in a therapeutic way.

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, life experience, and strengths in other personal dispositions.

How long will it take me to complete my clinical placement?

You must complete 350 direct client contact hours as part of your clinical placement. Duration of clinical placements depends on your individual situation.

Your diploma, including clinical placement, is expected to be completed within 24-30 months.

Can I accept paid positions for my clinical placement?

Yes, you are permitted to receive payment for clinical placements if you can arrange it.

Am I considered a Registered Art Therapist upon completion of the program?

Not right away. Upon graduation from CiiAT’s Art Psychotherapy 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.

What are the prerequisites for the Art Psychotherapy Diploma Program?

Please see the Art Psychotherapy Diploma page for admission requirements.

For the Post-Bachelor’s Diploma Program in Art Psychotherapy, 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 Art Psychotherapy, a masters degree in a related field is required.

There is no difference between the Post-BA and Post-MA diploma courses other than that Post-MA students are not required to write a thesis or complete the Research & Arts-Based Methodologies course.

What should my portfolio look like?

You will need to submit an electronic portfolio of 10 art pieces (in JPG, PNG, or PDF 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.

I already have a master's or doctorate degree. Am I required to take all classes?
For students who have completed their MA or PhD in a related field, these students are exempt from taking the Research & Arts-Based Methodologies course and will not be required to write a thesis.
How will my clinical placements be supervised?

Each of your clinical placement sites will have an on-site supervisor with whom you will meet regularly. You will also be supervised in all of your placements by a CiiAT 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.

How do I get a clinical placement in my community?

We will work with you to find a clinical placement. If you prefer a specific placement in your community of choice, we will be provide you with several resources and support, including a practicum orientation video and handbook.

Do you offer any online clinical placement opportunities?

Yes, we offer clinical placements in our Virtual Art Therapy Clinic.

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 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 has been approved by the Private Training Institutions Branch with the Ministry of Advanced Education in British Columbia.

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.

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 of education completed in English
Does this program certify me as an eco-art therapist?

While there is no professional 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 Art Psychotherapy Diploma Program. Successful completion of this program will lead to designation as a Professional or Registered Art Therapist, the only art therapy professional titles that are recognized by the Canadian Art Therapy Association.

THERAPEUTIC ARTS PRACTITIONER PROGRAM (TAPPS/TAMPS)

What is the difference between TAPPs and TAMPs?

The Therapeutic Arts Practitioner Program (TAPPs) is a professional development course composed of four modules:

1. Introduction to Therapeutic Arts

2. The Media Continuum

3. Group and Community Arts

4. Mindfulness and Contemplation in the Arts

Each module is 4 weeks long, and the total program length is 16 weeks. Modules must be completed in sequential order. Students are awarded the Therapeutic Arts Practitioner Certificate upon graduation.

The Therapeutic Arts Master Practitioner Program (TAMPs) includes three additional advanced modules:

5. Realigning Relationships

6. On the Spectrum

7. Shifting the PTSD Paradigm

Modules may be taken in any order, but all three modules (in addition to the TAPPs program) must be completed in order to receive the Therapeutic Arts Master Practitioner Certificate. Like TAPPs, each module is 4 weeks long. The total program length is 12 weeks.

Please note that graduation from either therapeutic arts program does not certify you in becoming a Professional Art Therapist. If you are interested in a career as an Art Therapist, please see our Art Psychotherapy Diploma.

How long does it take to complete the TAPPs and TAMPs programs?
The Therapeutic Arts Practitioner Program (TAPPs) is composed of four modules, each covering a different topic. Each module takes 4 weeks to complete. The total program is 16 weeks long. Modules 1 to 4 are taught over four 2-hour classes

The master level (TAMPs) requires the successful completion of all 7 modules, including the previous four modules from the TAPPs Program. Modules 5 to 7 are taught over four 3-hour classes.

Graduates of TAPPs will be granted the Therapeutic Arts Practitioner Certificate, and graduates of TAMPs will be granted the Therapeutic Arts Master Practitioner Certificate.

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!

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!
Do the modules need to be completed in order?
Modules 1-4 need to be completed in order. Therefore, Module 1 needs to be completed before Module 2, and so on.

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.

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
Can I work as an art therapist in other countries?

Completing our Art Psychotherapy 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 post-graduation, 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 Registered Canadian Art Therapist (RCAT) 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.

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.

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.

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