The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Plan or conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients’ physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.
Sample of reported job titles:
Art Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Art Therapist/Licensed Professional Counselor (Art Therapist/LPC), Counselor/Art Therapist, Day Treatment Clinician/Art Therapist, Group Therapist, Registered & Board Certified Art Therapist
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Talk with clients during art or other therapy sessions to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to the artistic process.
- Conduct art therapy sessions, providing guided self-expression experiences to help clients recover from, or cope with, cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments.
- Design art therapy sessions or programs to meet client’s goals or objectives.
- Write treatment plans, case summaries, or progress or other reports related to individual clients or client groups.
- Observe and document client reactions, progress, or other outcomes related to art therapy.
- Establish goals or objectives for art therapy sessions in consultation with clients or site administrators.
- Gather client information from sources such as case documentation, client observation, or interviews of client or family members.
- Develop individualized treatment plans that incorporate studio art therapy, counseling, or psychotherapy techniques.
- Assess client needs or disorders, using drawing, painting, sculpting, or other artistic processes.
- Communicate client assessment findings and recommendations in oral, written, audio, video, or other forms.
- Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for art therapy.
- Customize art therapy programs for specific client populations, such as those in schools, nursing homes, wellness centers, prisons, shelters, or hospitals.
- Select or prepare artistic media or related equipment or devices to accomplish therapy session objectives.
- Confer with other professionals on client’s treatment team to develop, coordinate, or integrate treatment plans.
- Recommend or purchase needed art supplies or equipment.
- Interpret the artistic creations of clients to assess their functioning, needs, or progress.
- Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns.
- Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of treatments or therapy approaches.
- Review research or literature in art therapy, psychology, or related disciplines.
- Teach art therapy techniques or processes to artists, interns, volunteers, or others.
- Instruct individuals or groups in the use of art media, such as paint, clay, or yarn.
- Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Therapy and Counseling — Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
- Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Detailed Work Activities
- Interact with patients to build rapport or provide emotional support.
- Treat patients using psychological therapies.
- Develop treatment plans that use non-medical therapies.
- Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
- Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
- Record patient medical histories.
- Establish treatment goals.
- Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
- Gather medical information from patient histories.
- Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
- Evaluate patient outcomes to determine effectiveness of treatments.
- Communicate test or assessment results to medical professionals.
- Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
- Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
- Select medical equipment for addressing patient needs.
- Order medical supplies or equipment.
- Supervise patient care personnel.
- Analyze quantitative data to determine effectiveness of treatments or therapies.
- Maintain medical or professional knowledge.
- Train caregivers or other non-medical personnel.
- Communicate health and wellness information to the public.
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 86% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 67% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 65% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Telephone — 71% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 86% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 52% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Electronic Mail — 52% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 40% responded “Very important.”
- Physical Proximity — 57% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Spend Time Sitting — 57% responded “More than half the time.”
- Time Pressure — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 38% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 45% responded “Important results.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 38% responded “More than half the time.”
- Letters and Memos — 29% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 38% responded “Important.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Interest code: SAI
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- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Therapists, All Other.
Employment data for Therapists, All Other.
Industry data for Therapists, All Other.
|Median wages (2019)||$25.31 hourly, $52,650 annual|
|Employment (2019)||32,600 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)|
Much faster than average (8% or higher)
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||2,400|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 wage data
and 2019-2029 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
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