Pursuing a Graduate Education in Art Therapy…in Texas


Pursuing a Graduate Education in Art Therapy…in Texas

From time to time I am contacted by individuals who are excited about the creative process and its therapeutic applications, and these people want to know where in the Austin area they can pursue a graduate education in art therapy.  Well…if they’re hoping for a brick-and-mortar institution, they wind up disappointed.  The entire state of Texas lacks an art therapy master’s degree program.


Hard to believe, given that art therapists have title protection through the Licensed Professional Counselor Act, Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 503.  The LPC-AT (“licensed professional counselor with art therapy specialty”, in longhand) was created to protect the public from practitioners who don’t meet the state’s requirements for holding themselves out as art therapists, yet Texas has no way of adding to the existing (and stagnant) pool of LPC-ATs.  Instead, Texas loses money and local talent to out-of-state graduate art therapy programs.  Ouch!


But c’est la vie.  If you’re serious about pursuing a master’s degree in art therapy at a brick-and-mortar institution—and hopefully returning to Texas to become an LPC-AT—the American Art Therapy Association maintains a list of approved graduate degree programs as well as a list of related master’s and doctoral programs you might be interested in.  And if relocating is not an option for you, be sure to check out the approved program in Indiana, which offers distance learning (so it’s technically out-of-state, but you could complete most of it in Texas!).  Just be aware that no matter what school you decide upon, you’ll have to do some dot-connecting when it comes down to obtaining your license here; no out-of-state program is specifically geared to help you obtain credentials in the Lone Star State.


In the meantime, potential students with their potential tuition money need to speak up to Texas institutions of higher education!  If only those institutions knew how many wanna-be art therapists there are in this state, they’d be creating opportunities for dreams to come true.  Several Texas colleges and universities have been approached about this over the years by art therapists—a.k.a. people who won’t be paying tuition money.  And that’s why your options for pursuing graduate studies in art therapy continue to lie beyond the state line.  But remember: if people can change, so can the institutions that serve them!  I continue to hold out hope…


With appreciation for the important work you do,

Megan February 2012

About the Image on This Page

This is a thumbnail of Public Domain Texture, posted to The Public Domain website by Mitch Featherston in 2012. Click here for more information.