Art Therapy

Art therapy is a relatively new branch of the expressive therapies branch. The American Art Therapy Association sets standards and grants certification. Usually a graduate degree in art therapy (a two-year program) and about one year’s working experience is required after graduation from Northwestern. On the undergraduate level, you should major in art. A double major of art and psychology is highly recommended.

Employment possibilities include positions in mental health hospitals, geriatric institutions, special education programs, prisons, detention facilities and veterans' hospitals. As an art therapist, you'll be qualified to aid psychiatrists and psychologists in diagnostic work, treatments, therapeutics, and social interactionary procedures which are extremely beneficial to the patient’s mental health.

Art department homepage

Recommended courses:

Completion of art major (36 credits)
PSY 100SS - Exploring Psychology
(4 credits)(IGE option under Self and Society) In this course students learnhow, using methodologies such asobservation, survey and experimentation, psychological science exploresthe causes and consequences of human action. An overview of majorfindings from the field of psychology such as biological bases ofbehavior, learning and memory, motivation and emotion, human development,personality, intelligence, psychopathology and therapy, the effect ofothers on individuals will be discussed and students will be encouragedto apply this knowledge to their own views and actions. Students willconsider why the integration of faith and science in understanding humansis important and will explore ways of accomplishing this integration.
PSY 260 - Psychology of Personality
Includes theories about the dynamics and structure of personality and current research on personality. The course emphasizes psychoanalytic, trait, humanistic and behavioral views of personality.Prerequisites: PSY111, 221, or both PSY224 and 225.(4 credits)
PSY 360 - Psychopathology
(4 credits) This course will provide a broad survey of what is considered to be disordered in behavior, emotional expression, and cognition in adults. Emphasis will be placed on a scientific view of psychopathology. The two main foci of the course are the (a) description of various behaviors, symptoms, syndromes and illnesses as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association, and (b) research and theories concerning etiology including discussion of environmental, biological, social and interactive perspectives. While intervention and childhood disorders will be discussed, they are not the primary focus of this course. Prerequisite: 4 credits of psychology courses.
PSY 402 - Introduction to Clinical Psychology
This course provides a first exposure to the theory and practice of clinical psychology. A major emphasis will be a review of the various theories of psychotherapy. The way in which these theories are applied within professional psychology constitutes a secondary, but strong, emphasis.Prerequisites: PSY111 and eight additional credits in psychology.(4 credits, alternate years, consult department)
Choose 4 credits:
PSY 221SS - Developmental Psychology: Childhood
(4 credits)(IGE option under Self and Society) This course explores the development of the child from the prenatal period into adolescence. Children's physical, cognitive, emotional, personality, social, moral and faith development is examined. Psychological research methods for studying children are covered.
PSY 224 - Developmental Psychology: Adolescence
Adolescents experience many changes in a few short years as they transition from childhood to adulthood. This course explores the major psychological issues and theories in adolescent development with emphasis on cognitive development, self-concept, peer relationships and sexuality, among others.(4 credits)
PSY 225 - Developmental Psychology: Adulthood
This course explores psychological issues and theories in normal adult development, with emphasis on cognitive, social and personality functioning from young adulthood to old age.(4 credits)

Total credits recommended beyond major: 20