Art therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people to resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.
Art therapy integrates the fields of human development, visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms), and the creative process with models of counseling and psychotherapy. Art therapy is used with children, adolescents, adults, older adults, groups, and families to assess and treat the following: anxiety, depression, and other mental and emotional problems and disorders; substance abuse and other addictions; family and relationship issues; abuse and domestic violence; social and emotional difficulties related to disability and illness; trauma and loss; physical, cognitive, and neurological problems; and psychosocial difficulties related to medical illness. Art therapy programs are found in a number of settings including hospitals, clinics, public and community agencies, wellness centers, educational institutions, businesses, and private practices.
Art therapists are masters' level professionals who hold a degree in art therapy or a related field. Educational requirements include: theories of art therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy; ethics and standards of practice; assessment and evaluation; individual, group, and family techniques; human and creative development; multicultural issues; research methods; and practicum experiences in clinical, community, and/or other settings. Art therapists are skilled in the application of a variety of art modalities (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other media) for assessment and treatment.
This minor is open to all students who have completed at least one semester of full-time study at Buffalo State and who are in good academic standing (2.00 or better GPA).
Transfer credits: A maximum of 6 transfer credits are accepted toward fulfillment of the minor.
The Buffalo State art therapy minor requires 21 credits including three core courses in art therapy and four courses in related prerequisite electives. The following curriculum lists the core and pre-requisite courses.
Please note that prerequisite courses are selected as per advisement with art therapy faculty. Students should seek faculty advisement prior to registration for each semester they are enrolled in the minor. Students planning on graduate studies in art therapy will be advised to take prerequisite courses that will fulfill graduate entrance requirements.
Other majors-only courses in psychology, exceptional education, and social work, may fulfill the prerequisite contingent upon approval of the art therapy minor coordinator. Also note that the minor program of study may contain no more than two courses at the 100 or 200 level.
Core Courses in Art Therapy
ATS 320 Introduction to Art Therapy 3
Prerequisite Electives (2 courses, 6 credit hours)
Two human service courses:
PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology
PSY 311 Personality: Theory and Research
PSY 327 Adult Development and Aging I
PSY 340 Cognitive Psychology
PSY 355 Life Span Developmental Psychology
PSY 356 Child Development
PSY 357 Adolescent and Young Adult Development
PSY 388: Psychology of Death and Dying
PSY 411 Abnormal Psychology
PSY 416 Abnormal Child Psychology
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
SOC 320 Sociology of the Family
SOC 321 The African American Family
SOC 370 Sociology of Deviant Behavior
SOC 391 Sociology of Addiction
SOC 393 Sociology of Mental Illness
SWK 105 Interpersonal Relations
SWK 220 Introduction to Social Work
SWK 307 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
SWK 308 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I
SWK 335: Mental Health and Social Work
SWK 346 Child Abuse and Neglect
SWK 425 Social Work with Families
AED 310: Art Media and Methods Exploration (3)
Prerequisite Elective (1 course, 3 credits)
Any Visual Arts Studio Course (representative listing below)
NOTE: Art history courses do not satisfy this requirement. The course must be studio-based, hands-on with art materials and media.
AED 100 Essentials of Visual Arts
DES 101 Introduction to Design Two Dimensional I
DES 103 Introduction to Design Three Dimensional I
DES 114 Workshop in Crafts
FAR 101 Drawing I
FAR 102 Drawing II
FAR 103 Modeling
FAR 210 Introductory Painting
FAR 220 Introductory Photography
FAR 230 Introductory Printmaking
FAR 240 Introductory Sculpture
ATS 325: Arts and Special Needs (3 credits)
Prerequisite Elective (1 course, 3 credits)
A course from Exceptional Education or Educational Foundations
EXE 100 Nature and Needs of Individuals with Special Needs
EXE 245 Community Service with Individuals with Special Needs
EXE 314 Psychology of Individuals with Special Needs
EDF 202 Child Development and Education
EDF 311 Family Violence
EDF 353 Human Development, Early Adolescence
Total credit hours (21)
For more information or to schedule an advisement appointment, please call:
Art Education Department, (716)878-4106
Professor Lucy Andrus
Coordinator, Art Therapy Minor
Bishop Hall 107
Bishop Hall 109