Creative Arts Therapy
Established in 1970, Pratt’s Department of Creative Arts Therapy is one of the oldest graduate creative arts therapy training programs in the country. Pratt offers a Master of Professional Studies in Art Therapy and Creativity Development and a Master of Science in Dance/ Movement Therapy. Students learn creative arts therapy skills as applied to a wide variety of patient populations, including psychiatric inpatient and outpatient, substance abuse, geriatric, special education, therapeutic nurseries, after-school programs, families, medical rehabilitation, child life, eating disorders, the HIV/AIDS community, the homeless, and traumatized populations, as well as work in prevention and wellness. At the end of their training, they are prepared for entry work in a broad continuum of settings, ranging from institutions to creative work in the community.
Our students learn to combine personal artistry with clinical acumen through the integration of experiential, theoretical, and practical learning. Our goal is to help students be able to use a complex and open theoretical framework that makes it possible for them to respond to a multitude of clinical situations. They learn to use themselves in the most creative ways possible, while being grounded in developmental and diagnostic skills, and group and individual dynamics. Each student is encouraged to develop his or her own unique style, informed by an experiential process.
The core of our teaching philosophy is the primacy of creative expression informed by psychological, developmental, and relational theory as the path to integration and healing. Experiential learning and process orientation are the cornerstones of our curriculum. Every course includes some experiential components, and the department maintains an environment that supports and encourages the students’ involvement in that process. Accordingly, we are committed to maintaining small class sizes, enhancing communication between students and faculty, and encouraging discussion of the learning process itself.
One of the strongest elements of our program is the synthesis of the theoretical and the practical. Our program combines practicum/internship assignments with coursework from beginning to end, providing graduates with a firm grounding in the actual practice of art and dance/movement therapy upon graduation. Students attend two days of fieldwork/practicum/internship weekly. Art therapy students complete one practicum in each of their two years. Dance/movement therapy students complete 200 hours of fieldwork plus 280 hours of internship in their first year and a 480-hour internship with a second population in their second year. They receive weekly on-site supervision. In addition, they engage in weekly group and bi-monthly individual supervision sessions with a member of our faculty. Because Pratt is located in a large urban center, there are a wide variety of practicum sites with a range of populations. Our internship coordinators assist students in finding appropriate clinical placements based on the learning needs of each individual student.
There is richness to be gained from integrating both art therapy and dance/movement therapy students in the department. Students can learn about the nature of creative arts therapy in general and the particular strengths and limitations of their chosen modality. Though a majority of the courses are discipline specific, many of the classes combine art and dance therapy students so material is explored from both perspectives. Graduates receive discrete degrees in either art or dance therapy.
Knowledge of research and professional writing skills are developed across the curriculum through written assignments required in every class and the completion of a thesis. Students are given the option of a range of research methods, including quantitative and qualitative. The latter may include a case study, a project implemented in the community, or descriptive methods investigating the experience of a phenomenon or therapeutic process.
The American Art Therapy Association has approved the Art Therapy and Creativity Development degree. The Dance Therapy program is approved by the American Dance Therapy Association. Both programs are licensure-qualifying and graduates automatically satisfy educational requirements for licensure in New York State. For those considering a career in art or dance therapy or who want a basic introduction, we offer an Introduction to Art Therapy open to graduates and undergraduates with permission from the Chair of the Department.
Academic Year/Low Residency Formats
The Creative Arts Therapy program offers its degrees in two formats: The academic-year format offers classes in a traditional manner, with classes in fall and spring semesters, for 15 weeks each semester. The low-residency format is an innovative educational program based on a low-residency adult-learning model. The program is designed for those students who do not live near or are otherwise unable to engage in a traditional master’s degree format.
Students in the academic-year format are admitted for the fall semester only. Students in the low-residency format are admitted for the spring semester only. (See www.pratt.edu/apply for graduate requirements.)
Admission Requirements (for all degrees)
A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. For the Art Therapy program, a degree in art or psychology is preferred. For the Dance/Movement Therapy program, a degree in dance or psychology is preferred. The following prerequisites are required for all programs: 6 credits in psychology (to include coursework in development and abnormal psychology).
For the Art Therapy program only: 6 additional credits of psychology coursework plus 18 credits in studio art (to include coursework in drawing, painting, and 3-D to include ceramics).
For the Dance/Movement Therapy program only: 1 credit (15 hours) in Anatomy/Kinesiology, extensive experience in at least two idioms of dance, one of which must be improvisational dance, and experience in mind/body modalities, such as meditation, yoga, body therapy, etc.
All prerequisite courses may be taken on an undergraduate level but must be taken from an accredited institution to receive academic credit. Studio classes will be accepted for movement experience. For the Art Therapy program, students may start classes with half of the psychology and half of the studio art credits but must complete all prerequisites before the start of the second year. For the Dance/Movement Therapy program, students must have completed the 6 credits of psychology coursework but may complete the 1 credit of anatomy/kinesiology after they start the program. Psychology credits must be completed before the start of the second year.
Acting Assistant Chair
Assistant to the Chair
M.S. Art Therapy and Creativity Development, Pratt Institute.
B.A., M.A., State University of New York at Albany; M.S., Hunter College.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
B.A., Sarah Lawrence College; M.F.A., Parsons The New School for Design; Advance Certificate, Pratt Institute.
Adjunct Associate Professor, CCE
M.P.S., Pratt Institute.
Visiting Assistant Professor
B.A., Kent State University; M.A., University of California, Los Angeles; Ph.D., Santa Barbara Graduate Institute.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, CCE
M.S., Hunter College.
M.S. Dance Therapy, Hunter College.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Nancy Herard-Marshall, MS, LCAT, R-DMT
M.S. Dance/Movement Therapy, Pratt Institute.
B.A., Hofstra University; M.S., Hunter College.
M.P.S. Art Therapy, Pratt Institute.
B.A., Stephens College; M.P.S., Pratt Institute; Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute.
Briana Mac William
M.S. Art Therapy, Pratt Institute.
M.A., M.S., Hunter College Dance Therapy Master’s Program and the Hunter College School of Social Work.
M.S. Dance Therapy, Pratt Institute.
M.P.S. Art Therapy and Creativity Development, Pratt Institute.
B.S. Psychology and Studio Arts, University of Pittsburgh; M.P.S. Creative Arts Therapy and Creativity Development, Pratt Institute.
M.P.S. Creative Arts Therapy and Creativity Development, Pratt Institute.
Director of Graduate Art Therapy Program
M.P.S., Pratt Institute.
M.S. Dance Therapy, Hunter College.
M.P.S. Art Therapy, Pratt Institute.
M.P.S., Pratt Institute.
M.P.S.,in Art Therapy, Pratt Institute.
Visiting Assistant Professor
M.S. Dance Therapy, Pratt Instititue.
Director of Graduate Dance/Movement Therapy Program, Associate Professor
B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.S., Hunter College.
Eva Teirstein Young
M.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago; M.P.S. Creative Arts Therapy, Pratt Institute.
This course will introduce students to the history, theory and practice of Art Therapy within the Creative Arts Therapy approach. Through a combination of lecture, discussion and Art Therapy experiences, students will learn to develop a process oriented approach to using art materials as a source of therapeutic intervention.
This course is an overview of the major diagnostic categories found in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Emphasis is placed on assessment of patients' verbal and nonverbal styles of communication and their impact on the creative process in clinical work.
This course is designed to give students an introduction to the philosophical, conceptual, and practical basis of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Students will be exposed to research techniques, data collection and analysis, and ethics. Students will also be provided with advisement to plan and complete a thesis.
This course compares and contrasts theories of individual development across the lifespan, including, but not limited to typical and atypical cognition, personality, human sexuality, theoretical and psychological roots of developmental crises, trauma, disabilities, addictions, and contextual/ecological factors bearing on human development such as cultural identities, spiritual, systemic within and outside family nucleus, physical, neurological, biological and physiological. The basic tenets of psychotherapy and counseling theories are also explored.
Creative Arts Therapy I provides an overview of the history, theory and practice of art therapy and dance therapy. The focus of the class is understanding the integration of creative process and therapeutic process. Students look in depth at the process of making the transition from being an artist to being an art therapist or dance therapist. Students are encouraged to integrate their fieldwork/internship experiences with the assigned readings and classroom discussions.
Creative Art Therapy II focuses on the application of the creative process in therapy. Students will deepen their understanding of the integration of creative and therapeutic processes. The use of the creative process as therapy in clinical settings will be explored in depth. Students are encouraged to integrate their fieldwork.
This course introduces the student to a wide range of expressive modes of communication that will include visual, tactical, verbal, and auditory experiences. The student is exposed to other creative art therapies such as drama, music, video, dance, poetry, Gestalt and body therapies. The integration of these modalities with art therapy is explored.
Students explore group dynamics and begin to see how these dynamics connect to the treatment setting. The course has experiential, didactic, and supervisory components that combine practical experience with didactic orientation (to include group theory and dynamics such as therapeutic factors, transference/counter transference and leadership issues)-all thoroughly integrated with art and dance therapy.
Students deepen their exploration into group dynamics and directly connect this to the treatment setting. The course has experiential, didactic, and supervisory components that combine practical experience with didactic orientation (to include advanced group theory and dynamics such as resistance and termination) - all thoroughly integrated with art and dance therapy.
A grounding in fundamentals of art diagnosis is provided by illustrating how an individual's view of himself/herself and his/her world is manifested through artistic expression. Art work from patients is presented and discussed in-depth, as are a variety of art therapy assessments.
This course focuses on advanced aspects of art therapy clinical work as students prepare for professional practice. Students presentations and experiential's focused on the various modes of therapy covered in the program continue to explore specific questions around art therapy interventions. The development of a personalized theoretical approach to practice integrating all aspects of training is emphasized as well as advanced case presentation.
This course focuses on advanced aspects of art therapy clinical work as students prepare for professional practice. Student presentations and experientials focused on the various modes of art therapy covered in the program continue to explore specific questions around clinical art therapy interventions. The development of a personalized theoretical approach to practice integration all aspects of training is emphasized.
This course includes the growth of the individual as he/she/they passes through tasks of life. Emphasis is placed on creativity development throughout life stages, with particular interest in the transitions or 'passages' from one developmental stage to another.
This course will examine theoretical perspectives and models pertaining to cultural competence within creative arts therapy practice. Students will examine cultural group identities, learn about existing multicultural competence models and develop the ability to study CAT theory and practice through multicultural lens. Students will be expected to understand basic social justice dynamics including issues of power, privilege, oppression and discrimination and its implications to the therapeutic process.
This course accompanies the first semester of Internship Practice, providing small group and individual supervision as students begin to integrate learning with practical experience in the field.
Students meet in small groups and receive intensive supervision both in a group and individual format. Integration of practical and theoretical work is an intrinsic prat of this course, through case presentations and experiential exercises, integrate theories learned in classes. This course is a place where students can continue to explore their professional development; process the clinical work experienced at the internship site and integrate theories learned in classes. The specific focus of this semester will be on mandated reporting and other professional responsibilities.
This course accompanies the third semester of internship Practice, providing small group and individual supervision as students continue to integrate theoretical learning with practical experience in the field and focuses specifically on Ethics in Professional Practice.
The students meet in small groups and receive intensive supervision both in a group and individual format. Integration of practical and theoretical work is an intrinsic part of this course, through case presentations and experiential exercises. This course is a place where students can continue to explore their professional development; process the clinical work experienced at the internship site and integrate theories learned in classes. The specific focus of this semester will be on mandated reporting and other professional responsibilities.
This integrative course emphasizes treatment planning as informed by various assessment methods including movement observation, standardized and non-standardized testing, norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessments, group and individual assessments.
Students will familiarize themselves with the basic tenets of psychotherapy counseling theories and models of family systems approaches when working in a family art therapy session. Students will learn how contextual ecological factors such as cultural identities, diversity and spirituality, impact family development and family dynamics and how it is informed by current research.
If the thesis is not completed in the initial semesters, students can continue working in ADT-700 for no more than five semesters (only required semesters are considered).
This course focuses on advances aspects of dance/movement therapy clinical work as students prepare for professional practice. Student presentations and experientials focused on the various modes of therapy covered in the program continue to explore specific questions around dance/movement therapy interventions. The development of a personalized theoretical approach to practice integration all aspects of training is emphasized as will advanced case presentation.
This course focuses on advanced aspects of dance/movement therapy clinical work as students prepare for professional practice. Student presentations and experientials focused on the various modes of therapy covered in the program continue to explore specific questions around clinical dance/movement therapy interventions. The development of a personalized theoretical approach to practice integrating all aspects of training is emphasized.
This course will give an overview of the history of the field of Dance/Movement Therapy. The main focus will be on the theory, techniques and practice of Marian Chace as a basis for understanding Dance/Movement Therapy as a unique approach to clinical treatment.
This course is a further exploration of theoretical frameworks of dance/movement therapy as applied to clinical practice. Therapeutic relationships and the use of techniques with specific populations are examined, so as to understand the breadth and depth of dance/movement therapy.
Movement assessment, evaluation, and observation are studied through direct movement exploration and the use of videos. The relationship of Laban Movement Analysis and the kestenberg Movement Profile to dance therapy is explored.
This course continues to study systems of movement analysis, especially Labanalysis. Movement assessment, evaluation, and observation are studied through direct movement exploration and the use of videos. The relevance of LMA to dance therapy is explored.
This course involves the study of the fundamental nature of the improvisational process in dance therapy. The use of improvisation in varying dance therapy methodologies is examined.