Expressive Arts Therapy

Expressive Arts Therapy involves the systematic use of art, dance, music, poetry, movement, ritual, storytelling, and drama. Historically, the expressive arts have been part of ancient healing practices and a bridge between the world of words and our inner life. Therefore, Expressive Arts processes are used successfully in almost all psychotherapeutic contexts, ranging from working with the severely disturbed to the facilitation of human potential and growth. 

Masters Program:  45 Credits
(30 Credits in Required Courses, 15 Credits in Electives)

 

Doctorate Program:  90 Credits
(55 Credits in Required Courses, 35 Credits in Electives)

 

Combined Masters/Doctorate Program:  120 Credits
(64 Credits in Required Courses, 56 Credits in Electives)

Course credits toward your degree may be earned in the following ways:

 

  1. Taking courses at other universities or colleges.

  2. Students may request and submit for IUPS approval (through their mentors), permission to earn credits for workshops, and other programs not mentioned above.

  3. Many students earn course credits by having their mentor assign books to read on the course topic, and writing papers that demonstrate their understanding of the assigned material. Credits can also be obtained by attending conferences, workshops, and retreats as well as through assigned projects. A key criteria for earning credits in this manner is for students to demonstrate how learning this subject matter impacts their lives personally and professionally. Integration of course material is of paramount importance at IUPS. 

  4. Students also have the opportunity to design their own electives, truly giving students the opportunity to customize their education. A sample syllabus is provided to assist students in meeting university standards. The student submits the proposed course syllabus to the mentor and the university for approval.

Course #     Credits     Required Core Courses – Masters Degree

EXT 500           3          Individual and Group Process of Expressive Arts Therapy    
EXT 501           3          Diagnosis and Treatment with Expressive Arts Therapy    
EXT 510           3          Human Development:  Normal vs. Pathological
EXT 570           3          Professional and Ethical Issues    
EXT 580           5          Practicum in Expressive Arts Therapy    
EXT 581           3          Practicum in Specialty Arts Media
EXT 590         10          Master’s Thesis Project 

Course #     Credits     Required Core Courses – Doctorate Degree
EXT 600           5          Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapies    
EXT 612           5          Principles and Practice of Psychotherapy    
EXT 613           5          Theories of Personality    
EXT 614           5          Human Development, Intelligence, and Consciousness    
EXT 615           5          Psychopathology and Psychodiagnosis    
EXT 670           5          Professional and Ethical Issues    
EXT 680           5          Practicum in Expressive Arts Therapy    
EXT 681           5          Practicum in Specialty Arts Media
EXT 690         15          Dissertation Research Project    

Course #    Credits     Required Core Courses – Masters / Doctorate Degree

EXT 500          3          Individual and Group Process of Expressive Arts Therapy

EXT 501          3          Diagnosis and Treatment with Expressive Arts Therapy

EXT 510          3          Human Development: Normal vs. Pathological

EXT 600          5          Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapies

EXT 670          5          Principles and Practice of Psychotherapy

EXT 671          5          Theories of Personality

EXT 672          5          Professional and Ethical Issues

EXT 673          5          Psychopathology and Psychodiagnosis

EXT 674          5          Human Development, Intelligence, and Consciousness

EXT 700          5          Practicum in Expressive Arts Therapy

EXT 701          5          Practicum in Specialty Arts Media

EXT 800        15          Dissertation Research Project

Electives

Below are examples of electives that one may consider taking as part of this degree program in Expressive Arts Therapy. Students, in concert with their mentors shall determine which electives are most relevant to their educational aspirations.


Course #    Credits     Courses

EXT 601         1- 5        Expressive Arts Therapy: Catharsis and Ritual

EXT 602         1- 5        Expressive Arts Therapy: Spontaneity and the Creative Process

EXT 603         1- 5        Expressive Arts Therapy: The Arts As Therapy

EXT 604         1- 5        Expressive Arts Therapy: The Arts In Therapy

EXT 605         1- 5        Expressive Arts Therapy: The Arts, A Spiritual Path

EXT 606         1- 5        Expressive Arts Therapy: Hands-on Exploration

EXT 607         1- 5        Clinical Models

EXT 610         1- 5        Body Language and Applied Kinesiology

EXT 611         1- 5        Dance/Movement Therapies

EXT 620         1- 5        Hypnotic Language Patterns

EXT 621         1- 5        Poetry Therapy

EXT 630         1- 5        Fairy Tales, Myths, and Metaphors

EXT 631         1- 5        Storytelling in Therapy

EXT 640         1- 5        Biological Synchronization and Entrainment

EXT 641         1- 5        Music Therapy

EXT 650         1- 5        Imagery and Healing

EXT 651         1- 5        Art Therapy

EXT 660         1- 5        Shamanism

EXT 661         1- 5        Psychodrama

EXT 662         1- 5        Drama Therapy

EXT 663         1- 5        Playing and Reality

EXT 664         1- 5        SandPlay Therapy

EXT 665         1- 5        Jungian Approach to Expressive Arts Therapy

Expressive Arts Therapy Course Descriptions

 

(Please note: All Doctoral coursework (600 courses) involve more advanced research and in-depth study.)

REQUIRED CORE COURSES


EXT 500   Individual and Group Process of Expressive Arts Therapy
This course gives an overview of how to utilize the Expressive Arts Therapies in both individual sessions and group therapy. Basic psychotherapeutic principles are reviewed, then the implementation and synthesis of Expressive Arts Therapies in a clinical setting is the major focus. 

 

EXT 501   Diagnosis and Treatment with Expressive Arts Therapy 
This course presents Expressive Arts approaches to diagnosing mental disorders.  Once an accurate assessment has been made, treatment plans and recommendations are explored that can stand on their own as Expressive Arts interventions, or adjuncts with other forms of therapy.

 

EXT 510   Human Development:  Normal vs. Pathological
The course of development of a human being has a broad range, from personality, intelligence, to social and political activities. This range of human development leads towards adjusted behavior, or contrarily, to maladjustment.  This course covers the various aspects of the development, both normal and pathological.

 

EXT 570   Professional and Ethical Issues
Every field has its own unique ethical concerns as well as universal moral dilemmas.  This class explores the professional and ethical issues concerning clinicians, and also how it relates to the field of Expressive Therapies. Client-Patient confidentiality, Dual-Role relationships, are a factor for all clinicians, but also, is it ethical to show a client’s artwork?

 

EXT 580   Practicum in Expressive Arts Therapy 
The student is required to obtain a practicum site to train and practice Expressive Arts Therapy for a completion of 500 hours. The practicum site must have a supervisor of either an Expressive Arts Therapist or a therapist in one of the modalities to obtain 50 supervised hours.

 

EXT 581   Practicum in Specialty Arts Media
The student must obtain competency in an area of art of their choice.  Fifty hours of instruction in a medium of the student’s choice to develop artistic competency, integrity, and the fundamentals of art which will propel them to excel at the Expressive Arts Therapies.

 

EXT 590   Master’s Thesis Project
A Masters level thesis is required and the proposal must be submitted to the mentor and department chair.  Upon approval, students will work with their mentors to gain direction for research, format, and editing.  This project will be a culmination of the student’s knowledge, making a significant contribution to the field of Expressive Arts Therapy.

 

EXT 600   Principles and Practice of Expressive Arts Therapies
This course is an overview of basic principles and philosophical approaches to Expressive Arts Therapies.  Arts practice as intrinsically healing (Art as Therapy) is one aspect of Expressive Arts Therapies, drawing on historical healing traditions.  Implementing arts interventions during clinical practice (Art in Therapy) is another widespread approach, drawing on the arts’ ability to cultivate insight and bring the unconscious to consciousness.  Lastly, historically the arts have been an integral part of all major spiritual traditions, in and of themselves, they are a catalyst towards spiritual growth (Arts as a Spiritual Path).  From the drawings and poetry of William Blake, to the composing of Hildegard Von Bingen, how the arts are utilized towards man’s spiritual progress is explored.

 

EXT 612   Principles and Practice of Psychotherapy
A basic knowledge of psychotherapy is indispensable to the Expressive Arts Therapist, offering fundamental principles and approaches to the clinician, gaining greater versatility to conduct and participate in a wide range of therapeutic settings.  Freudian Psychoanalysis, Jungian Psychodynamic Therapy, Rogerian Client-Centered Therapy, and other core approaches are explored, giving the student a foundation of counseling and psychotherapy in which to draw upon when utilizing Expressive Arts Therapy.  In addition, gaining skills such as, rapport building, and trust building will be crucial to cultivate in any therapeutic relationship, especially if one is to expect a client to ‘perform’ artwork, drumming, or dancing in a personal setting.

 

EXT 613   Theories of Personality
An overall look of the various theories of how personality develops, and in what shapes a human character may take is introduced.  After viewing them individually, our view zooms out to look at them all, discovering great continuity amongst the seeming scatter of variations, and an ultimate unified theory of personality will emerge.

 

EXT 614   Human Development, Intelligence, and Consciousness
This course explores in detail the Neurocircuit Model of Human Development, Intelligence, and Consciousness.  The Neurocircuit Model is based on eight stages of development that appears to be universal amongst human beings, and seems to recapitulate the growth and evolutionary process of living beings on the planet.  Beginning with the most fundamental ability to move and eat, climbing towards more evolved systems of communication and linguistics, and ending with…spiritual potentials, perhaps.

 

EXT 615   Psychopathology and Psychodiagnosis
An overview of psychopathology, disorders and syndromes, that one may find in clinical practice.  The student will become familiar with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, with its system of psychodiagnosis, which can offer a clinician a suggested course of treatment possibilities.  Understanding that the DSM-IV-TR is not a labeling manual, but a dictionary of terms and descriptions of the many facets of the human condition.

 

EXT 670   Professional and Ethical Issues
Every field has its own unique ethical concerns as well as universal moral dilemmas.  This class explores the professional and ethical issues concerning clinicians, and also how it relates to the field of Expressive Therapies. Client-Patient confidentiality, Dual-Role relationships, are a factor for all clinicians, but also, is it ethical to show a client’s artwork?

 

EXT 680   Practicum in Expressive Arts Therapy
The student is required to obtain a practicum site to train and practice Expressive Arts Therapy for a completion of 500 hours. The practicum site must have a supervisor of either an Expressive Arts Therapist or a therapist in one of the modalities to obtain 50 supervised hours.

 

EXT 681   Practicum in Specialty Arts Media
The student must obtain competency in an area of art of their choice.  Fifty hours of instruction in a medium of the student’s choice to develop artistic competency, integrity, and the fundamentals of art which will propel them to excel at the Expressive Arts Therapies.

 

EXT 690   Dissertation Research Project
A doctorate level dissertation is required and the proposal must be submitted to the mentor and department chair.  Upon approval, students will work with their mentors to gain direction for research, format, and editing.  This project will be a culmination of the student’s knowledge, making a significant contribution to the field of Expressive Arts Therapy.

  

 

 


ELECTIVE COURSES


Elective courses may be recommended by the university to ensure the student receives a well-rounded education. Students are encouraged to take electives that focus on their core areas of educational interest. Alternative electives to the courses below may be designed by students and submitted to their mentor and the university for approval, truly giving students to opportunity to customize their education. A sample syllabus can be provided to interested students. In addition, with prior university approval, students can receive course credits for certain relevant workshops and conferences attended.

EXT 601   Expressive Arts Therapy: Catharsis and Ritual
The practice of Expressive Arts Therapy lends itself to therapeutic use of rituals.  This course goes over the structure of constructing rituals for the purpose of therapy, their historical context, cathartic reactions and benefits, as well as employment and integration of the various modalities. 

 

EXT 602   Expressive Arts Therapy: Spontaneity and the Creative Process
Having an expanded role repertoire increases behavioral options and provides a richness of problem solving.  The Expressive Arts Therapy provides an avenue for increasing spontaneity, creativity, and self-expression.  This course explores the academic as well as the practical applications of these elements.

 

EXT 603   Expressive Arts Therapy: The Arts As Therapy
The therapeutic approach of Arts (As Therapy) is explored, defined, and put into practice as one of the many tools of the Expressive Arts Therapist.  Art in and of itself has many therapeutic applications, one in which the student will identify, as well as master, to implement positive change.

 

EXT 604   Expressive Arts Therapy:  The Arts In Therapy
The psychological approach of Arts In Therapy is explored, defined, and put into practice as one of the many tools of the Expressive Arts Therapist.  Psychotherapy has its foundations in bringing the elements of the unconscious to conscious awareness, this course demonstrates the role the various arts play in bringing about this positive change.

 

EXT 605   Expressive Arts Therapy:  The Arts As A Spiritual Path
This specific approach of Arts As A Spiritual Path is explored, defined, and put into practice as one of the many tools of the Expressive Arts Therapist.  Historically, the arts were primarily used as a vehicle for spiritual enlightenment.  This course sets the foundation for the student to implement the arts to facilitate spiritual growth and expansion of consciousness. 

 

EXT 606   Expressive Arts Therapy:  Hands-on Exploration
No training in a clinical practice comprises solely book learning and academics.  This course focuses on the How To’s, it is a tour de force of technique, know how, and skill. 

 

EXT 607   Clinical Models
Expressive Arts Therapy has been adapted by just about every major therapeutic model.  The student is requested to select their clinical model of choice, ranging from anything from Freudian Psychoanalysis, Rogerian Person-Centered Therapy, Gestalt Psychotherapy, and possibly Cybernetic Systems Approach.  The student then arranges with the expertise of the mentor, to explore the integrative approach the Expressive Arts offers in the preferred model, to catalyze and enhance their clinical training, transforming psychotherapy into Expressive Psychotherapy.  This elective can be taken multiple times with different clinical models.

 

EXT 610   Body Language and Applied Kinesiology
This course is a prerequisite to EXT 611.  It explores the relationship between the body and thought, physiology and personality, movement and meaning.

 

EXT 611   Dance/Movement Therapies
This course provides practical applications and experiences focused on the modality of Dance/Movement Therapy, the use of bodily movements to facilitate change in body, mind, and spirit.  Taken with EXT 610, the student learns how to assess and treat a wide range of clinical disorders.

 

EXT 620   Hypnotic Language Patterns
This course is a prerequisite to EXT 621.  It explores the use of words to facilitate emotional and behavioral change. 

 

EXT 621   Poetry Therapy
This course provides practical applications and experiences focused on the modality of Poetry Therapy, the use of poetic elements for the expression of feelings and cognitive restructuring.  Taken with EXT 620, the student learns how to assess and treat a wide range of clinical disorders.

 

EXT 630   Fairy Tales, Myths, and Metaphors
This course is a prerequisite to EXT 631.  It explores the rich source of ancient myths and their ability to stimulate and generate resources that are available to the listener. 

 

EXT 631   Storytelling in Therapy
This course provides practical applications and experiences focused on the modality of Storytelling in Therapy, the use of constructing and weaving stories that have personal relevance to the listener, often giving problem solving solutions.  Taken with EXT 630, the student learns how to assess and treat a wide range of clinical disorders.

 

EXT 640   Biological Synchronization and Entrainment
This course is a prerequisite to EXT 641.  Fireflies twinkling in unison is but one example of a naturally occurring entrainment, i.e. the synchronization of pulsing bodies.  This course delves into the phenomenon of entrainment through sound and its effects upon the biological organism, ranging from affecting breathing, heart rate and thinking. 

 

EXT 641   Music Therapy
This course provides practical applications and experiences focused on the modality of Music Therapy, the use of sound and other elements of music to facilitate dynamic psychological change.  Taken with EXT 640, the student learns how to assess and treat a wide range of clinical disorders.

 

EXT 650   Imagery and Healing
This course is a prerequisite to EXT 651.  It Examines the construction and effects of the various elements in visual art and their relation to healing.  How simple images can affect the nervous system, immune system, and circulatory system with color, shapes and perspective. 

 

EXT 651   Art Therapy
This course provides practical applications and experiences focused on the modality of Art Therapy, the use of various visual elements for self-expression, diagnosis, and treatment.  Taken with EXT 650, the student learns how to assess and treat a wide range of clinical disorders.

 

EXT 660   Shamanism
This course is a prerequisite to EXT 661 and/or 662. Historical and modern perspectives of the healing practices of Shamanism are surveyed.  A Shaman was the culture’s expert at trance and altered states of consciousness.  The means and methods of providing alternate states of consciousness is a relevant tool for any therapist.

 

EXT 661   Psychodrama
This course provides practical applications and experiences focused on the modality of Psychodrama, this practice encourages the spontaneity of role play with other therapeutic devices.  Taken with EXT 660, the student learns how to assess and treat a wide range of clinical disorders.

 

EXT 662   Drama Therapy
This course provides practical applications and experiences focused on the modality of Drama Therapy, recreating, dramatically, elements that are pertinent to our history, one can then possibly change our history.  Taken with EXT 660, the student learns how to assess and treat a wide range of clinical disorders.

 

EXT 663   Playing and Reality
This course is a prerequisite to EXT 664.  The two worlds of Subjective Reality and Objective Reality often meet.  This course analyzes concepts and models of playing in relation to reality.  How is it that a wolf in the wild can nip at his brother and the playmate will “know” it is only play and not to bite back aggressively?  If I pretend to have confidence, how does that effect my neuro-muscular system?  These and more questions are explored with the end result being a knowledge of how to maximize play for therapeutic change.

 

EXT 664   SandPlay Therapy
This course provides practical applications and experiences focused on the modality of SandPlay Therapy, the sandtray being a virtual ‘snapshot’ of the client’s mind, whereby both conscious and unconscious elements become revealed.  Taken with EXT 663, the student learns how to assess and treat a wide range of clinical disorders.

 

EXT 665   Jungian Approach to Expressive Arts Therapy 
Carl Jung has been a significant inspiration towards Expressive Arts Therapy.  His contributions of Mandalas, Archetypes, Myths, and utilizing art in clinical practice makes his work a contributing wealth in the field.  Jungian theory is overviewed, and then putting into practice the arts from a Jungian perspective is the focus of this course.

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