daily life of an Art Therapist
are Art Therapists happy with their job

Art Therapists

Other names for this job might include Activity Therapist, Art Psychotherapist, Art Therapist, Art Therapist/Licensed Professional Counselor (Art Therapist/LPC), Art Therapy Certified Supervisor, Art Therapy Specialist, Bereavement Program Coordinator, Board Certified Arts Therapist, Certified Art Therapist, Children’s Program Coordinator

  • $47790
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being An Art Therapist: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Art Therapists do and what is their typical work day like. After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as an Art Therapist or not.

Job summary

Art Therapists plan or conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients’ physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.

We asked Art Therapists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


74% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 82% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

Become one

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Typical day

On a daily basis, Art Therapists Conduct art therapy sessions providing guided self-expression experiences to help clients recover from or cope with cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments. They Design art therapy sessions or programs to meet client’s goals or objectives.

1 of the main responsibilities as An Art Therapist is to Develop individualized treatment plans that incorporate studio art therapy, counseling, or psychotherapy techniques.

Some may also Establish goals or objectives for art therapy sessions in consultation with clients or site administrators.

In a normal work day, another thing that Art Therapists do is they Instruct individuals or groups in the use of art media, such as paint, clay, or yarn.

In addition to that, they Interpret the artistic creations of clients to assess their functioning, needs, or progress..

A typical day for An Art Therapist look like this:

Treat patients using psychological therapies.
Develop treatment plans that use non-medical therapies.
Develop treatment plans that use non-medical therapies.

We asked some Art Therapists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?71% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?52% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?35% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?86% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?33% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?38% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?24% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?55% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Art Therapists do, they Analyze data to determine the effectiveness of treatments or therapy approaches. They might also Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for art therapy.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Art Therapists Assess client needs or disorders, using drawing, painting, sculpting, or other artistic processes. and Communicate client assessment findings and recommendations in oral, written, audio, video, or other forms.

In addition, they Confer with other professionals on client’s treatment team to develop, coordinate, or integrate treatment plans.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Customize art therapy programs for specific client populations, such as those in schools, nursing homes, wellness centers, prisons, shelters, or hospitals.

To some Art Therapists, it is also their responsibility to Review research or literature in art therapy, psychology, or related disciplines.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Analyze quantitative data to determine effectiveness of treatments or therapies.
Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
Evaluate patient outcomes to determine effectiveness of treatments.
Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
Communicate test or assessment results to medical professionals.
Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.

Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as An Art Therapist, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do Art Therapists work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Art Therapists work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Art Therapists work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Artists

You can read more about these career personality types here. You will like this career if you are someone who likes working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others. You also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

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Related to Art Therapists Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/recreational-therapists.htm http://www.arttherapy.org/ http://www.atcb.org/ [schema type=”review” url=”https://www.owlguru.com/” name=”OwlGuru.com” description=”OwlGuru.com is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.” rev_name=”Art Therapists” rev_body=”Art Therapists plan or conduct art therapy sessions or programs to improve clients’ physical, cognitive, or emotional well-being.” author=”Stanley Tan” user_review=”4.5″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]