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Become A Counselor/Art Therapist

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Working As A Counselor/Art Therapist

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $46,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Counselor/Art Therapist Do

Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. These therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts; drama, music, and dance; sports and games; aquatics; and community outings to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being.

Duties

Recreational therapists typically do the following:

  • Assess patients’ needs through observations, medical records, tests, and discussions with other healthcare professionals, patients’ families, and patients
  • Create treatment plans and programs that meet patients’ needs and interests
  • Plan and implement interventions to prevent harm to a patient
  • Engage patients in therapeutic activities, such as exercise, games, and community outings
  • Help patients learn social skills needed to become or remain independent
  • Teach patients about ways to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Record and analyze a patient’s progress
  • Evaluate interventions for effectiveness

Recreational therapists help people reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic physical and mental abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively.

They use activities, such as arts and crafts, dance, or sports, to help their patients. For example, a recreational therapist can help a patient who is paralyzed on one side of their body by teaching them to adapt activities, like casting a fishing rod or swinging a golf club, by using their functional side.

Therapists often treat specific groups of patients, such as children with cancer. Therapists may use activities such as kayaking or a ropes course to teach patients to stay active and to form social relationships.

Recreational therapists help people with disabilities integrate into the community by teaching them how to use community resources and recreational activities. For example, therapists may teach a patient who uses a wheelchair how to use public transportation.

Therapists may also provide interventions for patients who need help developing social and coping skills. For example, a therapist may use a therapy dog to help patients manage their depression or anxiety.

Therapists may work with physicians or surgeons, registered nurses, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, teachers, or occupational therapists. Recreational therapists are different from recreation workers, who organize recreational activities primarily for enjoyment.

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How To Become A Counselor/Art Therapist

Recreational therapists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Many employers require therapists to be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Education

Recreational therapists typically need a bachelor’s degree, usually in recreational therapy or a related field such as recreation and leisure studies.

Recreational therapy programs include courses in assessment, human anatomy, medical and psychiatric terminology, characteristics of illnesses and disabilities, and the use of assistive devices and technology. Bachelor’s degree programs usually include an internship.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most employers, particularly those in hospitals and other clinical settings, prefer to hire certified recreational therapists. The NCTRC offers the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential. Candidates may qualify for certification through one of two pathways. The first option requires a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy, which includes the completion of a supervised internship of at least 560 hours, and passing an exam. The second option also requires passing an exam, but allows candidates with a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject to qualify with a combination of education and work experience. Therapists must take continuing education classes to maintain certification.

NCTRC also offers specialty certification in five areas of practice: behavioral health, community inclusion services, developmental disabilities, geriatrics, and physical medicine/rehabilitation. Therapists also may earn certificates from other organizations to show proficiency in specific therapy techniques, such as aquatic therapy or aromatherapy.

As of 2014, only New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Utah required recreational therapists to obtain a license. Requirements vary by state. For specific requirements, contact the state’s medical board.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Recreational therapists should be kind and empathetic when providing support to patients and their families. They may deal with patients who are in pain or under emotional stress.

Leadership skills. Recreational therapists must be able to plan, develop, and implement intervention programs in an effective manner. They must be engaging and able to motivate patients to participate in a variety of therapeutic activities.

Listening skills. Recreational therapists must listen carefully to a patient’s problems and concerns. They can then determine an appropriate course of treatment for that patient.

Patience. Recreational therapists may work with some patients who require more time and special attention than others.

Resourcefulness. Recreational therapists customize treatment plans for patients. They must be both creative and flexible when adapting activities or programs to each patient’s needs.

Speaking skills. Recreational therapists need to communicate well with their patients. They must give clear directions during activities or instructions on healthy coping techniques.

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Counselor/Art Therapist Career Paths

Counselor/Art Therapist
Therapist Case Manager
Registered Nurse Case Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinician Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Clinician Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Clinical Social Worker Adjunct Professor
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Clinical Supervisor Nursing Director
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Therapist Supervisor Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Clinical Social Worker Program Manager Assistant Director
Acting Director
8 Yearsyrs
Clinical Social Worker Clinical Case Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Case Management
11 Yearsyrs
Instructor Massage Therapist
Lead Therapist
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Care Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Instructor Administrator Nurse Manager
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Professional Counselor Program Manager Clinical Director
Outpatient Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Professional Counselor Therapist And Program Manager Clinical Director
Director Of Rehabilitation
7 Yearsyrs
Licensed Professional Counselor Adjunct Professor Nurse Manager
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Psychotherapist Social Work Supervisor
Director Of Social Work
6 Yearsyrs
Psychotherapist Clinical Case Manager Registered Nurse Case Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Outpatient Physical Therapist Clinical Therapist
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Psychotherapist Psychologist Mental Health Clinician
Mental Health Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Clinical Therapist 2.9 years
Family Therapist 2.7 years
Therapist 2.7 years
Clinical Counselor 2.5 years
Group Therapist 2.4 years
Family Counselor 2.4 years
Health Therapist 2.4 years
Counselor 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Counselor/Art Therapist
Therapist 14.3%
Internship 13.4%
Counselor 12.1%
Teacher 4.6%
Clinician 3.7%
Volunteer 3.4%
Supervisor 2.6%
Top Careers After Counselor/Art Therapist
Therapist 20.2%
Counselor 10.2%
Internship 5.8%
Clinician 5.3%
Instructor 3.8%
Volunteer 3.4%

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Top Skills for A Counselor/Art Therapist

  1. Group Therapy Sessions
  2. Treatment Plans
  3. Mental Health Services
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted individual and group therapy sessions with adults with serious and persistent mental illness
  • Create treatment plans and maintain weekly progress reports in compliance with the DSM and state manage care requirements.
  • Close collaboration with the local VA Medical Center to coordinate medical and mental health services.
  • Utilize collaborative treatment efforts through consulting with interdisciplinary team for treatment planning, implementing patient care, and crisis intervention.
  • Created art projects for children, grades K-7, and instructed and aided in the execution of the projects

Counselor/Art Therapist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,009 Counselor/Art Therapist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Counselor/Art Therapist Resume

View Resume Examples

Counselor/Art Therapist Demographics

Gender

Female

62.1%

Male

26.1%

Unknown

11.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.2%

French

7.1%

Italian

4.7%

Japanese

3.5%

Chinese

2.4%

Hebrew

2.4%

Mandarin

2.4%

Korean

2.4%

Russian

1.2%

Turkish

1.2%

Igbo

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Coptic

1.2%

Persian

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Armenian

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Thai

1.2%

Croatian

1.2%
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Counselor/Art Therapist Education

Schools

Capella University

12.6%

Walden University

10.5%

University of Phoenix

9.2%

Nova Southeastern University

5.1%

Webster University

4.8%

Liberty University

4.8%

Barry University

4.4%

Arizona State University

4.1%

Troy University

4.1%

Fordham University

4.1%

Southwestern College

4.1%

Grand Canyon University

4.1%

New York University

3.7%

Temple University

3.7%

Florida State University

3.7%

George Washington University

3.4%

Eastern Virginia Medical School

3.4%

University of Southern California

3.4%

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

3.4%

Lesley University

3.4%
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Majors

Social Work

17.3%

School Counseling

15.1%

Counseling Psychology

12.7%

Mental Health Counseling

11.6%

Psychology

10.5%

Rehabilitation Science

7.4%

Clinical Psychology

4.4%

Family Therapy

4.1%

Education

2.7%

Fine Arts

2.5%

Business

1.8%

Human Services

1.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.5%

Sociology

1.2%

Graphic Design

1.2%

English

0.9%

Criminal Justice

0.9%

Theology

0.9%

Elementary Education

0.8%

Educational Leadership

0.8%
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Degrees

Masters

62.9%

Bachelors

15.6%

Other

9.7%

Doctorate

7.3%

Certificate

2.9%

Associate

1.1%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.2%
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