To become a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, an IEATA member must meet all of the registration standards and requirements.
All REATs agree to abide by a Code of Ethics.
Registration Standards and Requirements
Personal Expressive Arts Therapy
NOTE: As of 2015, personal expressive arts therapy is no longer required to receive Registration.
IEATA highly recommends personal expressive arts therapy both as self-care and a means of 'first-hand' knowledge of the client's perspective of this work. Please include comments about any personal expressive arts therapy in your autobiographical statement.
The essential background and training elements of a seasoned Expressive Arts Therapist include personal experience and artistic and psychological competencies. To understand and review these elements of applicant’s professional experience, we request a five-page essay (typed and double-spaced), which should include the following:
An autobiographical statement describing applicant’s experience and mastery in the arts, including present work, certifications and credentials from other associations, personal therapy, special awards, publications, and other related information.
Philosophy of Expressive Arts Therapy
Our field is defining itself through our many voices. This category provides an opportunity for you to crystallize your ideas and describe your practice. Please include thoughts about major influences of the arts in your life, images and concepts that inform your work and your approach or style of practice. Include any examples of your work that will help us to understand your philosophy. Your written statement should be at least five pages (typed and double-spaced).
Two Letters of Reference
The letters of reference can be from your supervisor who is a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, Registered Creative Arts Therapist, or Licensed Mental Health Professional with a background in the arts, including your supervisor from pre-master’s degree and/or post-master’s degree experience.
These are the individuals who are familiar with your work and progress and have witnessed your professional development in the therapeutic environment.
The letters of reference CANNOT be from your personal therapist.
Note: For those applying under the “Exceptional Category,” you may not have had an expressive arts or creative arts supervisor but you will still need to include references from prior supervisors, colleagues and teachers in the Mental Health Profession. Remember that you will need five letters of reference if applying under this category. The individuals must be familiar with your skills and reputation as an Expressive Arts Therapist, with at least two of the references being past supervisors.
Completed applications for registration may be submitted at any time. Submissions of digital or scanned documents via email is highly encouraged. It may take weeks to months for IEATA to receive all the necessary documents. You may contact firstname.lastname@example.org to update your progress. Once all the materials are received and a PDF of your completed application is created, it will be shared with REAT reviewers. Please allow 4 months for the review process to take place. You will be informed when this review is complete.
Must meet one of the standards described in category A, B, C or D below. If education has been obtained from an educational institute that is not state-accredited, applicant must include an official course syllabus for each course taken. Transcripts must be official, sent in a sealed envelope, with the signature of the registrar or other designated official across the seal.
1) A Master’s Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy or equivalency in a Creative Arts Therapy Program. This must include a practicum (internship) of at least 500 hours of supervised clinical work plus 50 hours of individual supervisory sessions, or 100 hours of group supervisory sessions, or a combination of the two.
2) Demonstration of arts practice and involvement.
1) A Master’s Degree in Psychology, Educational Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, or related mental health discipline
2) PLUS completion of training in one or several professional Expressive Arts Therapy Institutes (See definition of “Professional Expressive Arts Therapy Institutes” in Document A of the REAT application.)
Training in the above-mentioned Expressive Arts Institutes must be documented by a letter of completion from the Institute, sent in a sealed envelope with the signature of an Institute trainer across the seal.
The Institute training must include at least 200 hours of supervised clinical practicum (internship) and 25 hours of individual supervisory sessions or 50 hours of group supervisory sessions or a combination of the two.
3) Demonstration of arts practice and involvement.
1) A Master’s Degree in Fine Arts (music, visual arts, dance, drama, etc.)
2) PLUS completion of training from one or several professional Expressive Arts Therapy Institutes or Programs
Applicants under this category must have completed a practicum (internship) of at least 500 hours of supervised clinical work and 50 hours of individual supervisory sessions, or 100 hours of group supervisory sessions or a combination of the two from the identified Expressive Arts Training Institute. (See definition of “Professional Expressive Arts Therapy Institutes” in Document A of the REAT application.)
3) In addition, three of the four requirements under “General Therapy Competencies” must be met through continuing education, non-degree or degree courses, or other means, but not from audited courses.
1) Doctoral Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy or equivalency in a Creative Arts Therapy Program
Program must include a practicum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical work and 100 hours of individual supervisory sessions, or 200 hours of group supervisory sessions or a combination of both.
2) Demonstration of arts practice and involvement.
1) To apply under this Exceptional Category, applicant must fulfill one of the four educational categories above.
2) This category has been added for those individuals who began acquiring their post-masters/post-doctoral experience without supervision from an expressive arts or creative arts therapist because there were none available at the time. They have demonstrated high ethical standards of practice and are respected by others in the field. They must, however, meet specific criteria to be considered under this exception. (See guidelines in Document B of the REAT application.)
(See definition of “Professional Expressive Arts Therapy Institutes” in Document A of the REAT application.)
Experience must have been acquired after completion of categories A, B, C or D (post-graduate), and must include the following:
1) 1,000 hours (equal to approximately 20 hours per week for 12 months), or an equivalent time over a longer period of time, not to exceed 48 months (or four years)
2) 50 hours of individual supervised sessions or 100 hours of group supervisory sessions or a combination of these. (See definition of “Supervision” in Document A of the REAT application.)
3) For Category E (Exceptional Category) only – must have 10+ years experience
A clear demonstration that all three required competencies (A, B and C below) have been met will be documented in the:
1) Narrative Statements
3) Institute Course descriptions
A. Expressive Arts Therapy
A minimum of three of the following four categories below must be satisfied and the applicant must have completed a minimum of 25 hours of instruction for each of the three categories:
1) Individual Expressive Arts Therapy Process – coursework
2) Group Expressive Arts Therapy Process – coursework (Continuation of Required Competencies)
3) Applications of Expressive Arts Therapy, i.e., how the applicant applies diagnostic impressions, personality tendencies, expressive communication styles and previous arts experience of client
4) Approaches to, or styles of Expressive Arts Therapy in practice and study, i.e., various approaches used by the applicant in integrating multi-arts in therapy
B. General Therapy
A minimum of three of the following four categories below must be satisfied and the applicant must have completed a minimum of 25 hours of instruction for each of the four categories:
1) Ethics/Professional Practice
2) Personal Styles (e.g., personality theory)
4) Development (child and adult)
C. The Arts
Addressed the following areas:
1) Arts Practice. Describe your ongoing involvement with an art(s) in your narrative and in any included video, audio or artistic representations included in application.
2) Coursework in chosen arts medium/media. A total of 50 contact hours is required in a chosen art(s). This must be documented in the
transcript(s) or Institute description approved by instructor of courses.
About Expressive Arts
The expressive arts combine the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development. IEATA encourages an evolving multimodal approach within psychology, organizational development, community arts and education. By integrating the arts processes and allowing one to flow into another, we gain access to our inner resources for healing, clarity, illumination and creativity.
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International Expressive Arts Therapy Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
(Tax ID: 94 3203797)
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