Standard and Requirement of REAT
Registered Expressive Arts Therapist

IEATA Professional Membership 
 

All Registered Expressive Arts Therapists must have and maintain a Professional Membership with IEATA. When you apply as a REAT applicant, you are required to be a Professional Member or you need to update your membership to the Professional Membership type. 

 Education 

 

●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, the institute must include an official course syllabus for the program. 

● Transcripts must be official and can be sent to IEATA two ways. 1) They may be sent electronically to REAT@ieata.org, or 2) mailed to IEATA in a sealed envelope, with the signature of the registrar or other designated official across the back seal. 
 

Definition of Expressive Art Therapy Institute: 
 

● Was founded and/or facilitated by a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist with IEATA 

● Has facilitators who have had training and experience as a creative or expressive arts therapist, which is equivalent to the qualifications set forth in IEATA's general registration standards and requirements 

 

Category A: 
A Master’s Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy or equivalency in a Creative Arts Therapy Program. 
 

Supervision Requirement (both bullet points apply): 

● 500 hours practicum of supervised clinical work 

 

● 50 hours of supervised individual clinical sessions;  
                         or 
    100 hours of supervised group clinical sessions 

                         or 

a combination of individual and group sessions 

Demonstration of Arts Practice and Involvement 
 

● Programs that include arts courses 

Category B:

A Master’s Degree in Psychology, Educational Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Related Mental Health Discipline 

PLUS 

Completion of training in one or several professional Expressive Arts Therapy Institutes 

Art Therapy Institute Supervision Requirement (both bullet points apply): 


● 200 hours of supervised clinical practicum 

● 25 hours of individual supervisory sessions, 

                 or 

50 hours of group supervisory sessions 

                 or 

combination of individual & group supervisory sessions 
 

Demonstration of arts practice and involvement. 

● Programs that include arts courses 

 

Category C:

A Master’s Degree in Fine Arts (music, visual arts, dance, drama, etc.) 

PLUS 

Completion of training in one or several professional Expressive Arts Therapy Institutes (program must include study of Psychology ie. theory, development, disorders, and assessment) 

Art Therapy Institute Supervision Requirement (both bullet points apply):
 

● 500 hours of supervised clinical Practicum (internship) 

● 50 hours of individual supervisory sessions 

               or 

100 hours of group supervisory sessions 

               or 

combination of individual & group supervisory sessions 

Continuing Education in General Therapy & Psychology 

● See “Competencies – Section B” 

 

Category D:

Doctoral Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy or equivalency in a Creative Arts Therapy Program 

Supervision Requirement (both bullet points apply): 
 

● 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practicum work 

● 100 hours of individual supervisory sessions 

                or 

200 hours of group supervisory sessions 

                or 

combination of individual & group supervisory sessions 

Demonstration of arts practice and involvement. 
 

● Programs that include arts courses 

 

Category E:

Exceptional Category 
 

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. 
 

Applicant must: 

● have exceptional professional qualifications 

 

 

● have practiced expressive arts therapy for a minimum of (15) years, post masters, and 

 

 

● have demonstrated a clear contribution to the field and are highly respected by their peers in the profession and can demonstrate this by publications, videos, brochures, testimonies, awards, etc. 

● Applicants will demonstrate arts practice involvement and must fulfill one of the four educational categories above (A, B, C, or D) 

● Applicants will document both practicum, and clinical supervision hours obtained, if any. 

 

See additional guidelines in Document B by Clicking HERE 


 

Experience 
 

Post Graduate Experience must have been acquired after completion of categories A, B, C or D (post-graduate), and must include the following: 
 

● 1,000 direct client hours of supervised clinical experience (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) 

 

● 50 hours of individual supervised sessions 

           or 

100 hours of group supervisory sessions 

           or 

combined individual and supervised sessions 
 

For a definition of “Supervision” click HERE
 

*For Category E (Exceptional Category) only – must have 15+ years experience 



Competencies 
 

A clear demonstration that all three required competencies (A, B and C below) have been met. This will be documented in the: 

1) Narrative Statements (Philosophical & Autobiography) 

2) Transcripts 

3) University or 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 credit hours (75 actual hours) of instruction for each of the three categories: 
 

1) Individual Expressive Arts Therapy Process – coursework 
 

2) Group Expressive Arts Therapy Process – coursework 
 

3) Application of Expressive Arts Therapy: 

How the applicant applies multimodal arts therapy to address client issues and meet the needs of their client given their experience with the arts and diagnosis. 
 

4) Approaches to, or styles of, multimodal or intermodal Expressive Arts Therapy in practice and study: 
 

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 credit hours of instruction for each of the four categories: 

1) Ethics/Professional Practice 

2) Personal Styles (e.g., personality theory) 

3) Psychopathology 

4) Development (child and adult) 
 

C. The Arts 

Address the following areas: 

● 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. 

 

● Combination of coursework and personal hours spent on professional and personal development in the arts. A minimum total of 50 hours of participation is required and must be documented in the narratives, transcript(s), and course description(s). 

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. 

 

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 an applicant’s professional experience, we require a minimum 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; add clear and defined examples of how you use the arts (multimodality and intermodally) with your clients. We require your written statement to be a minimum of 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. 
 

Exceptional Category Applicants: 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. 

Where 

 

Where To Go From Here 

Click here to go to our application page 

Click here to read the REAT Code of Ethics 

● COMING SOON - “Helpful Definitions and Clarifications for the REAT Application Process” 

●  Click HERE for a PDF document to track your supervision hours.