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Expressive Arts Therapy is an intermodal profession which combines the visual arts, movement, drama, music, writing and other creative processes to foster deep personal growth and community development. The Center for Creative Arts Therapy encourages an evolving multimodal approach within psychology, organizational development, social justice, 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.


The Center for Creative Arts Therapy Training Programs are one of the first organizations in the United States to offer both Expressive Arts Therapy and Drama Therapy courses. Students are able to study ONLINE and attend LIVE WORKSHOPS in Chicago. Students of the program can count course credits towards the Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT).


If you are an arts professional and/or educator, therapist, or are working in the fields of medicine, healthcare, psychology or special education, you have come to the right place. Students come from diverse cultural and academic backgrounds to study and apprentice with leading professionals in the expressive arts therapies. Classes are small and instruction individualized. The Expressive Arts Therapy courses are in compliance with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association's Training Requirements. For more information regarding the REAT credential, please visit


Experience rich opportunities for clinical internships in hospitals and shelters, therapeutic day schools, drug rehabilitation centers, prisons, and special facilities for the homeless, elderly, developmentally disabled, and the terminally ill, among others.


The Center for Creative Arts Therapy Training Programs also offers CEUs for Registered Expressive Arts Therapists, Registered Drama Therapists and mental health professionals.


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Expressive Arts Therapy

Course Work

The Center for Creative Arts Therapy offers coursework required by the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) for the Registered Expressive Arts Therapy credential. These include the following 15 credits:


Required Courses

  1. Creative Arts Therapies (3 credits)

  2. Expressive Arts Therapy (3 credits)

    • Expressive Arts Therapy with Individuals (1 credit)​

    • Expressive Arts Therapy with Groups (1 credit)

    • Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapy (1 credit)

  3. Psychodrama or Sociodrama (3 credits)

  4. Arts-Based Courses: Art, Music, etc.  (3 credits)

  5. Advanced Electives in Expressive Arts Therapy (OR Drama Therapy) (3 credits)


Arts Experience/Training

To become a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, one needs a minimum of 50 hours of arts experience (combination of coursework and personal hours spent on professional and personal development in the arts).


Must be documented in the narratives, transcript(s), and course description(s). 


Psychology Coursework

To become a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) one needs a minimum of three of the following four categories below and the applicant must have completed a minimum of 25 hours of instruction per category:


  1. Development Across the Lifespan

  2. Theories of Personality

  3. Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology

  4. Ethics/Professional Practice

Volunteer Opportunities

Internship and Work as an

Expressive Arts Therapist

The Center for Creative Arts Therapy offers multiple internships in Expressive Arts Therapy towards the 1,200 hour Expressive Arts Therapy Training requirements:


  1. INTERNSHIP TRACK A (Masters in Psychology, Educational Psychology, Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Related Mental Health Discipline):

  2. INTERNSHIP TRACK B (Masters in the Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Dance, Drama, etc.):


    • Minimum of 1000 hours of Direct Client Contact doing Expressive Arts Therapy​ (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​​

    • Minimum of 50 hours of Individual Supervision or 100 hours of Group Supervision

    • Post Degree hours can not be earned until completion of graduate program and internship hours.


Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information on tuition, program length, places to stay, online classes and local dining options.

Questions regarding becoming a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT), please refer them to the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) at

Let us inspire and guide you towards healing the world through the arts.


The Center for Creative Arts Therapy Training Programs offer certification and certificate programs in drama therapy, expressive arts therapy, therapeutic performing arts and theatre for change.


Students experience fearlessly progressive education in intimate, experiential programs that are grounded in theory and application, and influenced by historical movements of contemporary practice. Under the guidance of globally influential and award-winning faculty, students prepare themselves as leaders in their career, effecting purposeful and inspiring revolutions in the community.


For more information on Creative Arts Therapy training programs, compassionately creative counseling services, and arts-based psychotherapists in the Chicago and DuPage County area, call us at (847) 477-8244, email us, or visit us at 2600 Warrenville Rd., Suite 205, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

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