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 (24 credits total needed):


Required Courses (offered LIVE)

  1. Creative Arts Therapies (3 credits)

  2. Expressive Arts Therapy (3 credits)

  3. Psychodrama or Sociodrama (3 credits)

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

Required Courses (offered ONLINE)

  1. Individual Expressive Arts Therapy: 3 Part Course (3 credits)

  2. Advanced Electives in Expressive Arts Therapy (OR Drama Therapy) (3 credits) - Online or Live

Required Masters Coursework

  1. Research with Translational Project OR in Expressive Arts Therapy (3 credits) *

  2. Ethics and Professionalism with Translational Project OR in Expressive Arts Therapy (3 credits) *


* taken through a Masters course in mental health field with Translational Project (independent research paper)


Arts Experience/Training

To become a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist, one needs 1000 hours of arts experience.


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 for each of the four categories:


  1. Development Across the Lifespan (3 credits)

  2. Theories of Personality (3 credits)

  3. Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology

  4. Group Dynamics (3 credits) OR Advanced Counseling Techniques (3 credits)

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 1,000 hour Expressive Arts Therapy Training requirements:


  1. Minimum of 500 hours of Direct Client Contact doing Expressive Arts Therapy

    1. ​Up to 200 hours may be individual EAT therapy hours, the rest MUST be group

  2. Minimum of 50 hours of Individual Supervision (1 hr to each 10 hrs of direct client contact) or 100 hours of Group Supervision

  3. Maximum of 450 hours of Indirect Service (preparation, cleanup, documentation, meetings, etc.)


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.