Important COVID-19 Information

As the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) closely monitors the novel coronavirus (COVID 19) situation in coordination with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and state and local governments, the health and safety of our communities remain a top priority. With that, we know that many College and University art therapy programs are facing students unable to complete internships because of mandatory closures. Please see below guidance regarding applications, renewals, examinations, and essential information about the status of the ATCB National Office.

Regarding Education Requirements for the ATR-P and ATR Application

To ensure that anyone providing art therapy is competent and meeting the educational and professional standards needed to be a qualified art therapist - essential in any mental health field, our standards will remain unchanged for our ATR-P and ATR credentials.

1. Education requirement:

I. A master's degree or higher from a program approved by AATA or accredited by CAAHEP at the time of graduation. If the program is no longer approved, the applicant is responsible for obtaining verification of past approval directly from AATA or CAAHEP, and submitting that verification along with the application, OR
II. Applicants who do not hold a master's or higher degree from a program approved by AATA or accredited by CAAHEP at the time of graduation must meet the education requirements as outlined below. All coursework must have earned credit from a college or university approved by a national or regional accrediting agency. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher is required for all coursework counted towards the credential.

Degree Requirement for application for the ATR is a master's or higher degree with coursework in the following areas: human growth and development, theories of counseling/psychotherapy, psychopathology/abnormal psychology, psychological assessment, research, and field experience in a clinical setting. If an applicant does not have such a specific master's or higher degree, they must have still earned a master's degree or higher, and will still be responsible for collecting all of the listed mental health coursework and field experience prerequisites at the graduate level.

2. Practicum/Internship Requirement:

All applicants must complete a structured art therapy practicum course for graduate credit. The practicum course must be taught, supervised, or advised by a current ATR, ATR-BC, and/or ATCS. On-site supervision must be provided by someone with a minimum of a master's degree in a mental health field and a current master's level mental health credential or license. A master's or higher degree in a mental health field must have been required to obtain that license or credential. A minimum of 700 hours of supervised art therapy practicum/internship, including a minimum of 350 hours of direct provision of art therapy services to individuals, groups, and/or families. The remaining hours may include supervision, case review, record keeping, preparation, staff meetings, and other administrative functions.

Supervision hours must be overseen and documented as such: individual (1:1) supervision hours must be accrued at a ratio of one hour of supervision for every ten hours of practicum/internship and/or group (two or more supervisees per supervisor) supervision must be accrued at a ratio of one and one-half hours of supervision for every ten hours of practicum/internship. A minimum of 70 individual or 105 group supervision hours is required.

ATCB strongly recommends all applicants review the application handbook for the credential which they seek. These handbooks can be found on our website atcb.org and also using these links:

The Accreditation Council for Art Therapy Education (ACATE) released a statement assuring CAAHEP accredited programs that they will be a resource to help them "navigate issues that impact their students," including the potential for late graduation if internships cannot be completed within schedule. Schools that are approved by the Educational Programs Approval Board (EPAB) should contact EPAB administrators as a resource in implementing institution-wide policies. ATCB encourages colleges and university Art Therapy programs to take advantage of the resources ACATE is offering.

Regarding Application Submissions

Processing applications remains the utmost priority for ATCB. To ensure this process is not compromised because of the remote work required by the National Office, ATCB is temporarily changing the following requirement when submitting supporting documents for applications:

ATR-P Applications

  • Transcripts - All transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing college or university via electronic submission. This means only a college or university registrar's office can email on an applicant's behalf.
  • Supervision Agreement - All agreements must be emailed or uploaded online during the initial application process.

ATR Applications

  • Transcripts - All transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing college or university via electronic submission. This means only a college or university registrar's office can email on an applicant's behalf.
  • Verification of Post Education Experience - All verification forms must be emailed by the applicant's supervisor, any email of the verification from received from an applicant will not be honored.
  • References - The applicant's reference must email all reference forms; any email of a reference received from an applicant will not be honored.

Please note that supervisors who complete the Verification of Post-education Experience Form may also submit a Reference Form on behalf of the applicant.

ATCS Applications

  • Transcripts - All transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing college or university via electronic submission. This means only a college or university registrar's office can email on an applicant's behalf.
  • Verification of Academic Supervision Form - All verification forms must be emailed by the applicant's supervisor, any email of the verification from received from an applicant will not be honored.
  • Verification of Clinical Supervision Form - All verification forms must be emailed by the applicant's supervisor, any email of the verification from received from an applicant will not be honored.
  • Endorsement Letters - The applicant's endorser must email all endorsement letter; any email of an endorser received from an applicant will not be honored.

These requirements will be the formal application documentation submission process until further notice. Please send all the documents to atcbinfo@atcb.org.

These requirements will be the formal application documentation submission process until further notice. Also, as expected, there will be a delay in application reviews resulting from this crisis, the application review period will be 8-12 weeks.

Regarding Examinations

The ATCBE examination scheduled in March has been canceled as our testing vendor Pearson Vue has temporarily closed U.S. and Canada-based Pearson Professional Centers (PPCs) starting March 16, 2020, for at least 30 days until April 16, or whenever conditions are deemed safe to re-open.

Anyone scheduled to take the ATCBE examination in March of 2020 is advised to contact our National Office atcbinfo@atcb.org so we can work with the candidate and Pearson Vue in rescheduling. The next administration of the ATCBE will be in June 2020. We also recognize that the threat of the virus may not be contained by June. We will keep you informed on the status of the June examination.

Regarding Recertifications of the ATR-BC Credential

Recertification will continue as planned. Any ATR-BC who is due to recertify their board certification will receive notification from the National Office within the next few weeks. A random sample of 10% or more of all those recertifying is audited each year. Any ATR-BC who is audited must email their acceptable documentation such as academic transcripts, certificates of attendance from recognized providers, or other proof as outlined in the recertification standards to atcbinfo@atcb.org.

It is important to remember that the ATCB National Office has closed, staff will be working remotely. As such, we cannot guarantee anything mailed to the office will be received until after this crisis passes. While we will make every effort to retrieve voicemails, we strongly advise everyone to email their questions to atcbinfo@atcb.org

Thank you for all the hard work you do every day to bring forward the practice of art therapy, and especially this week, as so many of you are going above and beyond. We will continue to monitor matters as they develop. We wish you, your families, and colleagues the best as we progress through these challenges.