Your professional education in expressive arts  therapy begins here.

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Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma

The Professional Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma is suitable for persons who already possess a master’s degree in a human services field, seeking additional therapeutic skills, and certification. The Expressive Arts Institute, San Diego offers a unique “one weekend per month” training program that fits around your working schedule. Along with your degree, this training fully prepares you to apply for your credential of REAT (Registered Expressive Arts Therapist) with IEATA .

"The arts are a big enough container to hold our most profound grief or deepest joy. Art can help us meet our greatest challenges, facing struggles with dignity, and celebrating the beauty of our lives." Judith Greer Essex

The Institute Coursework

The Professional Diploma is broken into three Modules, that take place over two school years. Students attend experiential intensive weekends with hands-on training in the 5 major art disciplines: visual arts, poetry, drama, dance, and music. Training takes place in both studio and natural environments. Emphasis is placed upon a lively mix of lecture, discussion, and group and individual art-making designed to teach to the body, mind and spirit of the student artist.

Students are given lists of required and suggested readings, and are assigned a reaction paper for each intensive. In addition, students are responsible for a research paper and presentation in each Module. Intensives include time for group dynamics where the learning community examines issues of growth, healing and transformation brought forth in the art making process. As students progress, intensives also include supervision for the student’s work at practicum site.

Advanced Supervision 

During the third year students are invited to continue a once-monthly meeting  (4 hours) of advanced group supervision, designed to support their ongoing practicum and professional practice.

Prerequisites and Requirements

  • The Institute’s Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy course
  • A MA in a human services field such as psychology, social work, or counseling, or education, or an MFA. If in doubt contact us for qualifications
  • At least 50 hours of art-making experience preferred


A total of 600 hours community based practicum work is required for Graduation . Often, working professionals can use their current work as a practicum site. Those applicants holding a helping profession or educational  MA with substantial practicum may have these required hours reduced by as much as 2/3.

Method Specific Traning

Individual expressive arts training allows the student to experience individual sessions in the Expressive Arts Model with an institute approved expressive arts trainer. 18 hours total are required for graduation.

Online FREE Info Sessions

Get your questions answered and your curiosities about our program confirmed in a free 1 hour Zoom information session on Expressive Arts careers in Education, Therapy, Coaching and Consulting.

Master Art Studio

The student artist must undertake 60 hours of instruction per year with a master artist in an art discipline selected by the student are required for graduation.

How to Register?

Contact us by phone (619) 239-1713, or email to ask questions or register for the next introductory course. Check the events listing for the date of the next introductory course.

Online Course

Introduction to Expressive Arts Therapy & Coaching

Facilitators Judith Greer Essex, Ph.D. & Wes Chester, MA, CAGS use their 50+ years combined experience to help you rediscover dance, music, drama visual art and poetry as resources for living a richer, more rewarding life. Live like you mean it!

expressive arts therapy intro course

Your professional education in expressive arts therapy begins here!