Professional Diploma

The Professional 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 .

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

The 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. 


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 Training

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.

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 do I 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.

Application Materials