Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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For Patients and Families
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is art therapy?

Art therapy is a mental health profession that encourages patients to communicate, explore, and express their thoughts and feelings through artmaking, and reflect upon their art products in a safe and therapeutic environment facilitated by a trained art therapist.

Who benefits from art therapy?

Most people can benefit from art therapy, especially survivors of trauma, those with adverse acute or chronic health conditions and disabilities, and those with autism, dementia, depression, and other disorders.

I’m interested in becoming an art therapist. Where do I start?

A Master’s degree related to art therapy is required, followed by clinical and supervision hours. An exam may be taken to earn Board Certification as well. Tennessee does not currently have a state Art Therapy Licensure. The American Art Therapy Association website provides more detailed information about the steps to become an art therapist, including information about AATA-approved art therapy graduate programs. 

You may also visit the Art Therapy Credentials Board website.

Does Children’s Hospital offer observation, practicum, or internship opportunities?

The Children’s Hospital Art Therapy program currently does not offer one-on-one shadowing experiences or internship opportunities. However, the Art Therapy department offers quarterly information sessions that include a presentation and Q&A. To learn more about the next scheduled dates, please email

How do I connect with qualified local art therapists?

Credentialed art therapists may be located according to geography through Find-a-Therapist. You may verify a practitioner's credentials and education through the ATCB.

How do I find an art therapy job?

There are many places to investigate potential art therapy career opportunities, including college placement offices, contacts made during practicum or internship placements, and professional organizations, newsletters, and journals. Memberships in the AATA and AATA Affiliate Chapters, federal and state employers, online career databases, and job banks (such as the AATA "Members Only" job postings) are also good resources.

How do I learn more about art therapy?

American Art Therapy Association
4875 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 240, Alexandria, VA 22304
888-290-0878, 703-548-5860, (fax) 703-783-8468

A few helpful websites:

Last Edited: August 28, 2017
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network