Expressive Therapies

Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Expressive Arts Therapy

Master of Arts (MA), on-campus or low-residency graduate program

Integrate the full spectrum of artistic expression into therapeutic practice.

Creative expression can promote positive intrapersonal and interpersonal change and growth.

As an expressive arts therapy student at Lesley, you’ll train to become both a licensed mental health counselor and an expressive arts therapist whose therapeutic practice integrates principles of creativity, imagination, attunement, embodiment, performance, expression, and experience. You’ll learn from pioneers in the field, gain 1,150 hours of clinical experience, and graduate ready to guide individuals, groups, and communities toward wellness.

Work with arts processes that allow us to access our inner resources and make meaningful connections with one another. As an expressive arts therapist, you’ll facilitate creative processes through the most meaningful medium for each person and situation. Through reflective practice and clinical exploration learn to select approaches through the expressive arts (including music, drama, dance, writing, and visual arts) that fit clients’ needs, abilities, strengths, and goals for treatment.

While here, develop your identity as an artist as well as a therapist. Commit yourself to working within a social justice framework. With a foundation in clinical mental health counseling, gain an understanding of how one’s mind, body, spirit, and socio-cultural identity affect physical and behavioral health.

Led by pioneers in the field, our program has an international reputation that opens doors to partnerships around the world. Gain the experience you need to apply to become a licensed mental health counselor in Massachusetts and gain eligibility for the Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT) credential through the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.

Program Structure

2–3 Year Program, Full-Time, On-Campus or Low-Residency Formats

60 Credits
man walking in harvard square, cambridge

Cambridge, MA

A nexus for higher education and mental health counseling practice and research, each year 250,000 students arrive to Cambridge from around the globe. The intellectual and cultural capital runs deep, and so do your opportunities addressing barriers to wellness. From Lesley’s location, access innovative community, hospital, and school-based mental health programs.

expressive therapies music classroom

On-Campus Option

Become part of a community of artists and scholars in Cambridge while pursuing your degree. Gain in-person access to leaders in the field and benefit from Lesley’s professional network in and around Greater Boston and New England. Taking three to four courses per semester, immerse in rigorous study and complete your program within a two to three year sequence.

Best if you:

  • Live near Cambridge or are able to relocate
  • Enjoy the rigor of an intensive program and want to take advantage of internships in Greater Boston
  • Want face-to-face time with faculty and peers and to become integrated into campus life
  • Are not planning to work full-time during your studies
close up of hand drawing a mandela

Low-Residency Option

Participate in one 3-week summer residency per year on Lesley University’s Cambridge campus. Between residencies, continue your studies online with Lesley faculty and through supervised field experiences in your community. Your courses correspond with those of our on-campus program, and will be completed within three years.

Best if you:

  • Live at a distance
  • Enjoy the flexibility of online learning
  • Want to take fewer courses at a time
  • Would like to complete internships/research in your community

At this time, residents of Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon are not eligible to enroll in our low-residency master's degree programs in Expressive Therapies. All others may apply.

Licensure Information

Completion of this program provides the pre-licensing educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts. It is your responsibility to understand and comply with all requirements and regulations if you are seeking licensure in another state. You may use our licensure worksheet (PDF) to help conduct your own assessment.

Expressive Therapies
Mitchell Kossak
Mitchell's passion for teaching and healing has led him to work extensively with autistic children and adults, divided communities in Israel, and individuals affected by trauma, such as his work in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. His current research explores the importance of the body in psychotherapy, and how the arts can be engaged to bring awareness to the body’s role in personal expression and healing.
Careers
Where Graduates Work

Faculty

Program Cost Description
Total approximate cost for this master's degree program.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Expressive Arts Therapy
  • Tuition
    $1,100/credit x 60
    $66,000
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fee
    $2,180
    Materials Fee
    $350
    Registration Fee
    $320
    Activity Fee
    $180
    Practicum Fee
    $140
    Degree Completion Fee
    $75
  • Total
Estimated Cost

Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

  • Tuition
    $1,100/credit x 60
    $66,000
  • Fees
    Field Experience Fee
    $2,180
    Registration Fee
    $360
    Materials Fee
    $350
    Practicum Fee
    $140
    Degree Completion Fee
    $75
  • Total
Estimated Cost

Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

Apply Now

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Total approximate cost for this master's degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal, state, and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.