Graduate Art Therapy Internship
Graduate students complete 800 hours of supervised internships and have the opportunity to be placed in a broad variety of clinical, educational, and community settings where other art therapists work. These settings range from psychiatric and residential treatment to medical art therapy, alternative schools, domestic violence shelters, skilled nursing care, alcohol/substance abuse treatment, community arts programs, corrections, and veteran's hospitals.
As an intern, the student becomes part of a mental health or educational treatment team and learns to conduct individual and group art therapy with clients in need. A student's first practicum may involve closely shadowing an art therapist or other mental health professional; by the third internship, the student is able to function more independently and can practice integrating what is learned in class with real-life therapy in the field.
A group supervision class accompanies the internship experience, where students present cases, ask one another questions, and provide peer support while gaining exposure to a number of techniques and strategies used across the different settings where their peers are practicing. Art making is utilized in supervision as a tool for reflection and insight.
United Community Center (UCC) -- In 2012, Mount Mary's Art Therapy Department established a relationship with Milwaukee's United Community Center (UCC) that includes internship opportunities. Mary Williams, an alumna of the masters program, was recently featured in January on ¡Adelante!, a local television program, for her work at the UCC.
My Art Therapy Internship
Claire, Art Therapy Graduate Student
"As a first year graduate student in the art therapy program at Mount Mary, I found working at my internship is a big part of both my personal and professional growth. I had the opportunity to work as an art therapy intern at a large metropolitan hospital in the Milwaukee area. At this hospital, a budding expressive arts studio founded by a Mount Mary graduate continues to expand throughout the hospital program, where it seeks to provide patients with a creative and holistic way to engage in self-care and promote personal healing. I worked on the abdominal transplant floor, where I brought art services into the rooms of patients and engage them in conversation and creativity in order to help them deal with stress and manage pain. My colleagues and I also facilitated a bi-monthly open studio where art materials are provided and patients can work freely according to their needs.
The internship experience is integral to the art therapy program, and we had the option of choosing two or three different internship sites while working though the program. The art therapy faculty of Mount Mary were very helpful in my search to find the right internship site for my developing goals, and provided me with not only an extensive listing of possible sites, but also hosted a practicum fair, which was where I connected with my current program and supervisor."