A question we hear frequently is “Who is eligible to supervise my post-education experience hours for the ATR?” A minimum of half* of your post-education supervision must be provided by a current ATCB credentialed art therapist, so it is a good idea to verify that your prospective supervisor’s credential is current by checking the person’s status online or with the ATCB National Office. Depending upon your education background and when you graduate, there are specific supervision and supervisor credential requirements, so be sure to check the relevant application handbooks (ATR-P or ATR) for these details.

It is great if you can get all your supervision hours from an ATR-BC. If not, the remainder of your required supervision hours may be provided by “a master’s level licensed or credentialed practitioner with a master’s degree or higher in art therapy or a related mental health field.”

This language from the ATR-P and ATR application handbooks sounds redundant at first, but the reason is explained further in the paragraph: “In order for a supervisor’s license or credential to be accepted, a master’s or higher degree in a mental health field must be required to obtain that license or credential” (ATR application.) To explain: in some professions, the same license is available to a bachelor’s OR master’s level degree holder. Even if your supervisor holds the master’s degree in that field, if the license he or she holds can be obtained by someone with a bachelor’s degree, the supervisor would not qualify for your ATR needs. In making this distinction, the ATCB is ensuring the rigor of its credentialing process. Our standards could be called into question if we allowed someone seeking our master’s level credential to receive their qualifying supervision by someone with a bachelor’s level credential.

Related mental health fields that are acceptable for a supervisor at the master’s or above level include counseling, marriage and family therapy, social work, psychology, addictions counseling, psychiatric nursing, and psychiatry. (Note that in some states, bachelor’s level social workers or addiction counselors may be licensable; but in nearly every such state, the master’s level professionals have a distinct license. In a state where a license is granted indiscriminately to any level of education, the supervisor must have a master’s level license in another field.) Professions not named in the above list will be considered on a case-by-case basis. ATR-P and ATR applicants would need to provide documentation of the requirements for the particular supervisor’s license or credential, to show that a master’s degree in a mental health field is required. The supervisor should be able to show the applicant where this information can readily be found (e.g., licensure application on the professional or state regulatory board website). More information about qualifying for the ATR-P and ATR can be found in the current Application Handbooks.

*50 hours if you graduate from an AATA or CAAHEP approved master’s degree program; 75 hours if you graduate from an art therapy program that is not AATAapproved; and 100 hours if your master’s degree is in another field and you obtain post-graduate coursework in art therapy.

For more insight on supervision, click here to read our blog “Everything You Wanted to Know About Supervision” and to keep up with ATCB updates & news visit us here and like us on Facebook & Instagram. 

This article was originally published in the ATCB Review Summer 2012, Volume 19, Issue 2 

Written by:

Libby Schmanke
ATR-BC, ATCS