July 11, 2018

Lewis & Clark Adopts Art Therapy Program from Marylhurst University

“As the only art therapy program in the state of Oregon, we are thrilled to have a new home at Lewis & Clark.” — Art Therapy Program Director Mary Andrus

Lewis & Clark’s board of trustees voted unanimously this week to adopt the art therapy program currently housed at Marylhurst University, which announced its impending closure earlier this spring. The master’s degree program in art therapy is the only one of its kind in Oregon, and one of only 34 approved programs in the country.

“This new master’s degree program in art therapy adds an innovative and compelling new area of inquiry and activism to our excellent Counseling Psychology Department,” said Scott Fletcher, dean of the graduate school of education and counseling. “We are so pleased to be able to serve the students who are continuing their studies with us and to broaden the pursuit of our social justice mission through expanding the use of creative forms of expression in counseling.”

Art Therapy is an integrative mental health and human services profession that enriches the lives of individuals, families, and communities through active art-making, creative process, applied psychological theory, and human experience within a psychotherapeutic relationship. A growing profession, it is also evolving as a field of study, with its own body of literature, professional organizations, professional identity, and code of ethics. An increasing number of states now license art therapists.

“As the only art therapy program in the state of Oregon, we are thrilled to have a new home at Lewis & Clark,” said Art Therapy Program Director Mary Andrus, a driving force in the recent, successful effort to secure licensure for art therapists in Oregon. “Our program offers art therapy to underserved and marginalized populations throughout the state. Oregon ranks as one of the lowest in providing mental health services to the community. Students in our program are helping fill that need through the provision of services and securing mental health positions in art therapy upon graduation.”

All Marylhurst art therapy students in good standing will be invited to continue and complete their master’s degrees at Lewis & Clark’s Graduate School of Education and Counseling.

“I am so grateful to be able to continue my education this fall at Lewis & Clark,” said Kat Scarim, a current student in the program. “The advocacy efforts of the art therapy cohort, staff, alumni, and beyond have ensured that community members will continue to receive high-quality art therapy services for years to come.”

Last year alone the students provided 15,000 hours of therapeutic arts client contact in over 30 volunteer, practicum, and internship sites across the state.

“We are excited to welcome the art therapy program to Lewis & Clark,” said Teresa McDowell, professor and chair of the graduate school’s department of counseling psychology. “This is particularly timely as professionals in this specialized field of mental health will soon be eligible for licensure in Oregon.”

Learn more about the new art therapy master’s program.