Art Therapy & Music Therapy

MUSC Arts in Healing art therapist working with child coloring hospital mask in waiting room

Creative arts therapy services at MUSC Health offers a breadth of expertise in clinically creative interventions substantiated by ongoing research. Under the creative arts therapy continuum, MUSC Health’s current modalities include art therapy and music therapy. Nationally Board Certified and Registered art and music therapists work with children and adults of all ages to identify, explore, and transform emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual difficulties. Providing patients and clients with an outlet for expression within a therapeutic relationship, services can enhance the healing process in an innovative and safe manner, especially when words are hard to find.

Creative arts therapy offers complementary approaches to an individual’s traditional medical or psychiatric treatment to achieve the following therapeutic goals:

  • Promote self-expression, communication and emotional well-being
  • Decrease feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Develop coping skills for stress, trauma and loss
  • Enhance family communication and improve relationships
  • Provide a means for nonverbal communication and emotional release
  • Build physical and mental strength, flexibility and awareness
  • Support pain management
  • Stimulate and organize thought processes

    MUSC Arts in Healing art therapist with hospital patient at the bedside painting colorful images in art therapy session

What is Art Therapy?

The American Art Therapy Association defines art therapy as “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. Art therapy, facilitated by a professional art therapist, effectively supports personal and relational treatment goals as well as community concerns. Art therapy is used to improve cognitive and sensorimotor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, reduce and resolve conflicts and distress and advance societal and ecological change.” Learn more about art therapy.   

What Kind of Training Do Art Therapists Have?

Art therapists are masters or doctorate level mental health professionals trained in both art and psychotherapy. At an approved university, coursework from an approved university includes human development, psychological processes, psychiatric diagnoses, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions as well as the healing potential of art. In addition to coursework, training requirements for art therapists include at least 1,700 hours of supervised clinical Thereafter, one must complete 1,000 clinical hours post-graduation. Once post-graduate hours completed, a clinician is then eligible to sit for a comprehensive examination administered by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) to earn the ATR-BC credential. Credentials are maintained by completing at least 100 continuing education hours every five years.

Arts in Healing Music Therapist singing and providing music therapy interventions to pediatric patient, dad, and family at MUSC Children’s Hospital

What is Music Therapy?

The American Music Therapy Association gives the definition that “Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” Learn more about music therapy.  

What Kind of Training Do Music Therapists Have?

To become a music therapist, individuals must earn a bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree in music therapy from an approved university. Specific curriculum requirements include music, biology, psychology, and social and behavioral sciences. Upon completing of required coursework, a 6-month internship must be fulfilled at a nationally approved clinical training site. Graduates must subsequently pass a comprehensive examination administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT), to earn the MT-BC credential. Music therapists must have the minimum entry-level credential, MT-BC (Music Therapist, Board Certified), to practice and must maintain these credentials by completing at least 100 continuing education hours every five years.

Referral for Creative Arts Therapy Services

Individual Art or Music Therapy – Email to schedule a therapy appointment with a certified clinician today! Arts in Healing is accepting referrals for children and adults at the Health and Wellness Institute located at 1122 Chuck Dawley Boulevard, Building B, Mount Pleasant, SC.

Arts in Healing: Outpatient Art Therapy Brochure (PDF)

Organizations Interested in an Art or Music Therapy Partnership – If you are a community organization interested in integrating art and/or music therapy services in your facilities with your clients, please email Opportunities to integrate in-person group and individual sessions are available across the state of South Carolina.

Inpatient Art or Music Therapy, MUSC Health Charleston Campus - Referrals for services are made by a nurse or physician on the clinical team via an “Art Therapy/Music Therapy” order in EPIC. For questions about creative arts therapy referrals for yourself, loved ones or your patients, please tell your provider or nurse to place a referral or by emailing Creative arts therapy services are complimentary for all patients and families actively undergoing inpatient treatment at MUSC.

Creative Arts Therapy Internships

MUSC is currently offering comprehensive internships for art therapists and music therapists. Throughout the internship experience, interns will gain experience in multiple areas of the healthcare environment to assist in the transformation from student to skilled creative arts therapy professional.

Information about the creative arts therapy certification process, coursework requirements and professional career planning can be found on modality-specific national association websites.

Apply for a Music Therapy Internship

Apply for an Art Therapy Internship