Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling Psychology in Expressive Arts Therapy

A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Trauma and Resiliency

This program is specifically designed to prepare the next generation of mental health professionals in the therapeutic use of expressive arts processes for personal, family and community transformation. Combining expressive arts with strong counseling and trauma treatment skills can be a powerful way to help the lives of individuals, families, and communities throughout many regions of the world.

Trauma Sensitive
Our program integrates information on trauma, affect regulation, and the development of a strengths based, phase-oriented approach to trauma treatment to support the stabilization and resiliency of the client. Students learn first hand how to develop a sense of safety in their body, in their environment, and in their relationships both intrapsychically and interpersonally to then translate this learning to their clients and maintain a regulated, supportive therapeutic relationship.

Cross Cultural Competency
The Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy program incorporates participatory action research, liberation psychology, and traditional (non-western) models of healing and client/community engagement.An international immersion course in Guatemala is offered where students learn how to identify their role, approach, and relevant materials in an international-based cross-cultural relationship.The Latino Mental Health Program at William James College also offers travel and learning opportunities abroad.

Expressive Arts Therapy
The use of expressive arts therapy encourages interaction, sharing and trust in a safe place. Our curriculum mirrors this. Students will learn the history, ethics and practice of expressive arts therapy, integrated with the core curriculum of the counseling psychology requirements, which focuses on resilience and the integration of diversity, difference and inclusion.

Licensure eligible in Mental Health Counseling in Massachusetts and Registered Expressive Arts Therapy Eligible
The William James College program is among a few programs in New England to meet the educational standards for both the International Expressive Art Therapy Association for becoming a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT), and the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Profession to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). Students seeking licensure in other states must ensure that their degree program satisfies the requirements of the licensing board in that state(s). 

Course LMHC Requirements REAT Requirements
Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy X  
Adult Psychopathology X  
Psychological Appraisal and Assessment X  
Professional Issues and  Ethics X X
Practicum Seminar I: Helping Relationships I & II X X
Psychology of Diversity and Difference X X
Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence X X
Group Counseling and Psychotherapy X X
Lifespan Development X X
Research and Evaluation in Psychology X X
Introduction to Family Therapy X X
Counseling and Expressive Arts Internship I & II X X
Practical Approaches in Arts Expressive Therapy   X
Advanced Expressive Therapies: Theory & Practice   X
Expressive Arts in Trauma Treatment   X
Introduction to Play Therapy   X
Psychodrama and Drama Therapy   X
Capstone Project Seminar   X
Extra courses    
Consultation, Collaboration and Community Partnerships    
Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment    

Why the Counseling Psychology in Expressive Arts Therapy Program
  • William James College's program is among a few programs in New England to meet the educational standards for both the International Expressive Art Therapy Association for becoming a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT), and the requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Allied Mental Health and Human Services Profession to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC). Students seeking licensure in other states must ensure that their degree program satisfies the requirements of the licensing board in that state(s).
  • The use of expressive arts therapy encourages interaction, sharing and trust in a safe place. Our curriculum mirrors this. Students will learn the history, ethics and practice of expressive arts therapy, integrated with the core curriculum of the counseling psychology requirements, which focuses on resilience and the integration of diversity, difference and inclusion.
  • In addition, students will engage in a minimum of 360-hour practicum and 600-hour internship experience where they will practice their skills in counseling and the expressive arts therapy beginning in the first semester.
  • William James College students will learn from distinguished and experienced faculty members who reflect the diversity of the populations we treat.  Learn more about two of our faculty members:

    Yousef Alajarma Michelle Harris

The Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy program can be completed on a full-time basis (two academic years including the summer session, which is part of the second year), or on a part-time basis (three academic years with some summer courses).

Career Outlook

Advantages of a Graduate School Education at William James College

94% of Graduates receive jobs in their field within 6 months of graduating

Job Outlook: Percent (%) Change in Employment for 2012-2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics
Marriage and Family Therapist Up 31%
Mental Health Counselor Up 29%
Clinical, Counseling & School Psychologists Up 11%

US News & World Report Best Social Service Jobs Best Jobs US News Best Jobs Logo
School Psychologist No. 1 No. 31
Marriage and Family Therapist No. 33 No. 76
Mental Health Counselor No. 38 No. 97

Median Salaries* Data from 2009 APA Salary Survey and US News & World Report

American Psychological Association Logo
US News Best Jobs Logo
Clinical Psychologist $87,015
School Psychologist $67,880
Mental Health Counselor $47,000
Marriage and Family Therapist $46,240
* Licensed mental health professionals have the opportunity for additional income through private practice.

Our Difference: Percent (%) of Graduates to obtain a job within 6 months of graduation

William James College
MA in Counseling Psychology 100%
MA/CAGS in School Psychology 100%
MA in Forensic and Counseling Psychology 100%
MA in Organizational Psychology 88%
PsyD in Clinical Psychology 87%

Expressive Arts Video

Expressive Arts Video

Student Spotlight

Leana Pilet

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For inquiries, please contact Yousef AlAjarma, PhD, REAT, Program Director, MA in Counseling Psychology in Expressive Arts Therapy at yousef_alajarma@williamjames.edu.