Is becoming an art therapist a waste of time and money? Watch

Cosey
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I have a degree in fine art and a Masters in Fine art. I want to work as an artist but obviously probably need a second career to help support myself and my work. I have some experiance doing community arts with offenders and people with mental illness which I really enjoy. I am probably more academic than most art students and would love to do an MA in Art Therapy but it will be very expensive as on top of fees I would be required to have personal therapy every week for 2 years (this is normal when studying to become a therapist). On paper you can work for the NHS and local authorites delivering group and one to one art therapy but from the research I have done it seems that very few art therapists are able to find much if any work. The NHS prefers Cognative Behaviour therapy as it can be done quickly and is much cheaper though considered less effective for long term problems than traditional talk and creative therapy.

I'd like to study this but realistically I think that there is just not enough call for art therapists and that the market is already saturated.

Other than that I thought about studying to become a Psychoanalyst (will take about 4 years minimum) or doing a reseach degree where I do mix of academic and studio practice with a view to becoming an academic.

What do you think?
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Cosey
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Anyone got any opinion on this?
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Oh my Ms. Coffey
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Im not to sure what it means if that food makes your cat sick, maybe try giving it a different type and see what happens.
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fnm
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Hmmm....I'm really not 100% sure what a psychoanalyst is, but I do know the psychology job market is really saturated, and with a massive amount of psychology students graduating each year, I don't think it would get any easier. I don't think a CBT course is maybe the best choice, but I'm still grouping that under the psychology job area, so I'm not sure. Hmm...ever thought about teaching, maybe disabled people with mental illnesses?
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Cosey
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(Original post by fnm)
Hmmm....I'm really not 100% sure what a psychoanalyst is, but I do know the psychology job market is really saturated, and with a massive amount of psychology students graduating each year, I don't think it would get any easier. I don't think a CBT course is maybe the best choice, but I'm still grouping that under the psychology job area, so I'm not sure. Hmm...ever thought about teaching, maybe disabled people with mental illnesses?
Well I guess I could do a CBT course and maybe get work but to be honest I actually think that CBT is being used as a cheap option and that for many people while it may be a useful tool if they have deep seated issues they actually need longer term more indepth therapy to overcome their problems at a fundemental level.

A Psychoanalyst is basically what Freud and Jung were, it is a much more academically intensive training than what you do to become a psychotherapist. Many psychoanalysts are also psychiatrists but you don't need to be one to under take the training. It is rather different to what psychologists do as they are not qualified to give people one to one personal therapy or analysis. However I am sure that a fair number of psychology graduates do go on to train as therapists.
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fnm
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(Original post by Cosey)
Well I guess I could do a CBT course and maybe get work but to be honest I actually think that CBT is being used as a cheap option and that for many people while it may be a useful tool if they have deep seated issues they actually need longer term more indepth therapy to overcome their problems at a fundemental level.

A Psychoanalyst is basically what Freud and Jung were, it is a much more academically intensive training than what you do to become a psychotherapist. Many psychoanalysts are also psychiatrists but you don't need to be one to under take the training. It is rather different to what psychologists do as they are not qualified to give people one to one personal therapy or analysis. However I am sure that a fair number of psychology graduates do go on to train as therapists.
Don't you need a psychology accredited course to do CBT? As much I'd want it to be, (especially in today's climate) I don't think it'd be easy getting a job doing that just with that qualification (if you could do it).

So surely with the psychoanalyst, it would cost a lot of money like the art therapy-but with art therapy you have the previous degrees which will be strongly related (I guess?) -again, surely psychoanalyst training would require a lot of previous experience?
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Cosey
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(Original post by fnm)
Don't you need a psychology accredited course to do CBT? As much I'd want it to be, (especially in today's climate) I don't think it'd be easy getting a job doing that just with that qualification (if you could do it).

So surely with the psychoanalyst, it would cost a lot of money like the art therapy-but with art therapy you have the previous degrees which will be strongly related (I guess?) -again, surely psychoanalyst training would require a lot of previous experience?
You may be right with the CBT training I think it is most often nurses and doctors that do it. However to become a psychoanalyst you don't need any special previous experiance other than a degree and art is actually considered a good 1st degree for such study. I have been in touch with the institute of psychoanalysis and had an informal chat so I know that they think I would make a good candidate but the training is expensive and you are required to have intensive personal therapy 4 or 5 times a week for a few years so it is a huge commitment.

Obviously art therapy really does appeal but a qualified analyst would probably get more work than an art therapist.
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fnm
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(Original post by Cosey)
You may be right with the CBT training I think it is most often nurses and doctors that do it. However to become a psychoanalyst you don't need any special previous experiance other than a degree and art is actually considered a good 1st degree for such study. I have been in touch with the institute of psychoanalysis and had an informal chat so I know that they think I would make a good candidate but the training is expensive and you are required to have intensive personal therapy 4 or 5 times a week for a few years so it is a huge commitment.

Obviously art therapy really does appeal but a qualified analyst would probably get more work than an art therapist.
My best advice is to maybe try experiencing both for a few days (maybe visiting the facilities, watching or maybe even taking part), then research each loads (on job market/training/pay/job location just to make sure)...though you've probably already done this. If the institute actually trains you, then that sounds like definitely a good step, as they could hire you after.
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slylee
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(Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
Im not to sure what it means if that food makes your cat sick, maybe try giving it a different type and see what happens.
How did you get that from what op said?
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Aeschylus
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CBT is a very valid tool of treating depression. It is by no means a 'soft option'
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Sofa Kineezy
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sounds
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Philip17
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Hi Cosey, I just actually asked my Dad about this as he is a consultant psychiatrist and he said that while he thinks it is an excellent theraputic tool that he wishes he could use more and saw more of in the NHS that it is just seen as too time consuming and expensive and is more or less being phased out. He says that there is still some scope for art therapists working in private practice or for places like the priory but that it is very difficult to get into. As for psychotherapy or analysis if you live in a city like London where neurotic wealthy middle class people can afford to pay you then perhaps you can make a living but again work offered though the NHS and public sector is very thin on the ground and hugely competitive.

He said one thing to bear in mind is that it is in the interest of the psychotherapists, analysts and art therapists to paint a positive picture of your prospects once qualified as very often training courses and the therapy that trainees must under take is what keeps them in work rather than ordinary clients or referals from the NHS. He thinks this is a pity as he has seen a lot of good achieved by therapists working intensively with clients but that it is now too espensive and they use drugs, community care, charities and cbt now.
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Philip17
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(Original post by Sofa Kineezy)
sounds Mickey mouse.
It is far from mickey mouse, it is well respected work with in the medical profession.
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Philip17
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(Original post by Aeschylus)
CBT is a very valid tool of treating depression. It is by no means a 'soft option'

Yes CBT is a good tool for treating depression and especially anxiety and OCD however my father who is a consultant psychiatrist working in the NHS says that it is often used when a more intensive or long term form of talking therapy would be more helpful. He says CBT is similer to managing a problem when psychotherapy can actually uncover the foundations of a problem and effect a cure.
In short CBT is used so widely because it is cheap and quick not because it is easy or because it is the best treatment for the patient. Look at the issue of care in the community, for many patients long term residental care is a much better option but it is too expensive for the NHS hense the huge numbers of mentally ill people in our prisons. These are issues all mental health professionals are aware of.
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Aeschylus
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(Original post by Philip17)
Yes CBT is a good tool for treating depression and especially anxiety and OCD however my father who is a consultant psychiatrist working in the NHS says that it is often used when a more intensive or long term form of talking therapy would be more helpful. He says CBT is similer to managing a problem when psychotherapy can actually uncover the foundations of a problem and effect a cure.
In short CBT is used so widely because it is cheap and quick not because it is easy or because it is the best treatment for the patient. Look at the issue of care in the community, for many patients long term residental care is a much better option but it is too expensive for the NHS hense the huge numbers of mentally ill people in our prisons. These are issues all mental health professionals are aware of.
Oh don't get me wrong CBT isn't the be all and end all. I've met a fairly senior psychoanalyst who worked at a children's hospital and from his viewpoint (aware this is an anecdote) it's far from the mickey-mouse sector everyone thinks it is - and he's highly regarded. I just wanted to say that CBT is a very useful tool . Your point is true thoughl.
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username457532
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I have to say that as someone with mental health problems I would laugh so hard if someone thought I should see an 'art therapist'. That kinda **** just doesn't work.
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Philip17
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(Original post by SmallTownGirl)
I have to say that as someone with mental health problems I would laugh so hard if someone thought I should see an 'art therapist'. That kinda **** just doesn't work.
Well in my opinion you don't know what you are talking about, sorry.
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fnm
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(Original post by Aeschylus)
Oh don't get me wrong CBT isn't the be all and end all. I've met a fairly senior psychoanalyst who worked at a children's hospital and from his viewpoint (aware this is an anecdote) it's far from the mickey-mouse sector everyone thinks it is - and he's highly regarded. I just wanted to say that CBT is a very useful tool . Your point is true thoughl.
It is a lot of the time, however, I have a good friend whos dad is a very experienced psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has said that there aren't loads of jobs in CBT through the NHS, and that they'd rather choose experienced, very academically strong (Phds etc.) people anyway, and a lot are disappointed after completing a diploma...I wanted to go into CBT, but it seems like more money and education than I could take (especially if I didn't end up with a job).
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username457532
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(Original post by Philip17)
Well in my opinion you don't know what you are talking about, sorry.
Oh, honey... I've seen all sorts of people in the last 18 months and I'm still ****ed up. Drawing some pretty pictures wouldn't help.

I love that everyone's like 'I know a psychiatrist', 'I've studied psychology'. Well me and most of my friends have had mental health problems.
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Philip17
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(Original post by fnm)
It is a lot of the time, however, I have a good friend whos dad is a very experienced psychiatrist in the NHS, and he has said that there aren't loads of jobs in CBT through the NHS, and that they'd rather choose experienced, very academically strong (Phds etc.) people anyway, and a lot are disappointed after completing a diploma...I wanted to go into CBT, but it seems like more money and education than I could take (especially if I didn't end up with a job).
As someone posted above most people who practice CBT are already qualified psychotherapists. In the NHS many of those who practice CBT are already psychiatrists or psychiatric nurses. It is most usefully something learned by someone who is already in a job where such training could be put to use.

There is a major issue with lack of funds in the NHS to facilitate anything beyond drug treatment and care in the community. I is all to do with money and a lack there of.
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