Marital and Family Therapy with Specialized Training in Art Therapy


  • Chairperson: Louvenia Jackson
  • Associate Professor: Louvenia Jackson
  • Assistant Professors: Jessica Bianchi, Joyce Yip Green, Nancy Choe
  • Clinical Assistant Professor: Maru Serricchio-Joiner
  • Clinical Assistant Professor: Genia Young
  • Practicum Coordinator: Kathleen Fogel-Richmond

Contact Information

Office Location: University Hall, Suite 2444

Telephone: 310.338.4562

Fax: 310.338.4518



The Department of Marital and Family Therapy with Specialized Training in Art Therapy will educate students to integrate visual arts as a way of knowing with psychotherapeutic skills and prepare students to become practicing licensed Marital and Family Therapists in the State of California1 and registered Art Therapists who abide by ethical standards of the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), and the Accreditation Counsel for Art Therapy Education (ACATE). This mission, in reflection of the University’s mission, fosters learning as a lifelong process in which students are educated as whole persons who would provide service and creating scholarship with a similar holistic frame, with commitment to social justice and cultural humility.


The program has not made a determination as to whether it meets other states’ requirements for licensure; interested applicants/students are encouraged to research the identified path for transferring the license outside of California based on their specific interests and needs.


  1. To train students to become licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in the State of California, to be nationally registered with the ATCB as Art Therapists, and to be prepared to work as entry-level mental health clinicians
  2. To educate students to competently demonstrate an understanding of comprehensive marital and family and art therapy theories and techniques with a wide range of treatment populations, while understanding systems theory and the interactional dynamics of the therapeutic relationship
  3. To foster culturally humble students who can work with a wide range of diverse populations, who serve as advocates of equity and social justice, and who value self-reflection as a lifelong means of understanding self and others

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Department of Marital and Family Therapy should know:

  • A broad theoretical basis for the practice of art psychotherapy
  • The complex societal culture in which they are engaging
  • The legal and professional responsibilities of the licensed practicing psychotherapist.

Graduates of the Department of Marital and Family Therapy should be able to:

  • Advance to professional engagement in the mental health community
  • Describe individual and family dynamics according to the theory and concepts of the discipline of marriage and family therapy
  • Delineate short-term and long-term psychotherapeutic goals and develop treatment plans
  • Synthesize the art therapy modality with traditional theoretical approaches and use a variety of techniques and interventions to achieve systemic change
  • Present case material in verbal and written form at a professional level
  • Work with others from varied and diverse perspectives
  • Engage in critical scholarly discourse in the field of art psychotherapy.

Graduates of the Department of Marital and Family Therapy are encouraged to value:

  • An increasing commitment to change as part of the psychotherapeutic and artistic process
  • The ongoing development of multicultural competencies
  • Engagement with the community in the service of social justice.

In addition to completing requirements above set to meet the Board of Behavioral Sciences expectations for Marital and Family Therapy graduate training, graduates of this program also complete the requirements for the Art Therapy Specialization, preparing them as competent entry level Art Therapists in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains. Specifically, the art therapy specialization offers students the following knowledge and skills.

  1. Understand the historical development of Art Therapy as a profession. Art Therapy theories and techniques as a foundation for contemporary Art Therapy professional practice.
  2. Distinguish among the therapeutic benefits of a variety of art processes and media strategies and interventions, and their applicability to the treatment process for individuals, groups, and families.
  3. Recognize that Art Therapy, from a multicultural perspective, takes into consideration the specific values, beliefs, and actions influenced by a client’s race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, political views, sexual orientation, geographic region, physical capacity or disability, and historical or current experiences within the dominant culture.
  4. Select culturally and developmentally appropriate assessment and evaluation methods and administer and interpret results to identify challenges, strengths, resilience, and resources for Art Therapy treatment planning.
  5. Develop culturally appropriate, collaborative, and productive therapeutic relationships with clients.
  6. Know federal and state laws and professional ethics as they apply to the practice of Art Therapy.
  7. Recognize and respond appropriately to ethical and legal dilemmas using ethical decision making models, supervision, and professional and legal consultation when necessary.
  8. Recognize clients’ use of imagery, creativity, symbolism, and metaphor as a valuable means for communicating challenges and strengths and support clients’ use of art-making for promoting growth and well-being.
  9. Recognize the legal, ethical, and cultural considerations necessary when conducting Art Therapy research.
  10. Apply principles of human development, artistic and creative development, human sexuality, gender identity development, family life cycle, and psychopathology, to the assessment and treatment of clients.
  11. Understand professional role and responsibility to engage in advocacy endeavors as they relate to involvement in professional organizations and advancement of the profession.
  12. Continuously deepen self-understanding through personal growth experiences, reflective practice, and personal art-making to strengthen a personal connection to the creative process, assist in self awareness, promote well-being, and guide professional practice.
  13. Pursue professional development through supervision, accessing current Art Therapy literature, research, best practices, and continuing educational activities to inform clinical practice.
  14. Recognize the impact of oppression, prejudice, discrimination, and privilege on access to mental health care, and develop responsive practices that include collaboration, empowerment, advocacy, and social justice action.
  15. Understand the basic diagnostic process and the major categories and criteria of mental disorders, corresponding treatments, and commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications.

Admission Requirements

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.0 (“B”) average or higher
  • Prerequisites in Psychology and Studio Art
    • A minimum of eighteen (18) semester hour credits (or twenty-seven [27] quarter-hour credits) of study in studio art which demonstrates proficiency and disciplined commitment in art making
    • A minimum of twelve (12) semester hours credits (or [18] quarter-hour credits) of study in psychology, which must include developmental psychology and abnormal psychology
  • An application with a $50 application fee.
  • Satisfactory score on Graduate Record Examination (GRE) optional
  • Autobiography with emphasis on personal life experiences rather than educational or occupational information
  • Portfolio of art work with requested artist’s statements
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Video interview followed by a second (group) interview on the LMU campus
  • A $250 deposit must accompany your letter of acceptance within 21 days of notification by the University of your admittance into the program. The deposit is applied toward tuition and is non-refundable.