Click/Tap to review the list of books & textbooks for each course


PY001    Assessments in Creative Arts Therapy

In this course students will explore assessing and Creative Arts Therapy assessments from an intermodal Creative Arts Therapy perspective and their significance in intake, information gathering, ongoing evaluations, goal setting, treatment planning, and interventions. Assessment tools will be examined with special emphasis given to how assessment tools can be adapted for different populations, identifying authentic Creative Arts Therapy assessment tools, and understanding their clinical applications.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Psychopathology


PY002     Culture & Diversity for Creative Arts Therapists

Social patterns in the United States are undergoing rapid change. Our citizenship has become increasingly diverse as people move here from all over the world. In this course we will explore issues relating to these changing demographics. Through assigned readings, written exercises, exams, and a final project, we will examine such issues as culture shock, adaptation, channeling behavior, and the arts as a bridge as we look at the systems of culture, the experience of our lived differences, and the impact this has on clients, creative arts facilitators/therapists, and healthcare services.


PY003    Documentation & Records Management in Creative Arts Therapy

This course focuses on the purpose and role of clinical documentation and record keeping. Through assigned readings, written exercises, quizzes, a mid-term, and a final, students will learn the necessary documentation and record keeping skills to maintain legally informed and HIPAA compliant healthcare documentation and records. Areas of focus include but are not limited to the contents of a good record, writing a good record, client confidentiality, the limits of confidentiality, appropriate intake and exit documentation, the documentation of individual, group, and family client sessions.


PY004     Ethics & Standards in Creative Arts Therapy 

This course is designed to assist facilitators-/therapists-/counselors-in training to develop their knowledge base, their critical thinking, and their ethical decision-making skills. Each week’s lesson focuses on a particular ethical and/or legal issue pertinent to practice climates of today. Included in the topics are such issues as ethics in a multicultural society, informed consent, confidentiality, responsibilities for self and colleagues. Through assigned readings, exercises, writings, and exams, students will learn and develop the necessary ethical foundation for their clinical work. Students will also be encouraged to explore their personal values, beliefs, and personalities and how these areas may help and hinder work with clients.


PY005     Facilitation Skills 

ICAF and ICAT certification each require completion of a 500-hour (minimum) internship with 50 hours (minimum) of individual supervision. The internship must be conducted at a CELA-approved internship site. All CELA internship supervisors are ICAF or ICAT certified. Candidates for certification must enroll in Facilitation Skills (the online CELA course) in order to complete the supervised internship training requirements.

Prerequisites: successful completion of all General Education coursework requirements and successful completion of all Arts Area coursework requirements. Required Reading (the online course) may be taken concurrently (with the title exceptions as per Required Reading course description below.)


PY006     Group Process & Creative Arts Therapy 

In this course students examine group therapy in the traditional talk therapy setting and group therapy in the Creative Arts Therapy setting. Basic psychotherapeutic principles are reviewed with a focus on the process and  application of group arts therapy in clinical settings. Areas of focus include methods, skills, the role of the therapist, member roles, and understanding group dynamics.


PY007     Human Growth & Development Across the Lifespan

The focus of student work is the study and exploration of normal human growth and development across the lifespan. Through various theoretical lenses we will examine the milestones, developmental tasks, and life changes that take place from the neonatal stage through end of life. Areas of focus include the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional aspects of development during infancy, childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle years, and later life, and the issues we face during these stages.


PY008     Intermodal Creative Arts Therapy: Theory & Practice

This course explores theories of Expressive Therapy, Creative Arts Therapy, Intermodal Creative Arts Therapy, and how the different creative arts are used in healing. Through assigned readings, experiential exercises in multiple creative arts areas, a mid-term, and final, students will examine the intermodal process, techniques, and their application in practice while addressing such issues as what art is and how people communicate through the arts, paying particular attention to the role of the creative arts and creative imagination in healing, health, and wellness.


PY009     Introduction to Psychology 

In this introductory psychology course students will explore how humans develop, how we behave in social contexts, the psychological components of our behavior, and the underlying psychological principles. Areas of focus include the brain and behavior, states of consciousness, memory, personality, thinking, and intelligence. Through assigned readings, written assignments, quizzes, a mid-term, and a final, students will be encouraged to think critically and reflectively about psychological theory and how it applies to everyday life.


PY010-T    Psychopathology (ICAT)

This course examines a broad range of psychopathological conditions and provides a foundation for understanding what constitutes “normal” behavior and “abnormal” behavior in our society and culture. The students will explore such issues as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance use disorders, health psychology, DSM-5 and DSM-IV-TR approaches to diagnosing, as well as signs, symptoms, and DSM criteria for diagnosing specific conditions, through the lens of the Creative Arts Therapist in clinical practice.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Introduction to Psychology


PY010-F    Psychopathology (ICAF)

This course examines a broad range of psychopathological conditions and provides a foundation for understanding what constitutes “normal” behavior and “abnormal” behavior in our society and culture. The students will explore such issues as anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance use disorders, health psychology as well as signs, symptoms, and DSM criteria for specific conditions with a focus on recognizing the difference between “normal” behavior and “abnormal” behavior in order to determine when a person who may be experiencing distress needs to be referred to a mental health professional.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Introduction to Psychology


PY011    Required Reading 

ICAF/ICAT certification training has a required reading component. All candidates must enroll in Required Reading (the online course) in order to complete the reading work. Each Required Reading title has an assigned writing component that students must complete—but only for titles that were not read as part of another online CELA course:

  • Foundations of Expressive Arts Therapy: Theoretical and Clinical Perspectives, Stephen K. Levine and Ellen G. Levine**
  • Assessments and Outcomes in the Arts Therapies: A Person-Centered Approach, Caroline Miller (Editor)**
  • Assessments in the Creative Arts Therapies: Designing and Adapting Assessment Tools for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, Stephen Snow, PhD, RDT-BCT and Miranda D’Amico, PhD**
  • Arts-Based Group Therapy, Bruce L. Moon**
  • Studio Art Therapy: Cultivating the Artist Identity in the Art Therapist, Catherine Hyland Moon
  • Illness and the Art of Creative Self-Expression, John Graham-Pole, MD**
  • What is Narrative Therapy?, Alice Morgan**
  • The Eyes of the Skin, Juhani Pallasmaa**
  • The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die, Clarissa Pinkola-Estes
  • Feeding the Hungry Ghost: Life, Faith, and what to Eat for Dinner, Ellen Kanner
  • Tending the Soul’s Garden: Permaculture as a Way Forward in Difficult Times, Denise Rushing
  • Language and Culture, Claire Kramsch (part of the Oxford Introduction to Language Study Series, H.G. Widdowson series editor)
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadimann
  • A Handful of Quiet, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Long Road Turns to Joy, Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Sonic Self, Naomi Cumming
  • Integrating the Arts in Therapy: History, Theory, and Practice, Shaun McNiff

**Title must be read and writing assignments completed prior to enrolling in Facilitation Skills

Prerequisite: you must be accepted into either the ICAF or the ICAT Certification Program or have permission from the Director to take this course


PY012    Theories of Counseling & Psychology for Creative Arts Therapy

Theories of counseling and psychology have been developed by practitioners, their methods, insights, and approaches, which they have shared as tools for all clinicians to use in order to best support clients. This course provides an opportunity to learn about different theories in counseling and psychology, their history, and the ways in which they can be used in clinical practice. Throughout the course, students will be asked to consider, reflect upon, and actively define and modify their own personal theory and approach to counseling and intermodal Creative Arts Therapy.




AA001   Exploring the Aural 1 

Beginning with music fundamentals, (pitch, rhythm, meter, themes, harmony, consonance, dissonance, etc.,) and moving to more advanced concepts of sound and semiotics, students will examine music of various genres, time periods, and cultures through the lenses of western aesthetics and their own subjective responses, building and developing their understanding of what music is, its language, and its purpose.


AA002    Exploring the Aural 2 

Building on concepts learned and explored in Aural 1, this course examines the environment of sound, its purpose, its meaning, and our perceptions. Through assigned readings and listening experiences, students will examine specific sound effects and aspects of music in such terms as musical aesthetics, acoustics, urbanism, sociology, and textual and media expressions, as they deepen and expand their understanding of the language of music within the culture of sound.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Exploring the Aural 1  |  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA003    Exploring the Visual 1 

In this course students will examine visual arts, their nature, function, and relationship in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, and graphics. Through course readings, written assignments, and live artwork visits, students will explore visual perception while considering elements of design including but not limited to composition, medium, line, shape, scale, contrast, movement, texture, color, style.


AA004    Exploring the Visual 2 

Continuing the exploration of the visual arts begun in Visual 1, students will focus more closely on the language of the visual arts as it pertains to perception and design. Through readings, writing assignments, and in-person artwork visits, students will explore various aspects of perception, the artists’ mediums, how we make meaning through the visual arts, our  interrelationship with the natural and built environments and the arts and how they impact our experience of the visual arts. Students will consider these relationships and the multiple layers of conversation between artist, medium, artwork, and audience.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Exploring the Visual 1  |  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA005    The Work of the Writer 1: Elements of Craft 

Through course readings of various short forms of literature, (“Brief Writing”), engaging with the texts, and through writing experientials, students will examine elements of craft such as character, dialogue, imagery, scene setting, figurative language, sound, rhythm. Students will explore how authors use different literary techniques to construct their narratives, make meaning, and relate and interrelate with the world around them in such genres as poetry, lyric prose, and creative nonfiction.


AA006    The Work of the Writer: Detective Fiction

This course examines detective fiction, its history, the Golden Age, and some of its most influential authors. Assigned readings may include such authors as Wilkie Collins, E.C. Bentley, Josephine Tey, Arthur W. Upfield, Gervase Fen, Dorothy L. Sayers, Rex Stout, Ngaio Marsh, Arthur Conan Doyle, P.D. James. Students will explore predominant types of detective fiction, main formats, and the characteristics of the genre with special attention to conventions, culture, rule breakers, how authors’ lived experiences influence their work, stylistic components, and the writer’s process.

Prerequisite: successful completion of Work of the Writer 1  This course is not offered every session. Please check with Admissions prior to enrolling.


AA999    Arts Area: Independent Study

Working with a CELA mentor, students design their own syllabus of creative work in their arts area, academic readings, and writing assignments. Mentors meet regularly with their students to provide ongoing support and to evaluate student work. If you would like to pursue an independent study for any arts area course requirement, contact CELA Admissions to begin the process and receive the appropriate forms to complete.

Prerequisite: departmental approval


Students must register for CELA courses no later than 2 weeks prior to the session’s start date


CELA courses support each student’s personal, academic, and professional growth through individualized mentoring and positive student-instructor relationships.


All CELA courses are 30 hours.



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