Professional Training Program FAQs


What is EXA?

EXA is short for Expressive Arts.

Can I attend the training program if I’m still in grad school?

Yes, you can attend the program if you are in grad school to become a therapist, counselor, or social worker but we recommend that you apply to attend when you will be doing your internship or have a worksite that will be open to you offering EXA, so you can also accrue hours for the 200-hour practicum at the same time.

Can I attend if I’m not a therapist?

This program is designed for clinicians to learn how to bring EXA into their work settings such as community mental health, treatment programs, and private practice. Please reach out to us with your question about whether your professional experience would be a good fit for our program.

What is the difference between the 200-hour practicum and experience hours?

The 200-hour practicum is what is required by the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association to be completed during institute training. This is a pre-requisite to accruing experience hours, post-graduation from our program.

 You will need 1000 hours internship/work experience, 100 hours group supervision or 50 hours individual supervision, or a combination of the two. Every effort is made to use your worksite to complete your hours, and you have up to 48 months to complete this requirement.

There is an option to stay with NWCEAI to complete requirements for  Registration with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA). This is a recognized international credential.

What if I can’t complete my 200-hour practicum?

While the training program is 10 months, you have a year to finish the 200 hours. If you are still incomplete after the year, we can keep your student status current on a month-to-month basis by Registering for Group or Individual Supervision.

If I complete your program, will I be a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist?

Not quite. After successful completion of this program, you will receive a certificate of completion which allows you to claim that you use expressive arts therapy as a therapeutic approach and have received extensive training and a certificate from NWCEAI. It does not allow you to refer to yourself, or advertise yourself, as a Registered or Certified Expressive Arts Therapist, Registered Drama Therapist, Registered Art Therapist, or any other Creative Arts Therapy discipline with a credential, or use the suffixes: REAT, ATR, DMT, DTR, etc. 

This program provides only the training requirements needed to apply for registration with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA). Additional hours of supervision and internship will be required for registration with IEATA after the 10- month training has been completed. It does not prepare you for registration with the American Art Therapy Association, or another creative arts therapy discipline credential.  Please see Registration with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association for more information about the application process.

What if I don’t want to become a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist?

You can still participate in our program! If you are certain that this is not the path you will be on, the practicum hours may be waived. This is decided on an individual basis.

Can I do my practicum at my workplace? What if I’m in private practice?

If you can bring Expressive Arts into your workplace, you’re in good shape. In some cases, it may be important to check with your supervisor.

What supervision do you offer?

Within the program, we offer small mentoring groups for consultation, as well as ongoing consultation within the learning of the program. Faculty can also be available for questions that come up outside of class time, if necessary.

Post-graduation Supervision is available if you are seeking your expressive arts registration (REAT).

Can I work on my REAT hours and my state licensure at the same time?

Yes, but NWCEAI only offers supervision for REAT.

Can I attend the training program if I am out of state or out of the country?

Yes, but please note that our classes are scheduled by US Pacific Time Zone.

Do I need to be an artist to attend?

Not in any formal sense! You do not have to have any experience in any of the arts modalities. Part of becoming an Expressive Arts Therapist is embracing the arts, imagination, creativity, and play as part of our learning. Becoming comfortable with the modalities is essential, but high skill is not. Our program encourages on-going involvement in creative practice, which can include learning various art forms and techniques. This is also a requirement for REAT:  Registration with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association.

Where can I use Expressive Arts therapy?

Everywhere. EXA is used in any environment, with any age, background, and ability. One of the beautiful things about EXA is the ability to modify approaches to meet people where they are, no matter where they are.

Do you have scholarships?

Yes, we offer two types of scholarship. Download the applications and find out more here.

Have more questions? Please get in touch!