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Expressive Therapies

Arts in Health

Graduate Certificate, full-time or part-time post-baccalaureate program

Infuse the arts and creativity into promoting health and well-being.

The use of the expressive arts, which combines dance, drama, visual art, writing, and music, is proven to enhance the recovery process in others. Through our certificate program, discover how to integrate the healing power of creative expression into the care of patients in hospitals, health centers, nursing homes, and other settings. You’ll develop a range of skills that open new possibilities in healthcare, education, human services, social work, counseling, and more.

Personal expression through creativity and the arts has the potential to access a body, mind, and spirit continuum. It's also proven to be helpful in the process of healing and recovery. In addition, current research suggests that the arts are a safe and cost effective intervention that sustains communities, complements traditional and alternative medicine, and enhances well-being and treatment compliance.

In this 15-credit program, you'll examine the role of arts in healing, with a special focus on the healing process and expanding individual and community well-being and health. Through your coursework, you’ll discover how health and illness are defined in many cultures, considering the central role of community, family, spiritual values, ritual, and the arts in healing across cultures. Taking a holistic look at the expressive arts modalities, you’ll learn how to apply them to your current professional practice.

In addition to discovering opportunities for using the arts across the lifespan, you’ll also find new ways to use the arts to educate communities about the risk, prevention, and care for public health, social and cultural, environmental, and medical issues in wellness and preventative care programs.

If you’re interested in training to become a licensed expressive arts therapist, explore our 60-credit on-campus or low-residency master’s degree programs.

Graduate Program Inquiry Form

Program Structure

Full-Time or Part-Time On-Campus Program

15 Credits

  • Lesley-Somerville ARPA Scholars Application

    Lesley University has been awarded a Federal ARPA grant through the City of Somerville to financially support Somerville residents or individuals employed in Somerville who wish to pursue or advance a professional undergraduate or graduate degree at Lesley University in Social Work, Mental Health Counseling, or Human Services.  

    • New students must apply to and be accepted into one of the eligible programs at Lesley to be considered for ARPA funding.
    • Matriculated students in one of the eligible programs may apply for the ARPA funding. 
    • Accepted applicants for the ARPA funds will receive tuition relief at Lesley University for up to one year during the period from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024. Funding decisions will be made on a funds-available basis. 
    • Lesley’s financial aid team will work with individuals to identify additional funding opportunities beyond the first year of study. 
    • All ARPA funding applicants are required to fill out a FAFSA form regardless of need. 

    Apply for ARPA funding

man walking in harvard square, cambridge

Cambridge, MA

A nexus for higher education and mental health counseling practice and research, each year 250,000 students arrive to Cambridge from around the globe. The intellectual and cultural capital runs deep, and so do your opportunities addressing barriers to wellness. From Lesley’s location, access innovative community, hospital, and school-based mental health programs.

Applications for the Arts
Dance, drama, art, poetry, writing, music and expressive arts are used in the care of patients at hospitals, community health centers, community programs, nursing homes, and numerous other health settings. The arts are also used to:
mitchell kossak with drum
Expressive Therapies
Mitchell Kossak
Mitchell's passion for teaching and healing has led him to work extensively with autistic children and adults, divided communities in Israel, and individuals affected by trauma, such as his work in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. His current research explores the importance of the body in psychotherapy, and how the arts can be engaged to bring awareness to the body’s role in personal expression and healing.
Where Graduates Work


Total approximate cost for this certificate program.
Arts in Health
Estimated Cost

All graduate students are reviewed for merit scholarships through the admissions process and are awarded at the time of acceptance. Other forms of financial aid are also available. Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover. Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective in the Summer term.

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Total approximate cost for this certificate program. Tuition and fees are for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.