Log in
Log in



How Do I Become a Member of the Northern California Art Therapy Association?
Members may join through NorCATA or through AATA. Please visit our Membership page and follow instructions to renew your membership or become a new member of NorCATA.   

I am a new member.  How will I receive information about upcoming workshops and events?  As a member, you will automatically receive announcements for upcoming events by social media or you can check back on the website under events or on the home page.

Do I need to be an AATA member to join NorCATA?
The American Art Therapy Association, AATA, does not require that chapter members have concurrent AATA membership at the equivalent membership level. However, non-AATA members who sign up for chapter membership must do so at the Contributing (Friend) level of $45.  NorCATA board members are expected to have concurrent AATA membership.

Is there a good time to join?
It's always a good time!  The NorCATA membership subscription period is on an annualized basis.   Your subscription renewal date will be one year from the date you join, and payments will automatically recur.  You may opt-out at any time.

What are your workshop fees for members and non-members?  Workshop fee for members is $25.  Fee for non-members is $50.  Fees can be paid via debit or credit card online at a secure site, or at the door if space is still available..

How do I get CE hours for workshops?  When you register for an event, you will be asked if you want CE hours, which you can pay for online.  After the event, you will be given an evaluation to complete and leave with the presenter; or you may receive an email instructing you to complete the evaluation for that workshop or conference. Once you have submitted your evaluation, you will be sent a pdf with your certificate to download and print.
Will NorCATA events fulfill my MFT requirements?  As a CAMFT and NBCC-approved continuing education provider, NorCATA's events will satisfy many CE requirements, including ethics.  However, if you have a question about the content of a specific workshop as it pertains your particular license or credentials, you should contact the organization that oversees that license and/or credential for final confirmation. 

I'm interested in being a regional representative for one of the open rep positions.  Who should I contact?
Please contact Regional Rep Liaison.

I'm interested in being on a NorCATA Board committee, or even as a Director on the Board.  Who should I contact?
Please contact either our Programs Co-Director, Deborah Sharpe, or our Acting President, Cynthia Wilson.  

I'm a student. Are there volunteer jobs I can do so that my $25 membership fee can be waived?
Yes.  Please contact our NDNU Student Liaison, Lexi Sorbara.  Or you can complete a volunteer application.

I'm a mental health professional in another discipline but very interested in art therapy - can I still join NorCATA?
Yes!  You are welcome to join as an Associate Member, with concurrent AATA membership.  If you choose not to have concurrent AATA membership, feel free to join at the Contributing (Friend) level.  Attending workshops and local regional meetings is a great way to learn more about the use of art therapy and connect with other professionals supportive of the use of creative arts in healing. 

Can I still pay by check and mail in my membership application?
Yes.  However, there is a $15 dollar processing fee for use of the paper application. This fee is waived if you attend our annual business meeting in January at Fort Mason or a workshop and provide your check and application in person.   If you still prefer to mail a check, mail to:  P. O. Box 210645   San Francisco, CA  94121 

Do I need a PayPal or other account to pay for my membership online?
No. You can pay by credit card if you prefer.  Payments are made through AffiniPay, our secure payment processor specifically for associations.  Just select the appropriate payment button and it will give you a credit card option.  

I don't remember my username or password, what do I do?
Go to Member Login on the home page; the person icon at the upper right of the page.  Enter your email address and we'll send a Password Reminder to the email address on file.

I did not receive the NorCATA e-newsletter, why not?
If you are a current member (you have a username and password that our site generated for you) it could be the email went to your spam folder. For the future, please be sure that emails from don't go to your spam folder. To access newsletters you may have missed, visit as all past newsletters are posted on our site.

Where do I find a listing of AATA approved graduate programs?
On the American Art Therapy Association website: AATA-approved graduate programs.

What are the advantages or disadvantages of attending an approved school over a non-approved school?
The Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) allows a graduate of an approved school to apply to be a registered art therapist after 100 hours of clinical supervision.   The ATCB requires a student from an unapproved school to have many additional supervision hours before applying to be a registered art therapist. Attending an approved school may increase your opportunity to eventually become licensed as a counselor (LPC).  Additional licensing can open up opportunities to bill insurance for sessions.

What is required post graduation from a graduate school?
After graduation, one must complete a set amount of clinical supervision hours to apply to the ATCB to become a Registered Art Therapist (ATR).

What are all those letters behind an art therapist's name and what do they mean?
ATR® is defined as an active Registered Art Therapist with the Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc (ATCB). Once you have earned the ATR, you are eligible to apply to take the Art Therapy Credentials Board Examination (ATCBE) to attain the BC or Board Certification.

How do I become a registered and/or board certified art therapist?
Contact the ATCB National Office for Official Requirements.
The ATCB provides national registration (ATR) of completion for Master’s level work at an approved Art Therapy education program, two years of supervised practice and, board certification (BC) to those ATR art therapists who satisfactory complete a nationally administered exam.

What are the advantages of becoming registered and board certified?
The ATR-BC is the highest credential you can earn as an art therapist. The ATR-BC is an assurance to employers, clients, and the public that  you have met the rigorous standards set by a nationally recognized credentialing body.  The ATR-BC is a national credential and is portable from state to state. The ATR-BC also means that you provide services within the ethical guidelines of the ATCB’s Code of Professional Practice.

What recommendations do you have for securing a job post-graduation?
Remain in contact with supervisors of past internships.  Join your local art therapy chapter as well as AATA.  Network with other art therapists and mental health professionals.  Be willing to apply for jobs that are in the mental health field and don’t specifically ask for an art therapist - then market the use of art therapy with that population as a special skill set you have to offer.

What is the ideal employment situation for an art therapist?
This would depend upon the individual and the type of population or organization he/she is interested in working with.
One may want to consider the work environmental needs such as having an appropriate space to practice therapy.  This space would ideally include a sink, cabinets, table and chairs as well as a door for confidentiality.
One might also consider additional benefits that come with the job such as onsite clinical supervision.

Is there a specific therapeutic philosophy or art therapy theory that art therapists subscribe to?
According to AATA, Art therapy is based on the belief that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight.  Many different theoretical philosophies and models may be incorporated into one’s art therapy practice

What are the advantages of joining the local and national art therapy organizations?
Opportunities for networking with other professionals at educational and arts based social events.   Online resources such as job opportunities, quarterly newsletter, e-news including announcements, events, and workshops, as well as members only access to the website.  Provides a sense of community.

If I am moving from another state to practice art therapy, what do I need to know about art therapy in the San Francisco Bay Area, and what resources are available to me to assist with this transition?
Join NorCATA and check out the resources on our website.   Look into your state’s licensure requirements.

If you have additional questions, please contact us at

PO Box 460687
San Francisco, CA  94146-0661 USA


+1 (650) 489-2258

call or text 
or email us at

NorCATA is approved by the Internal Revenue Services as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that promotes the therapeutic use of art throughout Northern California, public awareness of art therapy, professional development through educational events, workshops, conferences, and more.  All donations are tax deductible to the full extent provided by law.

NorCATA does not and shall not discriminate, or allow discrimination against any person because of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion or creed, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, physical disability, medical condition, or special needs, in any of its activities or operations. Following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), NorCATA is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.

© Copyright 2013-2021, NorCATA   *   All Rights Reserved   *   Website Design by Devora Weinapple