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4 Essential Tips for Starting an Art Therapy Business

Art therapy is a growing industry that allows patients to cope and heal using guided art techniques in a therapeutic setting. 

Once you’ve established whether your qualified, financially capable, and interested in starting an art therapy business, here are 4 important things to consider.

1. Establish a Business Model

What are your goals for the business? Ask yourself a few of these questions as you establish your business model.

  • Am I hoping to start a private practice?
  • Will I hire other therapists or work solo?
  • Besides traditional sessions, will I offer group sessions?
  • Do I meet the necessary qualifications to work with insurance companies?
  • Will I work outside my practice certain days at schools or rehabilitation centers?
  • Can I survive without income for a few months while establishing the business?
  • What is my marketing plan?

These questions and more can help you determine what kind of business you’re starting, what your schedule will look like, and how you intend to market it. 

2. Set up Shop

If you decide to have a private practice, there are a few necessary things to consider:

  • Where will my office space be? It needs a reception/waiting area and a separate therapy room for privacy. 
  • What customer management system will I use to schedule clients, keep records, and take payments?
  • How will I furnish the space?
  • Have I established a legal entity and appropriate tax identifications?
  • Do I have necessary contact means (phone, answering machine, email)?
  • Have I built a website?
  • What will my hours of operation be?
  • What will my financial policies be (cancellations, refunds, etc.)

Use these as a guide to help you set up shop and make your practice accessible to potential clients/patients.

3. Rehabilitation Centers

Many rehabilitation centers offer art therapy to their patients as an experiential approach to healing. But most centers don’t need and can’t afford an on-site art therapist 9-5, 5 days a week. 

Art therapy is typically offered on certain days in a rotating schedule with other experiential treatments. Check here for more info.

If your schedule is flexible, you could offer classes at the rehabilitation center two days each week and work at your own practice the other 3 days. 

4. Starting an Art Therapy Business Requires Marketing

Marketing isn’t just about business cards and signs. Marketing includes networking, utilizing social media, and improving your SEO for web users. 


Meet with other art therapists, make contact with schools and universities to offer your services or place ads, and participate in continuing education.

Social Media

Create social media accounts for your practice across the major platforms. Besides sharing contact and general business info, consider sharing tips on art therapy techniques people can use at home. Those who find your tips useful will share your posts and possibly schedule appointments for more access to helpful content.


SEO or search engine optimization is the practice of using keywords and links on your website to make it more likely that potential clients find you on the internet.

When you type “art therapist near me” on Google, you want your practice website to appear at or near the top. 

If search engine optimization is a foreign language to you, you might consider hiring a marketing service to help boost your Google rankings. 

Remember This

It’s easy to get lost in the logistics of starting a business. Take time to remember the real impact of your work.

You’re starting an art therapy business to help people improve their lives and heal from past trauma. 

Visit our start a business page for more info today!