Natasha Lekes, second from left, UMF associate professor of psychology, guides student discussion with seniors Brandon Martin of Falmouth, Sam Melgar of Gardiner and Jen Hart of Oakland. UMF Image

FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington has announced it will offer an innovative, new program, Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with an Emphasis in Creative Arts, for the fall.

One of three similar programs in the United States, the program is designed to provide a solid clinical foundation while also integrating creative and expressive arts into the practice of counseling and psychotherapy.

The program promotes the development of counseling skills through professional and clinical training and immersion in various artistic modalities, including music, painting and creative writing. The approach to counseling is relevant to a wide variety of individuals, including special populations for whom traditional talk therapy is inappropriate, such as children, the elderly and those with dementia or autism.

To help meet the time management needs of working professionals and adult learners, the program adopts a hybrid model, with classes delivered online and once a week in person. With appropriate post-graduate experience, graduates are qualified to sit for the Maine state licensing exam to become a licensed clinical professional counselor.

The program will further provide an opportunity for high-achieving undergraduate students to participate in an integrated 3+2 program in creative arts counseling at UMF. Students enrolled in the program can take a broad range of courses at the undergraduate level, including psychology, art, music and creative writing.

For more information, visit or contact Erin Connor, UMF associate dean for graduate and continuing education, [email protected] or 207-778-7186.

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