The creative arts therapies in Norway have been developing since the 1970s, when pioneers among Norwegian professionals, who had trained in England and USA, started up arts therapies practice in psychiatric wards. Now there are music therapists and art therapists working in psychiatric hospitals and day centres, special education, cancer care, trauma and refugee centres. Although the community of therapists is still not large in number, there is a growing interest in the creative arts therapies and an increasing number of students are attending training programmes


Two ECTS training programmes in music therapy are established in Norway, one at the Academy of Music in Oslo, and the other at the University of Bergen. They offer a one-year programme at Bachelor level, and a two-year Masters programme. There is a two-year Masters level ECTS Art Therapy programme at Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet) formerly Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. Despite great efforts from professionals trained abroad, there are still no official training programmes in either dramatherapy or dance therapy in Norway. There are private non-credit training programmes both in psychodrama, art and expressive art therapies


The profession is not yet recognised in Norway. There is no official certification for arts therapists in Norway. Most professionals have their certification based on their first profession as nurses, occupational therapists, special educators etc. The Norwegian Psychotherapy Association has recently been founded and is a member of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP). Its goal is to establish an official certification and registration system in Norway that would include qualified arts therapists. More information on the Professional Associations:

  1. The Norwegian Music Therapy Association was founded in 1972 and has about 400 members.
  2. The Norwegian Art Therapy Association was founded in 1978. In the mid-2000s, the Association was extended and renamed Creare - Norwegian Association of Art, Dance and Expressive Arts Therapies. It has about 100 members. The other arts therapies disciplines have formed their own associations.


Current research in Norway is focused primarily on embodiment in art and music therapy, and there is cross-disciplinary as well as national and international collaboration in these domains. OsloMet is developing a research component for its 2022 Masters programme. Doctoral work at the University is dependent on funding.