Art Therapy: An Introduction Part 1

Art Therapy - An Introduction Part 1

Course Description

This is an experiential workshop that introduces the use of art in both mental health and community welfare settings. Art therapy is most effective when the therapist can offer the client, family or group a beneficial opportunity to express thoughts or feelings through a less-verbal form of language. Such situations may be as a result of trauma or loss, or where the cause is not yet known but physical or emotional difficulties are evident. Art holds an inherent ability to heal. The workshop demonstrates ways to facilitate innate urges to seek creative expression.

Communication through art is effective for indigenous cultures, and can assist biological illness treatment and sometimes recovery, such as cancer, brain injury or other physical and intellectual disabilities. Art is used effectively with all age groups, to describe multi-cultural perspectives or belief systems; to address addiction; to explore family sub-systems, and to bridge generational barriers. The process of making artwork can be therapeutic in itself, where no further explanation is necessary. It can also be used when life challenges seek expression, to verbally explore symbolic content. This can lead to personal insight, understanding and self-awareness.

Experiential learning introduces ways to facilitate a respectful, safe exploration of the artwork and demonstrates the potential of art activity as a means of non-verbal communication and self-expression. The creative process is given theoretical context in terms of work practice and professional information is provided, including availability of resources, a literature review and further training options. All participants receive an art kit as a practice resource.

Artistic skills are not required to benefit from this training.


Therapists, counsellors, artists, educators, child care/early childhood workers or anyone interested in working with art.  People who are considering a career in art therapy.