Children and Adolescents: The Use of Art in Assessment and Treatment (2 days)


Gain skill and knowledge to use art tasks to facilitate emotional, intellectual and social development, as well as safe respectful ways to process art work.

Course Description

Children and adolescents naturally find ways to express themselves and to communicate through art activities. Through mark-making, reality takes tangible form and fantasy becomes less confusing – the child begins to understand and comprehend their world. Art provides a means to communicate ideas, fantasies, beliefs and experiences. Art therapy offers an opportunity to safely process an array of confusing feelings that may emerge as the adolescence emerges. Art-making is a liberating experience that enhances an innate urge to make marks on their environment, to engage in the process of play.

For teenagers, art provides opportunity to redefine a sense of identity as they begin to separate from the family, experience peer relationships and a growing sense of autonomy.

This workshop establishes ways to use art with children and adolescents to examine growth and development, provide interactive techniques and learn ways process symbolic messages with different age groups. Art activity offers an alternate way to express strong emotions and provides an area of transition from childhood to adulthood. Participants are provided with ideas and boundaries around safe practice in health and community settings. Artistic skills are not required to benefit from this workshop.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will have the opportunity to:
• Gain knowledge about art activities to facilitate expression;
• Understand graphic art as part of  personality development;
• Learn ways to explore symbolic and metaphoric content;
• Enhance therapeutic skills in non-verbal assessment and intervention.


Therapists, counsellors, artists, educators, child care workers and anyone interested in working with children or adolescents. People considering a career in art therapy.




Annette Coulter is a Registered Art Psychotherapist, Director of the Centre for Art Psychotherapy and coordinator of the Adolescent and Family Counselling Service in the upper Blue Mountains. She completed post-graduate clinical art therapy and art education in the UK. Further training includes child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy, family therapy, group work and sandplay. She provides consultation, clinical supervision and customised training and helped pioneer art therapy in academic and clinical settings in UK, Australia and South-east Asia. She is a published author on art therapy with trauma, couples, children and adolescents.


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