Art Healing through Art Therapy image.

Arts therapies counselling course

Art Therapy course image of a hand with paint brush used in Art Healing Therapy



The Arts Therapies counselling course is made up of ten short courses in a year, spread over four years.
The goal with our Arts Therapies Counselling Course is to equip individuals to use art as a medium to do counselling with individuals or groups. We teach you Art Therapy principles and Art Therapy theories as well as principles from Psychology and Counselling to enable you to be effective as an Arts Techniques Counsellor.
The Art Healing Academy is the first of its kind in South Africa and we have been going since 2009. 
This course includes theory, experientials, a practical component, studio work and supervision.

(You don't need to be in South Africa or a South African to do this course we accept students from all countries. Contact out office for more information.)
This course will enable you to use Art as modality to work therapeutically as a Counsellor.
Arts Therapies Counselling can also be referred to as Visual Therapy or Creative Therapy.
The course has a strong practical component.

Our year is divided into three trimesters and you can enrol and start either in February, June or October.
You are allocated a study mentor and supervisor that will contact you directly after you have registered.

The first year consists of ten modules/short courses at R1600 per module
(Please note: There are prescribed books that you need to buy as well.)

The time set to complete each module will be four weeks.
We advise that you complete 5 short courses/modules over 6 months, but you can work faster or slower as is possible for you.
You can enroll for one module at a time or for up to ten at a time.

In South Africa you can work at an organization as many of our past students do or you can start your own practice.
You can also integrate what you have learned through our course in the field you are currently in for example if you are a social worker, a psychologist, an art teacher or a counsellor.
You can also present workshops, do group work or arrange camps or specialized weekends.
(We also have workshops-to-buy that are compiled by a specialist that is ready and can be immediately presented once you've bought it. You can also provide us with workshops that we will sell on your behalf.)

To follow is a summary of the content and is similar to the US course that we are aligned with and serves as an indication of everything covered by our short courses.

To successfully meet the requirements, students will:

  • develop values that integrate the identity of a visual artist and that of a helping field.

  • integrate the concepts of Arts techniques counselling within a context of the helping field, through engagement in experiential learning.

  • be able to critically analyze social science research to enhance their development within the field.

  • demonstrate an understanding of normal human development.

  • display a capacity to utilize multicultural perspectives in their approach to understanding Arts techniques counselling practice.

Year1: It is suggested that you complete10 skills programs/modules over a year
Module 1: Counselling as part of the therapeutic process
Module 2: Assessment 1
Module 3: Assessment 2
Module 4: Theoretical approach: Trauma
Module 5: Theoretical approach: Narrative
Module 6: Theory applied: Trauma and Narrative
Module 7: Social context of the counselling relationship
Module 8: Preparation for practicum
Module 9: Practicum
Module 10: Practicum feedback

Year 2:
Module 1: Arts therapies theories: Mindfulness
Module 2: Arts therapies theories: Positive psychology
Module 3: Personality theories 1
Module 4: Personality theories 2
Module 5: Lifespan development
Module 6: Practicum preparation
Module 7: Practicum
Module 8: Practicum feedback
Module 9: Studio art; 3-D
Module 10: The process in arts therapies

Year 3:
Module 1: Arts therapies and Trauma II
Module 2: Group/Family therapy theory
Module 3: Group/Family therapy practicum
Module 4: Community project research
Module 5: Community project planning
Module 6: Community project execution
Module 7: Community project feedback
Module 8: Studio Art 1
Module 9: Studio Art 2
Module 10: Working inter-cultural

Year 4 & 5 (We are working towards accreditation for this part of the course to eventually be acknowledged as on the level of a Masters degree): It is suggested that you do these 12 skills programs over 1 to 2 years

Module 1: Psychodynamic approach and mental illness
Module 2: Arts therapies and relationships
Module 3: Dance and drama
Module 4: Studio Art 3
Module 5: Studio Art 4
Module 6: Research and preparation
Module 7: Thesis proposal
Module 8: Thesis execution
Module 9: Thesis feedback
Module 10: Other therapeutic approaches
Module 11: Area of specialization and your approach
Module 12: Practical sessions evaluations

Our students regularly work in less fortunate communities at no cost to these communities or organizations in the communities as part of their practical work.

A. Practical:
Practical (Arts techniques counselling 1)
Practical (Arts techniques counselling 2)
Practical group work

B. Dissertation:
Research and evaluation
Thesis: (20 000 word dissertation based on research)
We are the only group that has done research in this field that is South African specific.

C. Studio Art Foundation Courses: Advanced
The foundation courses are designed to give students a broad experience in 2D and 3D work. Students are required to take a course in drawing, painting, sculpture and/or 3D. CHOOSE 3:
3-D Art
Clay work

D. Community project:
Community project theory Community project: (Choose between dance; drama; wall murals; animals; photography; writing or self-awareness)

For more information contact us at: