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If you visit our page, I believe it is because you have a passion for art and for helping people and possibly

combining these two. If that is the case then you’ve come to the right place!

(We have many past students that are currently working very successfully in the field)


I am Lorette Dye and am excited to share with you what is possible.


Let start with the difference between ART THERAPY and ART COUNSELLING.




The difference between Art


therapy and Art counselling


There are a few significant differences but also similarities between ART THERAPY and ART COUNSELLING.



Before I go into the differences and similarities between Art therapy and Art counselling, I want to refer to my book that I’ve written:


Art therapy/techniques across cultural and race boundaries: working with identity, p.57:


“An empty canvas can seem threatening. The moment you lift your paintbrush to make the first strokes, the process is irreversible. It starts a story that is either going to be the way you want it, completely different but still good, or it could be a total failure.” (Dye, 2017)



But no matter where you feel your canvas is now and what is on it, I believe that if your passion is Art and helping people then you should pursue a career in Art therapy or/and Art counselling.



The differences between Art therapy and Art counselling


  • With Art therapy you start your training in Art therapy only on post-graduate level that is through an honours and/or a Masters degree. With Art counselling your training starts immediately.
  • With Art therapy you need to be full time available and attending classes. With Art counselling you can study where you are, online and will still receive supervision, do experientials, do practical and studio art work.
  • With Art therapy you will need after your masters, to do a practical year and write an entrance exam as well as apply for registration. With Art counselling your practical work is included in your 6x4 modules (6 modules per year thus a total of 4 years study). You can do less modules/years and will still be able to use the knowledge you acquired.
  • After your studies in Art therapy and completing your masters you can register (in South Africa) with the HPCSA and refer to yourself as an Art therapist. With Art counselling you can register (in South Africa) at the CCSA and/or the ASCHP as a holistic counsellor and refer to yourself as Art counsellor using Art therapy. (We are also applying currently for registration for our students in Australia and New Zealand)
  • Although both Art therapy and Art counselling focus on using Art to work therapeutically, Art therapists will work with abnormal behavior whereas Art counsellors would not.



The similarities between Art therapy and Art counselling:


Both art therapy and art counselling focus on using Art to work therapeutically.




More about artS counselling



(Our focus is to enable you to be an effective Counsellor using ART as modality to work therapeutically as well as to equip people in the helping field including -but not limited to- social workers and psychologists to use ART as one of the modalities to do therapy.)



We have different subdivisions

This includes:

  • Arts counselling training through short modules (spread over eight semesters) to be registered in SA (or in the country you live and work) as Counsellor to start your own practice or work at schools or other organizations as 'Arts Counsellor'. (Arts Counselling is also referred to as Art Healing; Visual Therapy or Creative Therapy.)
  • Our training in Arts Counselling is similar to courses referred to as Pre-Art Therapy courses in some overseas countries to enable and allow selection for a Masters program in Art Therapy in these countries for example the US as Art Therapy is a field that only starts at Masters-level.
  • Work as Skills training facilitator in less fortunate areas integrating art counselling practices.
Helios also offer a franchise opportunity for people trained through our courses in Arts Counselling, as Strepco Counsellor or as Steer facilitator.
(for more info on this go to www.helios.co.za or contact our office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )


More info on Arts therapy/Counselling

(Info on Art therapy for individuals that hope to equip themselves in future as Arts Counsellors)

Expressing feelings through creative activities such as painting, drawing and sculpture can create an image of people's emotions. Viewed as a cathartic and non-threatening way of venting repressed feelings, art techniques counselling can help people gain confidence and bolster self-esteem. It is a particularly effective way of communicating for those with emotional challenges, or those with learning difficulties. Art techniques counselling has been shown to be highly beneficial for people battling with eating disorders, addictions and stress. It has also been known to help those coming to terms with bereavement, and those suffering from Alzheimer's and other terminal illnesses. Many hospitals, prisons and institutions employ art techniques counsellors.

What it is:
Art therapy is based on the idea that the creative act can be healing. According to practitioners, called art teechniques counsellors, it helps people express hidden emotions; reduces stress, fear, and anxiety; and provides a sense of freedom. Many art techniques counsellors also believe the act of creation influences brain wave patterns and the chemicals released by the brain.

What does it involve?
People involved in art therapy are given the tools they need to produce paintings, drawings, sculptures, and many other types of artwork. In Art therapy you work with people individually or in groups. The job of the art therapist/counsellor is to help people express themselves through their creations and to talk to people about their emotions and concerns as they relate to their art. For example, an art therapist/counsellor may encourage a person with cancer to create an image of themselves with cancer, and in this way express feelings about the disease that may be hard to talk about or may be unconscious.

Benefits of art therapy:
Art work may also be used as an assessment tool, particularly with children, who often have trouble talking about painful events or emotions. Art therapist/counsellors say that often children can express difficult emotions or relay information about traumatic times in their lives more easily through drawings than through conventional counselling.
Art therapy counselling is useful whether the issue is a relationship challenge due to communication breakdown, or the effects of surviving severe trauma. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, grief, illness, and behavioural problems can all be reduced through the creative process. Art therapy counselling enhances any recovery program.
The free flowing expression derived from creating art opens the mind of youngsters and truly aids them in discovery and self awareness. Art expression is portrayed as its own language, speaking for itself when viewed bringing visual insight to behaviours and emotions. Children benefit greatly if they are experiencing developmental or communicational disorders such as autism, as well as grief, parental issues, anxiety, and even abuse.
Art therapy counselling is very effective to tap into the unconscious and suppressed thought and feelings of a person.

Source: AATA

Our training is for people interested in entry- and mid-level training in Art counselling to be registered as Counsellors to work in different settings including at different organizations, working with individuals or groups as well as with groups of people that are less fortunate and can't afford counselling as well as with people from different Southern African countries as well as countries all over the world.



We also offer a short introductory course to Arts counselling

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 January 2020 13:15