Art therapy

Short course program 2020–2021


Are you interested in experiencing art therapy or completing an introductory course in counselling skills? The art therapy short course program provides introductory learning experiences for potential students, allied health practitioners, art therapists and the public*.

* Please note that the courses are not for credit to the La Trobe University Master of Art Therapy degree and do not provide qualification to practise as a registered art therapist or counsellor in Australia.

Workshop 1: Art therapy "taster" (one-day workshop) (CANCELLED)

Presenter: Zeb Brierley (AThR)
Date: 3 August 2019
Venue: Thomas Cherry Building Level 4, Room 403, Bundoora Campus
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what art therapy is and how it works? This one-day workshop provides a 'taster' experience of art therapy processes. Focusing on your own art-practice, you will experience the potential of art-making as a tool for personal growth, connectedness and self-awareness. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions about art therapy processes and how art therapy may apply in various health settings.

Extend your knowledge with the two-day Introduction to Art Therapy workshop (7 and 8 December 2019) which offers a more in-depth experience of art therapy theory and processes (no pre-requisites required). Both one and two-day courses suit people from varied backgrounds and professional practice, including prospective students of the Master of Art Therapy.

Zeb Brierley has a Master of Art Therapy and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Human Services. She has been a practicing Art Therapist/Counsellor for 20 years, working with a diverse range of populations. Zeb has taught in the Master of Art Therapy and the short course program at La Trobe University.

Workshop 2: Introduction to Art Therapy (two-day workshop)

Presenter: Zeb Brierley (AThR)
Date: (Date to be advised for late 2020, contact for further details)
Venue: Thomas Cherry Building, Level 4, Room 403, Bundoora Campus
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

This two-day workshop offers a more in-depth version of the one-day "Taster" workshop.

The workshop uses individual, paired and group work to guide you through a gentle and mindful exploration of diverse art materials and processes. You'll create, reflect and explore personal meaning, and also experience the potential of art-making as a tool for personal growth, connectedness and self-awareness.

Through an applied focus on your art-practice, you'll gain an understanding of how art enriches and facilitates working with others in many community and healthcare settings.

The workshop is suitable for a wide range of backgrounds and professional practitioners, including prospective students of the Master of Art Therapy.

*There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Workshop 3: Art Therapy Supervision Skills for Health Professionals (POSTPONED)

Presenter: Vicky Nicholls
Date: 15 June – 19 June 2020  POSTPONED (Date to be advised for late 2020, contact for further details)
Venue: Thomas Cherry Building, Level 4, Room 403, Bundoora Campus
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Full fee: $870
Discounted Fee: $610*

* 30% discount for those who have completed a previous 3-day Art Therapy Supervision short course at La Trobe University

Upon Completion:

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion that is recognised by professional body ANZACATA (Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association) as fulfilling the supervision training requirements to become a supervisor for art therapists.

Clinical supervision across disciplines is described as a collaborative process in which the supervisor works with the supervisee to explore their work reflectively. The role of the supervisor involves a blend of functions including education, mentoring, holding an ethical position and ensuring the safety of the supervisee and the supervisee’s clients.

This 5-day short course will provide theoretical components delivered via PowerPoint lectures, experiential learning activities, and opportunities to practise supervision skills in a group setting. Central to this workshop will be an exploration of the varying definitions and models of supervision, highlighting the tasks and responsibilities required in different settings.

Fundamental to this short course is the recognition of rapport-building and a good working alliance in the supervisory relationship. Challenges inherent in supervisory relationships, such as moral and ethical dilemmas will be discussed, highlighting the importance of self-reflexivity and an exploration of parallel processes. Additionally, this workshop will look at the integration of arts-based practices in supervision, including the complexities that art-making introduces. Experiential art-making activities will be included in the workshop to further an understanding of the importance of art processes and reflection in art therapy supervision.

This workshop is suitable for health professionals who are currently supervising art therapists/trainees, or practitioners wishing to gain art therapy supervision skills.


Vicky Nichollscompleted a Master of Art therapy at La Trobe University. She was employed as a Senior Art Therapist at the Austin CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) working with children, young people and their families experiencing significant difficulties with issues such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, eating disorders and ADHD. During her time there she developed a particular interest in attachment and the effects of trauma.  In 2011 Vicky was appointed as a Therapeutic Specialist for Take Two Berry Street, supporting young people living in out-of-home care as a result of neglect and abuse. In 2012 she was offered an opportunity to work with VACCA – (Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency) to develop a therapeutic program for Aboriginal children in care. Vicky has supervised students, allied health professionals and art therapists in the workplace for a number of years. She has been a sessional lecturer at La Trobe University in the Master of Art Therapy course since 2001. She also runs a private practice.

Workshop 4: Introduction to Counselling Skills

Presenter: Jenny Hill & Dr Samantha Warren
Date:  (Date to be advised for early 2021, contact for further details)
Venue: Health Sciences 1, Level 2, Room 206/207, Bundoora Campus
Time: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

This 5-day intensive workshop will focus on the development of effective, basic counselling skills. These will include: attending skills, non-verbal communication, active listening, non-judgmental listening, accurate reflection of content, feelings and meanings, and the use of open questions and summarising.

Students will move from learning to work with feelings to working with thoughts and behaviours. A range of techniques will be employed including a demonstration of skills in lectures and presentations, as well as workshop sessions where students will practise counselling exercises and micro-skills. Structured exercises and discussions
will also be incorporated to help develop students’ practical skills and raise their awareness of ethical issues.

Jenny Hill is a psychologist, creative arts therapist, a child and family therapist and educator. Jenny works in various postgraduate counselling and creative arts therapy programs.


Caryn Griffin

Art Therapy Short Course Coordinator