Studio enhances student experience

La Trobe's art therapy studio offers students an experiential learning environment

La Trobe's art therapy studio features natural light and ample space to offer students an experiential learning environment.

As the central space for the Master of Art Therapy, this purpose-built facility allows students to combine art and counselling into a clinical, therapeutic or community context.

Established in 2021, the studio is equipped with comfortable seating, inspiring artwork displays and flexible workstations, creating a versatile environment that can adapt to a range of therapeutic learning activities and exercises.

“From painting and drawing to sculpting and mixed media, students are equipped with resources to engage in the art-making process,” says Course Coordinator, Dr Theresa Van Lith.

“The layout encourages group work, discussion, sharing of ideas and mutual support among students.”

Arts therapists are mental health professionals who use art, media and the creative process to facilitate the exploration of feelings for personal growth and therapeutic healing.

“Art therapy is an evidence-based approach that addresses developmental, emotional and psychological issues through creative expression and processing,” says Dr Van Lith.

“It is also used as a wellbeing intervention for groups and communities experiencing distress.”

“Creative processes can be a way for clients to explore and express feelings that may be hard to put into words and seek to make meaning and understanding.”

First year Master of Art Therapy student, Kerrie Theodorikakos, says she chose the degree because it combines her passion for fine art, psychology and health sciences.

“I greatly enjoy the course's integration of artistic processes with psychological theories and new age therapeutic techniques. It provides me with a comprehensive understanding of how art can be used as a medium to promote mental health and personal growth,” says Kerrie.

"The program offers students practical, hands-on experience through clinical placements. This unique opportunity allows us to contribute to and participate in supervised art therapy sessions with clients in real-world healthcare settings.”

“My vision is to embark on a fulfilling journey as an art therapist, making a difference both in Australia and internationally,” Kerrie adds. “I hope to use my expertise to deliver impactful wellbeing interventions to diverse groups and communities facing distress.”

Find out more about the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy. Visit the website and LinkedIn.