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Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject students will be introduced to the diversity of theoretical approaches which constitute and differentiate the practice of art therapy. The practice of art therapy draws on theory from the domains of psychology and creativity. In this subject, we investigate the main psychological theories which have played a role and those in popular current use. This overview locates the humanistic art therapy approach at La Trobe University in context. The theoretical constructs introduced within the subject are counterbalanced with an experiential understanding of art therapy process through personal art making.

SchoolSchool of Psychology & Public Health

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPatricia Fenner

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 4 - UG/Hons/1st Yr PG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be enrolled in HMART - Master of Art Therapy.


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsApproaches to art therapy: Theory and technique. 2nd Edn.RecommendedRubin, J.A. 2001HOVE AND NEW YORK: BRUNNER ROUTLEDGE.
ReadingsArt as a way of knowingRecommendedAllen, P.B. 1995BOSTON: SHAMBALA.
ReadingsHandbook of Art TherapyRecommendedMalchiodi, C. 2003NY: GUILDFORD PRESS.
ReadingsThe arts therapies: a revolution in healthcareRecommendedJones, P 2005HOVE & NEW YORK: BRUNNER ROUTLEDGE.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Identify key psychological theories and their applications in the development and practice of art therapy

Lectures, class activities

02. Express and appropriately present personal material to others through art making

Homework art making task and presentation to class

03. Compare and contrast psychological theories influencing art therapy practice

Lectures, class group work

04. Demonstrate advanced level interpersonal skills, most particularly empathetic listening and observation

Class small group work, whole class art activities

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2015, Week 08-09, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPatricia Fenner

Class requirements

Block Mode
One 5.0 days block mode per study period and delivered via face-to-face.
"Block mode teaching over 5 full days: 19th - 21st Feb & 27th - 28th Feb."


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
3,500-word paper60
1000 word reflective paperThis paper accompanies a hrdle task of self box and class presentation30
Attendance and participation in class discussion10