Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject students will develop an understanding of theories and practices of art therapy with children and adolescents, primarily from Western perspectives however cognisant of the complexities of working with cross cultural populations. Students will learn about child development and how children also systematically develop the ability to express themselves using visual art. Art therapy assessment skills appropriate for use with children and adolescents will be presented and critiqued. Through the acquisition of art therapy clinical skills, students will gain the ability to practice art therapy with children from diverse cultures in various settings.

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
ReadingsArt therapy with children: From infancy to adolescenceRecommendedCase, C. & Dally, T. (2008)LONDON: ROUTLEDGE
ReadingsChild Art TherapyRecommendedRubin, J. (2005)HOBOKEN: JOHN WILEY
ReadingsHidden treasure: A map to the child's inner selfRecommendedOaklander, V. (2007)LONDON: KARNAC
ReadingsUnderstanding children's drawingsRecommendedMalchiodi, C. (1998)NEW YORK: GUILFORD

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Ability to describe child development theories and, in particular, graphic development.

Reinforcement of lecture materials and ability to apply this knowledge in relation to theoretical approaches.

02. Articulate a range of mental health issues which present in childhood and how these can be assessed using art therapy tools.

Reinforcement of lecture materials and class activities and inclusion of some of these issues in an assessed paper.

03. Ability to design an art therapy treatment plan for a range of children in varied settings.

Ability to design a treatment plan based on material from assessment and other psycho social factors.

04. Ability to demonstrate and differentiate factors which impact on child development such as culture and trauma.

Evidence of this knowledge as applied to discussion of two theoretical approaches.

05. Ability to discern the difference between subjective and objective information in child observation.

Report on findings from a child observation activity.

06. Analysis of the impact of various art materials on therapeutic process.

Application of theory of materials use in therapy and practice.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2016, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPatricia Fenner

Class requirements

Seminar Week: 10 - 22
One 2.0 hours seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Plus the equivalent of 1 hour additional out-of-class activities per week."


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Attendance and participation10
Observation report, 2000 words45 01, 05
Theoretical essay, 2500 words45 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06