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Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject you 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, you investigate the main psychological theories which have played a role and those in popular contemporary 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 admitted into HMART - Master of Art Therapy or HCART - Graduate Certificate in 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. 3rd Edn.RecommendedRubin, J.A. 2016Taylor & Francis
ReadingsArt as a way of knowingRecommendedAllen, P.B. 1995BOSTON: SHAMBALA.
ReadingsHandbook of Art TherapyRecommendedMalchiodi, C. 2012NY: GUILDFORD PRESS.
ReadingsThe arts therapies: a revolution in healthcareRecommendedJones, P 2005HOVE & NEW YORK: BRUNNER ROUTLEDGE.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Identify, and analyse relevant underpinning psychological theories and models in the development and practice of art therapy

Lectures, class activities

02. Express and appropriately present complex personal material to others through art making demonstrating boundary awareness

Homework art making task and presentation to class

03. Analyse and critique psychological theories relevant to applications in art therapy practice with diverse clinical populations

Lectures, class group work

04. Discern and articulate 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, 2019, Week 08-09, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPatricia Fenner

Class requirements

Block ModeWeek: 08 - 09
Five 7.0 hours block mode per study period from week 08 to week 09 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
One paper (3,500-words)6001, 02, 03
One reflective paper (1,000-words)This paper accompanies a the creative art making task of the 'self box' and class presentation of this work.4001, 02, 04