phe5ost open studio and post traumatic growth




Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject you will learn about trauma and its many presentations, how this affects the brain and the role materials play in trauma informed practice. In particular you will learn about how art therapy can play a particular role in recovery from trauma and in generating post-traumatic growth. The central vehicle for this clinical application will be the Open Studio method. You will be equipped with skills in facilitating this approach for clients in clinical settings as well as for people affected by natural disasters in the general community.

SchoolSchool of Psychology & Public Health

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPatricia Fenner

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted into HMART and must have passed 120 credit points at Year 4 level in Art Therapy.


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsHandbook of posttraumatic growth: research and practiceRecommendedCalhoun L. G. & Tedeschi, R.G. (2014)Routledge
ReadingsPositive change process and post-traumatic growth in people who have experienced childhood abuse: understanding vechiles of changeRecommendedWoodward, C & Joseph, S. (2003)Psychology and psychotherapy: theory, research and practice
ReadingsArt therapy, trauma and neuroscience: theoreticalRecommendedKing, J. L. (2016)Taylor and Francis
ReadingsTrauma, tragedy, therapy: the arts and human sufferingRecommendedLevine, S. (2009)Jessica Kingsley

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Articulate and critique the structure, form and purpose of the Open Studio method of art therapy

Paper 1 - theoretical paper lectures and workshops

02. Demonstrate advanced skills in the application of the Open Studio method.

Completion of a cumulative art-based reflective art work based on the theoretical learning introduced in the subject. This will act as a case study in open Studio method. Personal narratives of experience

03. Differentiate the various forms of trauma relevant to the Australian context and how these impact on brain function

Paper 1 - theoretical essay workshops and lectures

04. Apply advanced art therapy interventions, including suitable use of materials to reduce trauma impacts for individuals and communities

Paper 1 # theoretical essay Paper 2 # reflective paper informing implications for clinical practice workshops and class discussion

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2019, Winter semester, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPatricia Fenner

Class requirements

Lecture/SeminarWeek: 28 - 28
Five 6.0 hours lecture/seminar per study period on weekdays during the day from week 28 to week 28 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments%ILO*
Major studio-based art work reflecting student learning (1,000-words equivalent)3002
Paper 1: Theoretical essay (3,000-words equivalent) 5001, 02, 03, 04
Paper 2: Reflective paper (1,500-words equivalent) 2002, 04