Introduction to Art Therapy

About the course

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Why choose this course?

Due to the coronavirus outbreak we are monitoring the situation and will update our short courses when we have further information.

Course dates

  • Symbol and Language:
  • Monday 15 February 2021 - 09:30 to 17:00
  • Expression and Meaning:
  • Monday 29 March 2021 - 09:30 to 17:00
  • Looking and Making
  • Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 June 2021 - 10:00 to 16:00

Course length

1-2 days

Course cost

  • 1 day course £195
  • 2 day course £300

Introduction to Art Therapy consists a sequence of three courses. The courses are stand alone, or you can attend all three courses as a full introduction to understanding the Art Therapy process. Taken together they offer a thorough introduction to the potential for art to act as a form of a therapy through experiential learning, activity and involvement. Participants will be able to develop their own personal creativity while gaining an understanding of how Art Therapy is effective in health care and educational contexts and as a result why it is a growing profession. 

The three courses are linked through symbolic and expressive art-making, in which participants learn first through doing, then creative making and finally by reflecting on meaning. The course is intended as a first step to a qualification, or as an opportunity to discover how therapeutic art-making may be adapted to different contexts and clients, linked to key theories of wellbeing. Information about pursing Art Therapy as a profession, as well as a recommended reading list will be provided as part of the course.

1. Symbol and Language

Monday 17 February 2020 - 09:30 to 17:00

As a one day course this first session explores how the symbolic plays a significant part in how and what we communicate to the world. The day will explore art-making as a non-verbal, visual language, and consider how symbolic expression often emerges before verbal and written communication take place. Students will engage creatively with art materials and have the opportunity to reflect on the potential symbolic meaning of the images they create. This is an active, thinking through making session.

2. Expression and Meaning

Monday 06 April 2020 - 09:30 to 17:00

Offered over one day this second course explores the expressive, inherent qualities in therapeutic art making and examines the potential for personal discovery and learning. In this experiential workshop, students will engage with art materials and generate images creatively and spontaneously. The creative part of the process will be followed by an opportunity to reflect as a group about the possible levels of meaning in the images that have emerged. This is both and active thinking through making session as well as a point of shared reflection.

3. Looking and Making

Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 June 2020 - 10:00 to 16:00

This two day course explores the relationship between therapeutic art making and the benefits of looking at and viewing art. Through a process of creative art making in the workshop, followed by close looking and reflection, we will consider how images can be both evocative of personal and cultural meaning, and offer a shared collective language to facilitate change and encourage well-being.

All three the courses are aimed at arts practitioners, teachers, nurses, social care workers or educationalists wishing to develop a career in art therapy. The course is also appropriate for early level professionals or others wishing to update their skills and understanding of the therapeutic potential of art. Previous art making experience is not a pre-requisite to take any of the courses.

Course expert

Philippa Brown - Formerly the Professional Lead for the MA Art Therapy at the University of Hertfordshire, Philippa has over 30 years’ experience as an art therapy educator, practitioner, supervisor and artist.

Courses take place in the School of Creative Arts. Tea and coffee are provided.

If you wish to discuss this or any other Creative Arts short courses, please contact the short course team on 01707 285327 or

Booking Deadlines

Bookings for all Creative Arts Short Courses will be reviewed 2 weeks before the start date of each course. This will allow the Short Course team to determine whether a course has met the minimum number of students needed for the class to run. If a class has failed to recruit, the class will be re-scheduled and you will be informed. Where relevant you will be offered an alternative class. If the course has met minimum numbers, bookings will stay open to the course start date or until it has met maximum numbers. 

We encourage you to book early before the deadline to avoid disappointment.

Bookings for all short courses need to be made online through the Universities’ online booking system, before a course commences. You cannot enrol or attend a class on the day the course starts, without prior arrangement. 

Where to find us

Our address is The School of Creative Arts, College Lane Campus, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB.

For Maps and Directions please visit our helpful ‘Where to Find Us’ page. Further details are sent by email when you have booked.


If for any reason you change your mind about joining us after you have accepted the offer, you have a legal right to cancel your contract to study with us within 14 days. This cancellation period therefore ends at the end of 14 days after the day on which you accepted our offer.  For further details of cancellation terms, please see the following link



Start DateEnd DateDay and TimeCostLink
15/02/202115/02/2021Mondays 09:30 - 17:00£195Apply online
29/03/202129/03/2021Mondays 09:30 - 17:00£195Apply online
21/06/202122/06/2021Monday and Tuesday 10:00 - 17:00£300Apply online