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ART THERAPY AS NON-VERBAL, VISUAL PROCESSING IN CLIENT WORK - Facilitating deeper client work/expression using Art as an accessible intervention

Event Details
Date: 9 October 2020
Venue: Melbourne, Vic
CPD hrs: 7

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Organiser: The Professional Development People

This is a rare opportunity to develop understanding and skill in the use of art as visual processing in therapy and particularly in trauma treatment and recovery. When clients find it difficult to talk about an event, situation, relationship, feeling etc. a nonverbal expression can open up expression and make way for therapeutic work. Trauma memory can be a visual reoccurrence or recollection, that is triggered unexpectedly at times and using art becomes a relevant approach regardless of a person’s artistic ability. Externalising visual trauma memory can be therapeutic if done so respectfully and safely, with the client’s material being monitored and paced appropriately. While a traumatic event can traumatise those not only involved but also those related to the trauma. This may be vicariously through offering treatment, or by knowing people involved or a traumatic event can cause an earlier trauma to resurface. It can be difficult to verbally describe visual memories and experiences which can risk a retraumatisation. Therapeutic use of art is described and demonstrated and demonstrated - drawing on recent events and media imagery, this workshop explores alternate ways to assist our clients who may have been exposed to traumatic situations and events. Disasters can traumatise people unexpectedly and this can be at a local, national or international level. Post-traumatic stress is considered and examined as a part of the day’s training. In this workshop the use of art therapy approaches to counselling will be explored in the context of promoting emotional health and enhancing a sense of well-being. This workshop provides skills development to explore strategies that facilitate safe processing of recurring traumatic images and unresolved or unexpressed internal experience.

Learning objectives

  • Learn how to process artwork safely, respectfully and constructively.
  • Enhance non-verbal visual processing skills.
  • Be able to design art directives as intervention relevant to client content.
  • Better understanding of visual retention of traumatic memory.
  • Explore use of art as an intervention in many areas of client work.

Presenter details

Annette Coulter is an art psychotherapist, art educator and published author as well as an accredited (IDT) Interactive Drawing Therapy practitioner, trainer and supervisor. Her background includes working in child and family mental health, art education, child/adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy and family/couple therapy. Through the Centre for Art Psychotherapy she provides consultation, supervision, education and customised training for family therapists, relationship counsellors, art therapists and group leaders. She pioneered art therapy in Australia, Britain and south-east Asia. Publications include: The Introductory Guide to Art Therapy: Experiential Teaching and Learning for Students and Practitioners, 2014; Art Therapy ‘Down Under’: Perspectives on the Profession from Australia and New Zealand, 2015; Australia - Family Art Therapy: Dots, Meaning and Metaphor, 2015; Contemporary Art Therapy with Transient Youth, 2012; ‘Came Back – Didn’t Come Home’: Returning from a War Zone, 2008; Couple Art Therapy: Seeing Difference Makes a Difference, 2007.

Location and date

Mantra on Russell
222 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

9 October 2020

9:15am - 4:30pm


Standard fee $348 (includes an art kit)

This event is fully catered and all resources are provided.

Students and new graduates may apply to attend at a discount apply here.


Register online by clicking here.

Ph: 1300 887 622 OR Inquire about this as inhouse training, wherever you are - we come to you.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers