Introduction to art psychotherapy: practice and theory ADED1054E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Art therapy (now known as art psychotherapy) is a psychological therapy that uses art materials for self-expression and reflection in the presence of a trained art psychotherapist. It is a psychological treatment that helps someone to express and explore thoughts and feelings that they might otherwise struggle to put into words. It is another way of understanding and processing emotional problems. Our course will aim to offer you direct experience of using creativity and art-making for greater awareness of the role and function of an art psychotherapist; to provide a firm foundation for the possible progression onto a postgraduate MSc in art psychotherapy. It does not offer professional qualifications to practise art psychotherapy nor does it provide personal therapy. A key part of our course is to give you a 'hands on' experience by making art work in a group setting, engaging in a range of creative workshops and learning through case presentations and group discussions.


2.5 hours per week for 20 weeks

For timetable details, please see our web pages University of Glasgow - Study - Short courses

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Assessment of students will be on the basis of the following: (i) 800 word Critical Response (15%) (ii) Oral Presentation of 10 minutes (20%) (iii) Critical Essay of 1500 words (25%) (iv) Personal Account of 2000-2500 words (40%).

Course Aims

This course aims to provide:

■ An introduction to the underlying theories, principles and practices of art psychotherapy

■ A basic introduction to the history and development of Art Therapy as a profession

■ Skills and knowledge to individuals and professional who want to expand their understanding of working with people creatively

■ A firm foundation for possible progression on the Postgraduate Diploma Training scheme recognised by the British Association of Art Therapists.


Students should be aware that a significant part of the course is given to the hands on making of artwork. Students will be expected to take part in practical, experimental, directive and non-directive workshops, group discussions and feedback. There will be an opportunity to work with a range of different media i.e. paint, clay, collage. Emphasis is placed on peer group participation and exchange of personal knowledge through experience as a method essential to the process of learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

This course will assess your ability to achieve the Intended Learning Outcomes stated below. By the end of the course, you will be expected to be able to:

■ Draw from their own experience a basic understanding of the relationship between client, artwork and therapist

■ Recognise the importance of self-reflection and awareness in the understanding of the therapeutic process

■ Identify and recognise differing methods of approach with various client groups

■ Demonstrate a basic understanding of the theory and dynamics of group interaction and the role of the individual within that setting

■ Identify the difference between art as recreation, art that is therapeutic and art therapy

■ Be aware of the underlying hypotheses of art therapy and their potential for critical evaluation;
Link theory to practice

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.