Art psychotherapy: practice and theory (online) ADED11988E

  • 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 psychotherapy is a psychological therapy that uses art materials for self-expression and reflection in the presence of a trained art psychotherapist. This online course will outline the key theoretical orientations within art psychotherapy and present case examples of art psychotherapy in practice. As a key part of the course, students will also gain direct experience of using creativity and art-making with a variety of materials to gain greater awareness of the role and function of an art psychotherapist. Learning will be facilitated through lectures, case presentations, art-making, group discussion, active listening and reflective practice skills, and written and oral assessment. Students will create their portfolio online using the University's virtual learning environment Moodle, and by the end of the course students will have a greater understanding of what is involved in being an art psychotherapist. A detailed art materials list will be provided ahead of the first class. Please note, students will be responsible for the purchase of these items. It is important to note that this course is not a replacement for personal therapy and will not qualify students to practice art psychotherapy.


Block 1&2:


20 weeks

13.00 - 15.30

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses

Introduction to art psychotherapy ADED1054E




1 x 800-word Critical Response (15%)

1 x Oral Presentation of 10 minutes (20%) or written commentary of 1000 words

1 x Critical Essay of 1500 words (25%)

1 x Personal Account of 2000-2500 words (40%)


Alternative assessment can be arranged for students whose circumstances would prevent them performing satisfactorily in the oral presentation.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce the underlying theories, principles, and practices of art psychotherapy

■ Offer the skills and knowledge of art psychotherapy to individuals and professionals who want to expand their understanding of working with people creatively

■ Provide an understanding of what is involved in studying on a Postgraduate Diploma Training scheme recognised by the British Association of Art Therapists

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Draw from their own experience to articulate the relationship between client, artwork, and therapist

■ Use self-reflection and understanding of the therapeutic process to demonstrate the underlying principles of art psychotherapy with various client groups 

■ Explain 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 psychotherapy

■ Link theory to practice with the underlying hypotheses of art therapy and its potential for the critical evaluation of clients by a trained art psychotherapist

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.