Course Structure and Content

Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy (52699WA)

For effective training and assessment of the Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy the 6 competencies are delivered through 12 modules outlined in the table below.

Modules  Unit of competency
Module 1: Foundations of Transpersonal Art Therapy 601A
Module 2: Art Therapy Paradigms 606A
Module 3: Symbols in Art Therapy 602A
Module 4: Art Therapy Approaches to Dream work 602A
Module 5: Myth & Healing in Art Therapy 603A
Module 6: The Hero’s Journey: Ritual, Transition & Healing 603A
Module 7: Foundations of Mental Health 604A
Module 8: Art Therapy Approaches to Psycho-spiritual Crises and Emergence 604A
Module 9: Art Therapy Skills I: Micro Skills 605A
Module 10: Art Therapy Skills II: Practical Applications 605A
Module 11: Ethico-legal & Best Practice in Art Therapy 606A
Module 12: Practical Placement 606A

The Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy (52454WA) requires the successful completion of 6 competencies.

Unit of Competence: Unit Code:
Use applied transpersonal psychology in visionary practice IKONTPAT601A
Use applied transpersonal psychology in art therapy practice IKONTPAT602A
Assist clients with life problems using transpersonal art therapy practice skills IKONTPAT603A
Use  transpersonal art therapy, visionary practice techniques in mental health practice IKONTPAT604A
Assist clients using transpersonal counselling skills in art therapy IKONTPAT605A
Perform art therapy within the contexts of regulated ethical and best practice standards IKONTPAT606A

Advanced Diploma Delivery Format

One Year

The format for the one-year Advanced Diploma is six days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday one week, Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday the next week). There is a week break between each fortnightly module with a break in August.

Two Year

The format for the two-year diploma is four days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday) and four weekly evening tutorials 6.30pm to 9.30pm, with six modules in the first year and five modules in the second year.

The diploma has 396 hours face-to-face teaching over 11 Modules plus 100 hours in supervised placements.

Course Content

Module 1: Foundations of Visionary Practice
The foundation module introduces students to the core concepts and theories in transpersonal work through a historical and comparative approach. The central focus is upon establishing a model for transpersonal work drawing upon both cross-cultural perspectives and an understanding of the nature of consciousness. It covers:

  • the history of transpersonal psychology
  • models of the psyche and the spectrum of consciousness
  • comparison between mainstream and traditional models of healing
  • exploring states of consciousness
  • mythology and life patterning
  • hero’s journey and life transitions
  • shamanic and spiritual perspectives
  • the transpersonal process in counselling
  • history of the unconscious.

Module 2: Art Therapy Paradigms
The module presents and evaluates major paradigms in art therapy. The central focus is a history of art therapy theory and practice from Psychodynamic approaches to major C21st perspectives.
It covers:
• transpersonal approaches to art therapy
• art therapy and the construction of meaning
• art therapy practice as it applies to the paradigms
• case studies.

Module 3: Symbols in Art Therapy
The module considers Jungian, archetypal and traditional cultural perspectives and their use of image and symbol in exploring the psyche. An understanding of the role of image and symbol in art therapy is a central focus.
It covers:
• art, culture and healing
• archetypes, images and symbols
• modes of perception
• exploring ‘self’ in mandala work
• exploring personal and collective symbols
• cross‐cultural perspectives
• symbols of transformation.

Module 4: Art Therapy Approaches to Dream Work
This module covers working with dream images and symbols and in particular focuses on how dreams are explored with art. Jungian and phenomenological approaches to dream exploration are considered. Students learn to facilitate soul work at the core of transpersonal art expression.
It covers:
• art therapy and dream work
• art therapy and the construction of meaning
• working phenomenologically
• self‐realisation, authenticity and art
• appreciation and exploration
• working with shadow in dreams
• archetypal dream work
• one‐on‐one and group dream work.

Module 5: Myth & Healing in Art Therapy
The module explores the structure and dynamics of the psyche which is a central focus of transpersonal work. The self‐realisation process of the psyche and its connection to self‐awareness is considered. Core notions from archetypal psychology and phenomenology are explored and the role of art therapy in an individual’s construction of meaning is examined.
Exploration of the structure and process of the psyche occurs through the use of:
• art therapy
• exploring mythology
• imagination and meaning making
• art therapy as healing
• divination and perception
• mask work.

Module 6: The Hero’s Journey: ritual, Transition & Healing
The core feature of this module is the creation and exploration of therapeutic rituals as they relate to healing, life transitions and rites of passage. The archetypal journey of the ‘Hero’ is used to explore life challenges and transitions.
It covers:
• ritual and its role in healing
• therapeutic ritual and its application to the ‘Hero’s Journey’
• exploration and creation of ritual structure
• therapeutic relationship and support in the ritual process
• the therapeutic holding space.

Module 7: Foundations of Mental Health
This module provides an introduction to mainstream mental health concepts, assessment and practice to enable graduates to work within and communicate with mainstream health and welfare organisations.
It covers:
• mainstream approaches to mental health
• abnormal psychology
• DSM‐V and diagnosis
• psychological and psychiatric paradigms
• mental health first aid
• suicide risk assessment
• grief, loss, change and art therapy
• introduction to practical placement.

Module 8 : Art Therapy Approaches to Psycho-Spiritual Crises & Emergence

Recognising spiritual crises and emergence and distinguishing characteristics of transpersonal emergence from those of psychosis and mental illness is a feature of this module.
The module examines whether and to what extent transpersonal crises can be resolved in our society and focuses on the development of an understanding of working with these factors in art therapy.
It covers:
• mental health, cultural context and art therapy
• psychosis and schizophrenia
• spiritual crisis and emergence
• art and spiritual emergency
• madness, mysticism and creativity
• traditional perceptions of non‐ordinary states
• art therapy and the unconscious
• mapping emergence experiences
• case study analysis of psychosis and spiritual emergence.

Mod 9 &10: Art Therapy Skills I : Micro Skills
                   Art Therapy Skills II : Practical Applications

These two modules are designed to provide students with a foundation in interpersonal skills which are essential to becoming an effective Art Therapist. The fundamentals of counselling are extended into transpersonal dimensions of human interaction. Humanistic, experiential, archetypal and phenomenological approaches are integrated into a transpersonal model. The integration of art therapy processes with counselling skills is emphasised.
These modules cover:

• the client‐centred approach
• empathy and resonance
• counselling interventions
• creation of safety
• the therapeutic relationship
• transference, counter‐transference and projection
• planning and managing a session
• the place for art interventions
• boundaries and ethical practice
• working with different client populations
• case analysis and management.

Module 11: Ethico‐Legal & Best Practice in Art Therapy
The module considers the current climate of professional art therapy practice in Australia including ethical considerations, legal compliance and inter‐professional relationships. Students’ attention is drawn to professional codes of ethics and their application to art therapy practice and to the practical aspects of establishing a successful independent practice.
It covers:
• ethical and legal obligations
• establishing an art therapy practice
• developing your identity as an art therapist
• professional industry compliance
• professional Association membership
• professional Supervision
• professional networking
• personal and professional development
• self care practices
• case studies in ethics.

Module 12: Practical Placement 

The placement module is carried out in the community and is an opportunity for students to gain firsthand experience working in an art therapy or related role. The placement program is structured workplace learning that helps the student prepare for the workforce. It is designed to help students better understand and apply their learning during the Advanced Diploma by putting into practice art therapy skills in the workplace. Students will be required to undertake 100 hours of supervised work placement to complete their Advanced Diploma.
During Practical Placement students will:
• work closely with clients
• work with groups or individuals
• apply art therapy skills and processes
• experience art therapy supervision
• self initiated placements
• participate in designated professional development
• report on their casework.

Transpersonal Art Therapy Course Outcomes

Successful completion of the course requires the following outcomes.
Students must demonstrate:
• competence in knowledge of the core concepts, theory and research relevant to each module
• competence in utilising materials and skills taught in the modules
• initiative and flexibility in the application of knowledge and skills
• competence in the transpersonal techniques, theory and processes taught in the modules
• understanding of the conditions under which skills and strategies are applied
• understanding of the limits to their competence
• their competencies both practically and in written form
• self‐development by utilising the relevant transpersonal techniques.

Requirements to achieve a qualification

In order to qualify for the Advanced Diploma, students must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Attendance at all lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Where attendance is not possible through circumstances beyond the student’s control, then suitable makeup work, if possible, must be completed according to a set schedule. Minimum attendance, allowing for valid excuses [e.g., medical certificates] is 80% of all class sessions and 80% of the total course.
  • Completion on time of all written assignments and art works.

  • Completion of all case studies relate to both work with individuals, clinically, and work with groups.

  • Completion of agency placement [practicum: 100 hours]

  • Demonstration of appropriate interpersonal skills and mental health status in class and clinical sessions, which allow competent professional practice.


The process of assessment throughout the course is continuous and addresses students’ performance in the following ways through:

  • Evaluation of written assignments and art works which address the concepts, theory and practice of transpersonal work and which are required for every module throughout the course.

  • Evaluation of written case studies, which are required for practice-oriented modules.

  • Observations and ratings of interpersonal skills and development of professional counselling and art therapy skills in role playing and clinical practice sessions.

  • Observations and ratings of students’ performance in tutorials in written and verbal modalities.

  • Observation and assessment of students’ performance in workplace environments …for example, relevant agencies.

  • Written and oral examinations at the end of the course.

RPL (Prior learning)

This is conducted on a case-by-case basis in which the content of prior learning, whether it is formal academic or other industry training, is assessed and can be translated into course credit. This based on detailed transcripts, curriculum statements, course notes and readings and job descriptions as well as examples of workplace reports produced. This must be approved prior to commencing the course.

Credit Transfer

This is available on application and on a case by case basis. Students must complete a Credit Transfer & RPL Application Form. This must be approved prior to commencing the course.