Certificate in Initiatic Art Therapy

The training program is designed for those who wish to integrate art therapy skills into their work. The Initiatic Art Therapy Training Program comprises a series of eight weekends for a limited number of interested professionals and students over the period of two years. The aim of the course is to enable its participants to integrate art therapy approaches into the existing framework of their current practice, be it as counsellor, social worker, teacher, nurse, artist or psychologist.

The focus will be on the experience of ongoing group work with art therapy in an environment suitable for personal development. At the same time the approaches and techniques will be made transparent in order to make it possible to acquire profound techniques of working with visual arts in a therapeutic way.

The aim of the course is not so much to teach one particular approach like Initiatic Art Therapy, but to understand it as a visual principle, an open concept that can be translated into a wide range of different contexts. While a lot of the focus of the training program will be on Initiatic Art Therapy, other art therapy approaches will also be taken into account. The aim is to teach a variety of different tools suitable for a variety of different client groups and inner needs.

The total of 144 group hours will include experiential workshops, seminars, co-counselling and supervision.

ANZATA, The Australian and New Zealand Art Therapy Association and ACATA, the Australian Creative Arts Therapies Association, recognises the training as a foundation course

Graduates can register with AON Insurance for Professional Indemnity Cover as Initiatic Art Therapists.


Apollo Bay

Victoria                                          Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

Module 1: 2019 April 5 - 7
Module 2: 2019 June 14 - 16
Module 3: 2019 September 13 - 15 Module 4: 2019 December 6 - 8

2020 dates: TBA



Far North Queensland                                       Facilitator: Liz Antcliff

Module 1: 2019 March 15 - 17
Module 2: 2019 June 14 - 16
Module 3: 2019 September 27 - 29
Module 4: 2019 December 6 - 8 2020 dates: TBA



Queensland                                         Facilitator: Liz Antcliff

Module 1: 2019 February 1 - 3
Module 2: 2019 May 17 - 19
Module 3: 2019 August 16 - 18
Module 4: 2019 Nov 29 - Dec 1

2020 dates: TBA



Tasmania                                         Facilitator: Chris Storm

Module 1: 2019 April 6 - 8
Module 2: 2019 July 6 - 8                Module 3: 2019 August 10 - 12               Module 4: 2019 October 5 - 7                               

2020 dates: TBA

Certificate in Clay Field Therapy

The Clay Field is a flat wooden box that holds 10 -15 kg of clay. A bowl of water is supplied. This simple setting offers a symbolic "world" for the hands to explore. In their ability or inability to "handle" the material they tell the client's life story. The hands then can be encouraged to find ways to deal with situations and events, to complete actions that previously could not be coped with. This unique art therapy approach is part of the curriculum in schools for disabled and disadvantaged children in Europe; it is widely used in women's shelters, refugee centres and to facilitate trauma healing. In order to receive the certificate all four weekends have to be attended.


Apollo Bay


Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

Introduction: 2018  September 21 - 23 and November 16 - 18 

Module 1: 2019 April 12 - 14
Module 2: 2019 June 7 - 9
Module 3: 2019 October 4 - 6
Module 4: 2019 November 22 - 24




Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

Introduction: 2018 Contact Liz Antcliff; October 12 - 14  In Maleny  

Module 1: 2019 April 26 - 28
Module 2: 2019 May 31 - June 2
Module 3: 2019 September 20 - 22
Module 4: 2019 December 13 - 15

United Kingdom: International Summer School

Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

This is a unique opportunity for arts therapists and other mental health professionals to learn about Trauma Healing at the Clay Field in an intensive four-week long training program of two weeks duration each in 2018 and 2019. Part I  focuses on working with adults, and Part II on Clay Field Therapy with children. The first part of the Certificate Course will be offered in August 2018. The second in July 2019. The venue will be in Sutton near Woodbridge, Suffolk on the  east coast and offer the option of a study-holiday experience for professional and personal development. 

Part I: Work at the Clay Field with Adults.                              

2018  August 3 - 17

Part II:  Work at the Clay Field with Children
2019 July 19  - August 2  


New Mexico, USA: Healing Trauma with Guided Drawing

Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

Based on Cornelia's latest book to be released by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, in October 2018 this 2-day workshop will teach participants the core principals of Guided Drawing as a trauma-informed, body-based approach to bilateral body mapping. The retreat will also feature workshops held by Cathy Malchiodi PhD and Elizabeth Warson PhD. To book use this link:  https://www.trauma-informedpractice.com/online-live-courses/ghost-ranch-new-mexico-november-2018/.

Facilitators: Cornelia Elbrecht; Cathy Malchiodi; Elizabeth Warson

New Mexico USA 

Ghost Farm, Abiquiu
2018 November 5 - 9

Fee: TBA


Certificate in Healing Trauma with Guided Drawing

Based on the recently published book Healing Trauma with Guided Drawing; a sensorimotor approach to bilateral body-mapping, these three weekends will introduce the core elements of working with this unique approach that is trauma-informed and body-focused. Often introduced as a form of self-massage this training will be particularly useful for artists suffering from artist block, and therapists, in particular art therapists who work with traumatised individuals. The 60 workshop hours will count as professional development.

The approach is based on Somatic Experiencing, Jungian Depth Psychology,  Sensorimotor Art Therapy, Transpersonal and Positive Psychology, meditation and mindfulness.


Apollo Bay


Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht 

Module 1: 2019 - May 17 - 19
Module 2: 2019 - August 30 - September 1 Module 3: 2019 - November 29 - December 1
Fee: $600 per weekend*

2019 Weekend Workshops

Masterclass: Work at the Clay Field

Prof Heinz Deuser is the founder and inaugurator of Work at the Clay Field. His expertise in this modality is breathtaking. This is a unique opportunity for all who have completed their Certificate in Clay Field Therapy. Prof Heinz Deuser will discuss the Ten Sequential Stages of Development at the Clay Field based on his recently published book. Participants may also bring one or two filmed case histories to the workshop for discussion. The masterclasses will be professionally translated and documented by video. 

Facilitator: Prof Heinz Deuser, Germany

Apollo Bay

Victoria - 2019 February 22 - 24


Queensland - 2019 March 1 - 3
Fee: $900*

Supervision: Art Therapy based Supervision

The weekend will be designed according to the needs of the participating arts therapists.  Themes may concern how can we use our own tools to reflect on client's needs, the supervise's concerns and issues arising at the workplace. Exercises will include in-depth understanding of the therapeutic use of art materials, art based reflection of the client-therapist relationship, problem solving through visual media, and exercises to manage overwhelm and vicarious trauma.

Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

Apollo Bay

2019 October 11 - 13
Fee: $600*

The Healing Power of Mandalas

Mandala in Sanskrit translates as 'circle'. For thousands of years peoples have created mandalas for rituals and worship. C. G. Jung speaks about the process of 'circumambulatio' as the walking around a centre that as such has no form and no name, because it touches on a non-physical dimension. Mandalas can connect us with our transpersonal Self; as such they are a tremendous healing tool, capable to transform ego's centricity and fragility into wholeness and awaken the spirit within.  

Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

Apollo Bay

2018 June 8 - 10
Fee: $600*



The Certificate in Initiatic Art Therapy is part of a Diploma in Sensorimotor Art Therapy, which takes four years to complete. Each certificate is valid as professional development. It is not necessary and advisable for every student to complete the 4 years.

Year 1 and 2: Certificate in Initiatic Art Therapy. Applicants can apply for Student Membership with ACATA Australian Creative Arts Therapies Association.

Completion of all 8 weekends enables participants to apply with AON Insurance for Professional Indemnity Cover as an Initiatic Art Therapist.

Year 3: Certificate in Clay Field Therapy. Three training weekends. For those with a MA in Art Therapy, who have not done the 2-year Initiatic Art Therapy Training, an additional introductory weekend is necessary. At completion participants can apply for Associate Membership with ACATA.

Year 4: Diploma in Sensorimotor Art Therapy. Four training weekends of Clay Field Therapy as assistants, working under supervision; plus facilitating 60 individual clay field sessions, videoed and presented for supervision.

Depending on prior qualifications and documented art therapy practice, graduates can apply for various membership levels with ANZACATA, the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association.