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: 2018 April 6 - 8
Module 2: 2018 June 29 - July 1
Module 3: 2018 October 5 - 7 Module 4: 2018 November 30 - December 2

2019 dates: TBA


Alice Springs 

Northern Territory                              Facilitator: Chris Storm

Module 1: 2018 April 6 - 8
Module 2: 2018 July 6 - 8
Module 3: 2018 August 10 - 12
Module 4: 2018 October 5 - 7

2019 dates: TBA



Queensland                                         Facilitator: Liz Antcliff

Module 1: 2018 March 2 - 4
Module 2: 2018 June 1 -  3
Module 3: 2018 Julyr 13 - 15
Module 4: 2018 November 2 - 4

2019 dates: TBA



ACT                                         Facilitator: Liz Antcliff

Module 1: 2018 May 18 - 20
Module 2: 2018 September 28 - 30

2019 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 January  26 - 28and  April 20 - 22 in Canberra, ACT.

Module 1: 2018 March 2 - 4
Module 2: 2018 June 1 - 3
Module 3: 2018 September 28 - 30
Module 4: 2018 December 7 - 9




Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

Introduction: 2018 June 22 - 24 and October 12 - 14  In Maleny  

Module 1: 2018 July 6 - 8
Module 2: 2018 December 14 - 16
Module 3: 2019 TBA
Module 4: 2019 TBA

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 August 2019. The venue will be in 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 4 - 17          10 days

Part II: Work at the Clay Field with Children
August: 2019

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. 

Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

New Mexico USA 

Ghost Farm, Abiquiu
2018 November 5 - 9

Fee: TBA


Certificate in Art Therapy Approaches with Traumatised Children

How to work with children who have suffered adverse experiences. This is a training group for mental health professionals and art therapist who wish to learn more about working specifically with children. The aim is to build practitioners' confidence and equip them with a number of creative tools suitable for a range of different therapeutic situations. Modalities will include  art making, music and movement, games, working with shadow puppets, story making and telling.

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


Apollo Bay


Facilitator: Liz Kinnane 

Module 1: 2018 - April 13 - 15
Module 2: 2018 - June 22 - 24
Module 3: 2018 - August 24 - 26 Module 4: 2018 - October 19 - 21
Fee: $550 per weekend*

2017 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. The focus of the masterclasses will be on supervision. Participants are expected to bring one or two filmed case histories to the workshop. The masterclasses will be professionally translated and documented by video. 

Facilitator: Prof Heinz Deuser, Germany

Apollo Bay


2019 TBA
Fee: $700*

Supervision II: Art Therapy based Supervision

There is not much information around concerning art therapy based supervision for art therapists. 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

2018 July 13 - 15
Fee: $600*

The Hero Quest

This workshop format follows the archetypal path of the Hero's Journey as Joseph Campbell maps it out in The Hero with  a Thousand Faces. Originally designed as an art therapy program for drug and alcohol clients, we will investigate how to deal with unsurmountable difficulties, build resources, sacrifice old habits, confront fears in order to find the treasure of life-transforming power.  

Facilitator: Cornelia Elbrecht

Singing over the Bones

In July 2017 Liz Antcliff attended a unique training camp with Clarissa Estes-Pincola, the author of Women running with Wolves. This workshop will pass on the essence of Clarissa's teachings as she intends to pass it on. We will learn about death and revival, about disempowerment, loss, strengthening, endurance, deep knowing and soul retrieval and "women's lifelong initiation into the renewal of the wild." (Estes-Pincola  1992)   

Facilitator: Liz Antcliff

Apollo Bay

2018 June 8 - 10
Fee: $600*




Apollo Bay

Victoria                                           2018 September 21 - 23                           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 Professional Membership with ACATA and become a Registered Art Therapist.