Art Therapy in Education

Art Therapy in Education

Staff development — Art Therapy workshops for groups of educators, art teachers and councillors working in school settings.

Choose from a 2 hour mini-workshop or a 1-Day Art Therapy workshop.

What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is a dynamic symbiosis of art and psychotherapy and is effective for both children and adults of all ages. It is often difficult to express one's self solely through the use of words. The creative art object offers an alternate means of communication and expression. Art Therapy focuses on the interactive process of creativity rather than the outcome of a ’good’ picture! Everyone can benefit, and no judgments are made on the artwork.

Why Art Therapy?

Children and adolescents are organically going through many changes in their lives which often result in feelings of underlying confusion, anxiety or a sense of feeling overwhelmed. They may struggle to make sense of thoughts, feelings and experiences verbally and process them appropriately. These difficult feelings and/or experiences are often pushed down or repressed and may then result in what is labeled as ‘bad/negative behaviour’ or being shy or withdrawn.

The process of Art Therapy provides a non-verbal and spontaneous means of communication and self-expression. The varied art materials offer the learner a less threatening means of processing and working through of any difficulties that are experienced in the presence of a qualified and registered Art Therapist who provides a non-judgmental safe space. Through the use of creative expression and exploration - learning, growth, healing and transformation occur.

Why Art Therapy in Education?

Research shows that when children are experiencing emotional difficulties, their general functioning can be affected and they can find processing and learning difficult. In schools today, more and more educators are being equipped to support learners in their overall well-being in order to positively impact on their academic, sporting and cultural performance. School-based Art Therapy assists staff in understanding the emotional needs of children and helping children express themselves in a creative manner, which aids their growth and development and enhances the well-being of the wider school community.

Why an Art Therapy workshop for staff at Schools?

The aim of this Art Therapy workshop is to provide a space for professionals working with children in education to be exposed to new skills and explore and discover how the creative Art Therapy process can benefit the well-being of students in the classroom. Participation in the workshop is formative and experiential in that Educators will have opportunities to understand how a child experiences and thrives on being seen, heard and understood in a manner that is not otherwise accessible solely though words.

This workshop includes theoretical information and discussions, clinical case studies and reflection, experiential art-making and reflection. No art experience is required to benefit.

Content of the Workshop:

  • Sensitize staff to the process and benefits of Art Therapy
  • Understanding the difference between teaching art and the Art Therapy process
  • Understanding the difference between arts and crafts and the Art Therapy process
  • Introduces art as a form of communication where words are not always available or comfortable
  • Introduces the symbolic nature of art and how it correlates to a learner’s internal world
  • Concept of art being the mediator or bridge between the unconscious and conscious
  • Explores the concept of a safe space as a means of emotional containment
  • The development of various skills involving being present, listening and providing a safe space where learners feel heard and understood so that they can perform better
  • The importance of using one’s imagination in order to think out the box, problem solve and build self-esteem
  • Free association in art as a way of accessing the unconscious/internal parts
  • The concept of containment using Listening skills without needing to give advice/fix or solve
  • Clinical case studies of Art Therapy with different types of children
  • Voluntary reflection of art images to integrate both professional and personal learning within the Art Therapy process
  • Q&A as well as integration and application of techniques within a classroom setting
  • This workshop is appropriate for staff from all levels of education (pre-primary / primary / middle / high school) and each group will ofcourse differ with respect to different ages of work
  • Creative problem-solving - when things go wrong in my world
  • Benefits of using Art as Therapy with children with special needs such as emotional and behavioural problems (EBD), learning difficulties, ADD/ADHD etc.
  • Understanding and recognizing difficult behaviour as an expression of inner difficulties
  • Exploration of the multi-dimensional aspects of children’s artworks in context as opposed to a 1-dimensional model of thinking

Target Audience

Principals, educators/teachers, art teachers, psychologists, councillors, social workers, academic support teachers, facilitators, remedial therapists, speech therapists, OT’s, parents and all adults who work with children to help them reach their potential.

Staff Development Art Therapy Mini-Workshop (2 hours)

This is a 2-hour workshop whereby I introduce Art Therapy, run a mini-experiential art session and have a feedback / question / answer session. Note that there is no judgement on artwork as the focus is on the process of Art Therapy and not product of ‘good’ art.

The cost for the 2 hours is R2495 (using your school’s basic art materials) and R3295 (including my art materials). (Fees for within Cape Town).

Staff Development Art Therapy 1-Day Workshop

Time: 9:00am to 17:00pm
Venue: Your school / external venue
City: Cape Town

These workshops can be fine-tuned to suite your specific requirements, for example to include a case study of working with children with ADHD / ADD / learning difficulties /emotional and behavioural problems, autism, trauma debriefing, refugees, children in orphanages etc.

Request a Quotation

Please complete the form below to request a quotation for an Art Therapy in Education Workshop.

Bookings are subject to Terms and Conditions.


“I grew more than I thought possible.”

- Alfred -

“For the first time in my life I have discovered my true identity and can now answer the fundamental question of who I am!”

- Nonhlanhla -

“The magic that Sam unleashes through her knowledge is beautiful.”

- Charmaine -

“An inspirational, wonderful, creative self-exploratory journey, Thank you!”

- Robyn -

“Thank you for a thought-provoking and inspiring class! You are a fantastic therapist with a very caring and compassionate approach to listening! You made each and every person feel important by allowing each one the opportunity to feel safe enough to open up! Thank you for that.”

- Candace -

“Sam, you are so experienced and it is evident in your facilitation. You are really good at your job and do it with such professionalism.”

- Meryl -

“The course went beyond my personal expectations. I came thinking that we would mainly be learning about Art Therapy, which we did, but it was a big transformational experience for me which I was not expecting.”

- Megan Main-Baillie (Honours Psychology Student) -

“The Art Therapy was a gentle, creative and fun way to build trust and deliver outcomes. It was enjoyable and an extremely valuable experience in our Strategy workshop.”

- Daniella: Business Connexion -

“I didn’t realize how much I NEEDED Art Therapy. It was like rain falling on desert soil. And I have grown so much. My heart feels alive again. I will be back!”

- Heather (Owner of a Montessori Nursery School, Degree in Television) -

“It was a time to forget about the problems and the world around me. Sam is a brilliant facilitator. Even though I was nervous, it was a time for me to reflect and to enjoy how therapeutic art can be. It calmed the storm that reigned inside of me. The Mandala Art Therapy workshop is like having a picnic next to a quiet river. You granted time to reach that point where you can become quiet and can experience the Universe.”

- Anonymous -

“A very comprehensive and thorough intro into Art Therapy. Covered a lot of ground in 5 days and left with a priceless manual and a warm glow.”

- Kat -

“It was the best week of my life, I learnt that I could always be happy as long as I was in a happy and comfortable space, and if I wasn’t I needed to create that space. I learnt that I was in control and all I had to do was to take charge and have fun and paint on a bigger board i.e. see the bigger picture. I am so grateful for the opportunity that came my way and that I was able to embrace and savor it.”

- Anonymous -

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