Prospectus for Level 8 BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling & Art Therapy Programme
The Dublin Art Therapy College (DATC) BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling and Art Therapy programme has been established to provide a comprehensive professional training programme for those who are drawn to work in therapeutic settings. It fully supports students in learning to work with the multifaceted balance of elements required by the practice of counselling and psychotherapy. This is achieved through advanced personal, professional and academic growth, allowing each student to develop an unique integrated perspective on human development and therapeutic change along with the skills of intervention. The course also prepares the student for clinical work with its main focus on the therapeutic relationship.
The Person Centred Art Psychotherapy Approach (PCAPA)
DATC has developed an integrated approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy incorporating Art Therapy skills, known as the Person Centred Art Psychotherapy Approach (PCAPA). This consists of a core humanistic approach, using the counselling process and models for change of Person Centred Counselling, further supported and enhanced by the Person Centred Art Therapy of Natalie Rogers, Interpersonal Neurobiology, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Multicultural Counselling.
The theoretical underpinnings and skills training enables students to become professional and competent counsellors with an integrated sense of theory, skill, self-awareness, professional standards and legal and ethical requirements. It promotes an awareness of the need for continuing professional and academic development as well as a life-long commitment to personal growth and self-care which is necessary to survive and thrive as an art psychotherapist.
Pre-Requisite or similar: Designed to provide prospective students with a sense of the BA programme.
Introduction to Art Therapy – 2-day workshop
This short two-day programme introduces Art Therapy training. It is based on a series of experiential art therapy exercises designed to enable the participants to intuitively embrace the innate creative potential that resides within all of us. Through individual and group experience this course introduces participants to an understanding of the therapeutic potential of Art as Therapy. Prior experience of art is not a requirement.
Foundation Certificate in Art Therapy Programme: 4-day workshop
The programme provides an enhanced understanding of Art Therapy through individual and more advanced group exercises. The participants are encouraged to explore and develop their trust in the liberating creative potential of art within the therapeutic process. The course is experiential in nature and will have a group aspect.
The Learning Outcomes for the Foundation Programme, having completed the Introduction programme are:
‘The creative challenge of our time is to take our own path of individuation under our feet because if we do not, no one will do it for us and we will be forever undone. To live one’s own life is to take these steps of creativity’. (Ruff, 1988) in Swan-Foster, N. 2018 Jungian Art Therapy, A Guide to Dreams, Images, and Analytical Psychology, Routledge, New York.
Year 1: BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling & Art Therapy programme
The elements of the Person Centred Art Psychotherapy Approach, (PCAPA) are introduced in year one where students are helped to develop the micro-skills of active listening as the core of their skill in counselling. At this stage students are given the knowledge of a solid theoretical base, incorporating person centred models of self and change. In particular, how self-actualising growth can best take place in a relationship which is grounded in the core conditions of the Person Centred Counselling tradition. Students are also introduced to the use of art in therapy and given the skills to facilitate art in the therapeutic space. Throughout year one students are encouraged and supported to apply all their learning to their own process of personal development, experientially extending and enriching their learning experience.
Year 2: BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling & Art Therapy programme
In year two students integrate these elements of Person Centred Approach with experience and practice of facilitating art as therapy, along with the wider field of humanistic psychology and neurobiology.
Students underpin their developing skills with theory, thus acquiring understanding and the tools necessary to make best practice interventions to meet diverse therapeutic needs. At this level PCAPA provides the framework for students to understand the counselling process, while simultaneously integrating the traditional values and skills of counselling with art in therapy. Simultaneously it also provides an understanding of the Neurobiology of Psychotherapy. It addresses models of self and change through the enhancement of neural integration, within the safe psychosocial context of the therapeutic relationship and its practical applications for tailoring therapeutic intervention within the humanistic tradition. Throughout year two, the therapeutic relationship is presented as the critical variable for the development of therapeutic change. The key skill of the art psychotherapist in training is in the practice of facilitating the development of this relationship with clients.
Alongside the development of the PCAPA paradigm students consider the historical development of Counselling and Psychotherapy and how this relates to understanding the evolving need for Counselling and Psychotherapy in society. This involves an introduction to other theoretical approaches which have an integrated art component (CBT, Systemic, Gestalt, Psychodynamic and Jungian).
Year 3: BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling & Art Therapy programme
In year three, students further extend their understanding to models of working with psychological process of change. An evidence base, grounded in current neuroscience research shows how PCAPA encourages awareness, neural integration, emotional regulation and resolution of psychological conflict. This learning is enhanced by this year’s focus on stress, crisis and trauma, where students are introduced to an evidence-based understanding of working with trauma, along with up-to-date skills, which are both safe and effective.
In year three students explore how models and theories provide a framework for understanding and working with clients. They are encouraged to integrate elements of other approaches to enrich their personal integrative framework. Students also develop a broader understanding of the sociocultural influences on human behaviour and development. This provides a model for using the therapeutic relationship to explore the lifespan development of the individual within multiple social and cultural contexts. Students are also introduced to the prevalent mental health conditions which present in therapy. They are facilitated in developing the skills of research into the underlying factors which influence the onset of these conditions, as well as the best-practice interventions, which can be used to aid clients in both understanding and recovery.
Year 4: BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling & Art Therapy programme
In year four students will study analytical art psychotherapy theory and concepts and experiential practice. This will help students to develop skill acquisition, explore their creative process and to discover how it might be analysed and understood through the analytical art psychotherapy approach. It will have a specific emphasis on the embodied imagery and the diagrammatic imagery present in client work. The student will obtain the knowledge of transference and countertransference of/within/through the imagery and how it informs practice thus encouraging the learner to discern the stages of construction of such imagery. Develop an understanding of the core concepts and therapeutic practices of the Psychoanalytic and Humanistic schools of theory. Deepen and broaden the student’s understanding of the way social structures, forces and institutions shape on human life through impacting choices and behaviours.
Learners are fully supported in the placement and clinical component of the programme which follows the IACP guidelines in relation to best clinical practice and student placement. Group Supervision provides the space and support for deepening their reflective capacity and understanding of the complexity of action, reaction and intervention in the therapeutic space. Learners attend this module, outside the normal hours of the programme until they have completed the IACP requirements for learner clinical placement hours.
Throughout the four years of the course students are also engaged in a process of personal growth, self-discovery and learning which is presented and facilitated in the humanistic tradition of respect for client needs, and subjective authentic experience. Students are helped to discover, express and accept their inner experience through the respect, presence, empathy, acceptance and authenticity of the core staff and facilitators.
In general, modules and themes provide a range of learning experiences using a combination of the following:-
- lecture presentation
- tutorials discussions
- project work
- cognitive exercises
- triad work
- counselling and psychotherapeutic skills and art facilitation practice
- experiential exercises
- group facilitation and group work.
- experiential workshops
- group supervision
List of Modules in Order of Completion:
Prerequisite – Introduction and Foundation Programmes
The successful completion of the prerequisite programmes entitles a student to apply for entry to Year 1 of the BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling & Art Therapy programme.
BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling & Art Therapy
Year 1: BA (Hons) - Level 6 Minor (Foundation) – (22 days of in-college learning)
Introduction to Counselling Theory and Skills
Personal Development 1
Clinical Practice, Supervision & Ethics 1
Introduction to Working with Creative Therapies
Year 2: BA (Hons) - Level 6 Major (Intermediate) – (21 days of in-college learning)
Art Psychotherapy 1
The Humanistic Approach 2: Resource based Psychotherapy
Personal Development 2
Clinical Practice, Supervision & Ethics 2
Year 3: BA (Hons) - Level 7 (Advanced) – (21 days of in-college learning)
Art Psychotherapy 2
Human Development; Society, Culture & Mental Health
Personal Development 3
Clinical Placement, Supervision & Ethics 3
Year 4: BA (Hons) - Level 8 (Honours) – (21 days of in-college learning)
Art Psychotherapy Experiential Learning
Clinical Placement, Supervision & Ethics 4
Art Psychotherapy Theory
Research Skills: Dissertation
MSc in Creative Art Psychotherapy (Working with Young People)
Having completed the BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling and Art Therapy programme the student is entitled to apply for the MSc in Creative Art Psychotherapy (Working with Young People)15 months of in-college learning.
MSc Recognised Prior Learning RPL:
Applicants must hold a Level 7 or Level 8 training in Counselling & Psychotherapy (or equivalent) and have extensive clinical practice.
MSc RPL Pre-requisite:
Successful completion of the Professional Certificate in Art Therapy Skills Programme (10 Weekend programme) to be considered for the MSc in Creative Art Psychotherapy (Working with Young People).