Arts Therapy

Creative Arts Therapists are mental health professionals who use art, media and creative approaches to help clients explore feelings, improve self-awareness and reduce anxiety.

  • Tier:
    • Tier 1: Positive Mental Health Promotion
    • Tier 2: Early Intervention Cohort Specific Support
    • Tier 3: Targeted Support
  • Type of intervention: Therapeutic programs
  • Strength of evidence: Registered professional
  • Geographic location: State-wide

Program description

Creative Arts Therapists are mental health professionals who use art, media and creative approaches to help clients facilitate the exploration of feelings, improve self-awareness and reduce anxiety through:

  • drawing
  • writing
  • sculpting
  • drama
  • clay
  • sand
  • dance
  • movement.

Creative therapy can be a way for clients to explore and express feelings that are difficult to express and find new pathways to healing. A Creative Arts Therapy session is therefore different to traditional art classes and lessons.

An Arts Therapist should be engaged through the Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association (ANZACATA), which is the peak professional body representing creative arts therapists in these regions.

Registered Creative Arts Therapists are guided by the needs and goals of their client and are trained both in creative methods and psychological and psychotherapeutic methods.

Sessions can be provided to individuals or groups, face-to-face or via telehealth if necessary.

Intended outcomes

  • Facilitate the exploration of feelings
  • Improve self-awareness
  • Reduce anxiety

Program details

Target audience
  • Primary school students
  • Secondary school students
Program providerQualified therapist as outlined in Skills Checklist
Delivery mode
  • Face-to-face
  • Online

Implementation considerations

  • Target population: Students of any age that may benefit.
  • Program adaptability: Each program is developed by the clinician in consultation with the school, specifically for the needs of the client(s); it is completely modifiable and the time commitment can be as long or short as required for an individual or group.
  • Staffing: Not applicable.
  • Training requirements: Not applicable.
  • Australian experience: Arts Therapists are trained and registered in Australia.
  • Factors to consider: A quiet and private room with art supplies is required.


Item cost


Detailed cost

Using the NDIS pay scale as a guide:

  • Individual (one-to-one) therapeutic support: $194 per hour of direct service provision
  • Group therapeutic support (for small groups of less than 5): $388 total per hour
  • Groups larger than 5 but less than 10 in number: $600 total per hour (and a teacher is required to be present to assist with discipline matters)
  • Therapeutic support is not advisable for groups larger than 10 in number.

ANZACATA members may also charge (under the NDIS) for non face-to-face support (such as writing reports, consultation with other professionals at the rate of the face-to-face consultation), for travel (0.85c per km) and for short notice cancellations (at the rate of the service provision). An additional charge may be made for specialist art materials at $3 per head.