Expressive Therapies Australia - Expressive Therapies

Certificate in Expressive Therapies with Adult Clients

Creative & Expressive Arts for Growth & Wellbeing


Developed and Presented by:

Dr Mark Pearson and Dr Helen Wilson


2025 dates to be announced


In-person and Online Training

5 x 3-day in-person training modules + 3 x 2hour online classes

Equivalent to 16 days spread over seven months - 106 hours

This course is designed as specialised advanced training for counsellors, psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists and those who support mental health and wellbeing. It introduces the theories, principles, methods and evidence base for applying Expressive Therapies in counselling with adult clients.

The Expressive Therapies approach was developed from Creative Arts Therapies by Mark and Helen, weaving together creative arts, person-centred therapy, emotion-focused and somatic therapies, applied to client issues such as: relationships, grief and loss, anger, and self-judgement. The approach is infused with transpersonal perspectives and trauma-informed sensitivity. The evidence-base is drawn from the research literature, and clinical observations from a combined 70 years of consulting, supervising and teaching. The course weaves together theoretical, experiential and skills development activities, to ensure your confidence in applying Expressive Therapies with adult clients.

Modalities Introduced Through the Course

Therapeutic Writing; Use of Art, Music and Movement in Therapy; Symbol Work with miniatures; Self-Discovery Worksheets; Mindfulness; Visualisation; Self-Compassion; Body Focus; Emotion-focused Processes;  Dream Symbols; Therapeutic Photography.

Practical activities: are drawn from the range of Expressive Therapies activities developed in Australia by the course creators over the last thirty-five years.

Therapeutic application themes: relationships, grief and loss, anger, self-judgement, and trauma recovery.

Theoretical foundations: are drawn from the pioneers in Creative Arts Therapies, Rogers' Person-centred Therapy, Greenberg's Emotion-Focussed Therapy, Lowen's Bioenergetics, and Somatic Psychotherapy, Focusing, and Grof's Transpersonal Psychotherapy.

Approved for CPD points by the ACA and PACFA



5 x 3-day in-person training modules and 3 x 2-hour online classes

Equivalent to 16 training days (106 hours), spread over seven months. 

Three short written assignments.

Students keep a Process Journal, recording all course activities for future reference.

A training manual will be provided for each module.

Access will be provided to an eBook of Background Readings and Research


3 days   29 February - 2 March, 2024

Orientation to Expressive Therapies and Symbol Work

Introductory experiences with the creative arts modalities



Expressive Therapies: History, theory, and evidence base



3 days   

Art and Music in Therapy: Spontaneous and Guided Creativity

Engagement with visual arts, photography and music



What neuroscience tells us about emotion and body awareness



3 days   

Emotion and Somatic-Focused Awareness

Emotion-focused processes, enhancing body awareness, using rhythm and movement



3 days   

Therapeutic Writing: Words, Metaphors and Poems

Therapeutic writing, creativity and poetic thought



Exploring the evidence base for mindfulness, self-compassion and self-care



3 days   

The Inward Arc: Mindfulness, Self-Compassion and Spirituality

Transpersonal psychotherapy, dream symbols and meditative practices 


Full cost: $4,425. Participants can pay-as-you-go with 5 payments of $885.

Fee includes all tuition, extensive manual, morning and afternoon refreshments. 

BYO Lunch.

Book a place via the Registration Form - contact Mark on 0419 492 713 or Helen on 0421 129 117 or email for a copy.



9am - 5pm each day, last day ends at 4pm. Each workshop starts Thursday and ends Saturday



6 - 8pm on Mondays (dates to be scheduled)



Expressive Therapies Training & Consulting Rooms

137 Sutton Street

Redcliffe  Queensland



Pearson, M., & Wilson, H. (2009). Using Expressive Arts to Work with Mind, Body and Emotion. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Pearson, M. & Wilson, H. (2001). Sandplay & Symbol Work - Emotional Healing & Personal Development with Children, Adolescents & Adults.  Melbourne: ACER Press. Now only as an e-Book from the authors.


This course offers the opportunity to gain valuable skills and a wider conceptual framework for one-to-one support of adult counselling and psychotherapy clients using Expressive Therapies. These methods increase creativity and effectiveness in agency counselling and in private practice.



Ph.D., M.Ed.(BEM); Dip T.; Cert HB & TP; Dip. ERC.

Mark has been conducting training courses in Expressive Therapies and Sandplay Therapy around Australia for over 30 years. He was a primary school teacher, then founded a remedial reading clinic. He spent several years studying Transpersonal Psychotherapy with Dr Stanislav Grof and the Grof Transpersonal Training team. In addition to teacher training and a two-year Diploma in Emotional Release Counselling, Mark holds a Masters in Education, majoring in behaviour management, and a PhD, researching multiple intelligence theory in counselling. He has been an enthusiastic seeker of ongoing professional development.

Mark has over 27 years of experience as a counsellor and counselling supervisor, and lectured in counselling at several Australian universities. He is the author of Emotional Healing & Self-Esteem - Inner-Life Skills for Children and Adolescents (2004), Emotional First-Aid for Children (1991), Emotional Release for Children (2004), From Healing to Awakening (1991) and The Healing Journey (1997). He is the author of the Expressive Therapies groupwork program for schools and agencies: Innerspace (2006).



PhD., M. Couns.; B. Bus. (HRM); G. Dip. ERC.; Cert SP; Cert. HB & TP; Cert. ERC.        

Helen is co-founder of Expressive Therapies Australia, with Dr Mark Pearson, and a senior trainer in Expressive Therapies and Sandplay Therapy, around Australia and internationally.

Helen has conducted a counselling and supervision practice for over 30 years. She offers online and individual supervision for therapists using sandplay and expressive therapies. Helen has completed advanced studies in Transpersonal Psychotherapy with the Grof Transpersonal Training, has a degree in Human Resource Management, a Master of Counselling, and has a PhD, researching self-compassion. Helen has completed all three levels of training in Emotional Release Counselling and Transpersonal Studies and holds a Post-Graduate Diploma. She has a Certificate in ERC with Children, a Certificate in Sandplay Therapy, as well as several qualifications in clinical supervision. Helen has completed advanced Sandplay Therapy training with Ruth Ammann, a close colleague of Dora Kalff, the founder of Sandplay. Helen has been a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in counselling in a number of Australian universities. 

Mark and Helen are the co-authors of Sandplay & Symbol Work (2001), and Using Expressive Arts to Work with Mind, Body and Emotion (2009).






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