Training in Melbourne & Phillip Island - 

Trainer for Victoria: Jo Ablett



NEW INTAKE: Phillip Island, Victoria - October 27, 2016


Certificate in Transpersonal Expressive Therapies - with adult clients


Five 3-day workshops = 15 days 105 hours.


Trainer for Victoria: Jo Ablett

M. Couns., Dip & Adv Dip. ET, Cert ET, Dip Ed. B. Ed. Cert IV &. Grad. Dip. Couns. Supervision.

Course Created by Dr Mark Pearson and Helen Wilson; Course revised by Jo Ablett.

Expand your creativity. Enhance your professional support and self-care skills. Gain in-depth training in the use of experiential, change-oriented counselling methods for use with adult clients. Learn through action - increase confidence through blending theory and extensive skills development. Through discussion, study, experiential interaction and self-reflection you will enjoy greater confidence with Expressive Therapies as well as enhance professional self-awareness.


This Certificate course is designed for practitioners who are drawn to a change-focused, person-centred somatic and emotion-focused approach. As well as preparing participants for a highly effective support role, the course provides opportunities for expanding self-discovery through growing emotional intelligence and emotional literacy. The course brings to life use of self with a heart-centred therapeutic approach. A range of expressive techniques is offered in each workshop organised around a core topic and focused on developing skills across the range of ET modalities.




Expressive Counselling Methods; Sandplay Therapy and Symbol Work; Expressive and Reflective Writing; Process Drawing; Mandala Artwork; Emotional Release Processes; Individuation and Differentiation Processes; Bioenergetics and Expressive Movement; Visualisation; Meditation; Embodied Self-Awareness.


The trainer’s perspectives on counselling utilises a pluralistic, experiential growth-focussed approach that aims to empower clients and counsellors through a high degree of acceptance and a wide choice of counselling techniques. The philosophy of the course and methods are in keeping with the principles of Person-centred and Transpersonal approaches.  In each of these frameworks the client’s personal meaning making is highly valued. Trust in the healing mechanisms of the client’s psyche, and providing a wide range of healing methods, is central to Expressive Therapies.     




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 methods. These methods increase creativity and effectiveness both in agency settings and in private counselling practice. The program also provides a rich experience of the inner world and healing experiences that can enhance participants’ personal and relational effectiveness. We understand that practitioners' growth has a direct influence on clients' growth. Developing deeper self-awareness improves the way we can relate professionally, and care for ourselves personally.




The course consists of fifteen training days, scheduled as five workshops of three days each - a total of 105 hours over about nine months. There are two short written assignments. An extensive manual will be provided at each training workshop. An electronic Book of Readings will also be provided during the course. It is strongly recommended that students keep an A3 size Process Journal that records all activities, insights and outcomes from the experiential component.


WORKSHOP ONE: October 27 - 29, 2016

Exploring Body and Emotions

·           Overview of ET and the psychodynamic paradigm

·           Client-centred therapeutic skills

·           Introduction to Sandplay Therapy and Symbol Work

·           Role-play techniques to support integration

·           Client self-awareness: somatic and emotional mapping

·           Emotional processing: expressive writing and art

·           Introducing emotional release processing

·           Contraindications for emotionally activating activities


WORKSHOP TWO: December  1 - 3, 2016

Moving Beyond Old Patterns - Family of Origin Work

·           Exploring family of origin issues - using art and symbols

·           Healing inner child scripts – reducing reactivity

·           Moving beyond family patterns in relationships

·           Emotional release facilitation skills

·           Expressive writing, emotional release processes and symbol work.

·           Identifying client resources - internal and external


WORKSHOP THREE:  February 2 - 4, 2017

Individuation and Differentiation - Making Sense of Self

·           Client empowerment paradigms

·           Multiple Intelligences in counselling

·           The psychology of the selves – transforming the Inner Critic

·           Differentiation Processes – developing awareness and clarity

·           Jung’s Framework for the Individuation Journey

·           The mechanisms of repression and emotional healing


WORKSHOP FOUR: March 9  - 11, 2017

Focus on Transpersonal and Perinatal Influences

·           The Inward Arc - Spirituality in counselling

·           Brief history of transpersonal psychotherapy

·           Perinatal influences on the psyche, and on relationships

·           Working with transpersonal issues – conceptual frameworks

·           Introduction to meditative practices for clients

·           Self compassion in psychotherapy


WORKSHOP FIVE:  April 20 - 22, 2017

Integrative Practices and Enhancing Creativity

·           Research on ET, emotion-focussed and transpersonal practice

·           Visualisation and imagination for enhancing self-esteem

·           Integration practices – mandala art, reflection, relaxation

·           Creative session planning, self-care, and supervision

·           Creating the ideal therapeutic environment




The course aims to equip counsellors, therapists, psychologists, social workers, chaplains and welfare professionals in the practical application of Expressive Therapies exercises with adult clients in their particular area of expertise. To best understand and apply an Expressive Therapies framework, the course assumes that participants have completed basic counselling training. Although entrance to the course is not restricted, Certification is awarded only to participants with relevant professional qualifications - or extensive relevant experience.




These include the completion of two short, written assignments and attendance at all training days. It is a principle of Expressive Therapies that facilitators personally experience the exercises they will use with clients in order to present them safely and confidently. Be prepared for a rich and intense time of professional and personal development.




Pearson, M., & Wilson, H. (2001). Sandplay and symbol work: Emotional healing and personal development with children, adolescents and adults.  Melbourne: ACER Press.


Pearson, M., & Wilson, H. (2009). Using expressive arts to work with mind, body and emotion. Theory and practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Press.




Expressive Therapies (ET) is a blend of experiential personal growth (developmental) and counselling (therapeutic) methods, developed in Australia by Mark Pearson and Helen Wilson, that support emotional healing for adults, adolescents and children. ET includes a range of approaches that explore the underlying causes behind many of the conflicts in our lives. ET helps clients access a wider range of intrapersonal skills and resources. These approaches cooperate with the natural movement within the psyche towards wholeness - the process Jung called ‘individuation’. ET uses a number of modalities that help bring awareness to, and release of, the emotional causes of present problems.


ET is an invitational, self-discovery approach, encouraging insights and change from within the client. The methods and attitudes are client-centred; recognition and value is given to the significance of the client’s personal interpretations and meanings. The processes have been developed from an expanded understanding of the human psyche, with an evolving research base, founded on the tradition of creative arts therapies and particularly Jungian, Gestalt, Emotion-focused and Transpersonal Psychology.




On completion of this course, students should be able to:

1 Understand the principles of emotional processing and basic principles of a transpersonal perspective in counselling.

2 Describe and apply processes for emotional healing.

3 Understand and demonstrate how to plan an Expressive Therapies counselling session.

4 Assess the suitability of emotion-focussed strategies for individual clients and utilise a range of appropriate expressive counselling techniques.

5 Demonstrate a client-focussed approach to facilitation of Expressive Therapies.



$850 per 3-day workshop

Includes: tuition, manual, Electronic Book of Readings, lunch, morning and afternoon tea, GST.



Process Journal – a large art pad (A3 size); good crayons; biro; journal and/or notebook. Wear loose comfortable casual clothing. Bring camera for recording Symbol Work.



Each day from 9am to 5pm; last day ends 4pm.



Into Blue Studio ~ 51 Harris Rd. Ventnor, Phillip Island Vic.




Certificate in Sandplay Therapy & Symbol Work

with Children, Adolescents & Adults


STARTS  23 - 25 March, 2017
12 days - 4 x 3-day training workshops

Trainer: Jo Ablett

M. Couns., Dip & Adv Dip. ET, Cert ET, Dip Ed. B. Ed. Cert IV &. Grad. Dip. Couns. Supervision.

Course created by Dr Mark Pearson and Helen Wilson

Recognised for membership of the Australian Creative Arts Therapies Association.


Sandplay Therapy is a hands-on, expressive counselling and psychotherapy modality that has been in use for over seventy years. Sandplay forms a bridge between verbal therapy and the expressive therapies, combining elements of each. Sandplay allows the deeper aspects of the psyche to be worked with naturally and in safety, and is highly effective in reducing the emotional causes behind difficult behaviours.


With an extensive research and literature base, Sandplay is a powerful therapeutic method for use by established professionals. It has been used with children, adolescents and adults, in schools, hospitals, welfare agencies and private therapy practices.



WORKSHOP 1  Foundation Skills One - 3 days

23 - 25 March, 2017

- Introduction to Sandplay Therapy and Symbol Work

       - practical experience, history and theory

- Overview of literature

- Role-play techniques to support integration

- Input on sandplay equipment

- Contraindications for use of symbolic work and role-play

- Illustrated case studies


WORKSHOP 2  Skills Two - From Theory to Practice 

- 3 days

11 - 13 May, 2017

- Psychological mechanisms activated by sandplay

- Concepts from Jungian Psychology supporting sandplay

- Interpretation of spatial arrangements in the tray

- Dr Lowenfeld's theoretical framework

- Skills practice and case illustrations


WORKSHOP 3  Symbolic Expression, Dreams & Research  - 3 days

28 - 30 June, 2017

- Review of Dora Kalff's theoretical framework

- Indications for analysis of sandpictures

- Working with dream symbols

- Co-transference in the sandplay session

- Refinement of facilitation skills


WORKSHOP 4  Transpersonal Contexts, Supervision  - 3 days

17 - 19 August, 2017

- Case presentations by students, peer supervision

- Transpersonal influences on the psyche

Beyond the Shadow - Dora Kalff on completion trays (DVD)

- Skills development



Each day from 9am to approx 5pm; last day ends at 4pm.



Labyrinth Lane, 110 Gardenvale Road, Gardenvale, Victoria

(near train station)



Cost: each 3-day training workshop: $850   Fee includes workshop manual, electronic Book of Readings, lunch, morning and afternoon tea.

For details and Registration Forms:
Email:      or phone: 0417 078 792

Certificate in Expressive Therapies with Children and Adolescents
- Somatic Focused, Creative Counselling for Emotional Integration

Trainer for Victoria: Jo Ablett
M. Couns., Dip & Adv Dip. ET, Cert ET, Dip Ed. B. Ed. Cert IV &. Grad. Dip. Couns. Supervision.

Created by Dr Mark Pearson & Helen Wilson
Recognised for membership of the Australian Creative Arts Therapies Association.

Five 3-day workshops over six months.

Fees for each 3-day training module: $850

WORKSHOP ONE: 8 - 10 June, 2017 - 3 days

Supporting Emotional Expression - Art, Music & Movement

 - Theoretical background for client-centred practice

 - Multiple Intelligence in counselling

 - New ways to help clients talk about themselves

 - Developing trust and encouraging interest in self-discovery

 - Introducing emotional release processes

 - Use of drawing for expressive release

 - Contraindications for emotionally activating activities

WORKSHOP TWO: 20 - 21 July, 2017  -  3 days 

Exploring Family Issues - Processing Strong Emotions

- Exploring family of origin issues using art and symbols

- Emotional release processing:

           - supporting the resolution of grief

           - safe anger release and integration

 - Bioenergetics, de-armouring and movement therapy

 - Expressive writing and worksheets for expression and integration

WORKSHOP THREE:  7 - 9 September, 2017  -  3 days

Symbol Work, Group Work & Transforming Trauma         

- Symbol Work in contemporary counselling

- Role-play for a strong sense of self

- Safe processes for traumatised clients

- Building resilience

- ET in group work and group dynamics

- Illustrated case stories


WORKSHOP FOUR:  19 - 21 October, 2017 - 3 days

Balancing Emotional, Cognitive and Somatic Processes

- Foundation Principles of Expressive Therapies

- Dealing with reactivity and anger

- Body Focus - supporting kinaesthetic resolution

- Music as a therapeutic tool - recorded and live

- Research and background literature


WORKSHOP FIVE:  7 - 9 December, 2017 - 3 days

Inner-Life Skills for Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem

- Approaches for teaching relaxation and centering

- Visualisation and imagination for enhancing self-esteem

- Engaging parents and carers in the process

- Emotional expression through bioenergetics

- Enhancing emotional stability

For details and Registration Forms:
Email:     or phone: 0417 078 792



M. Couns. Dip & Adv Dip E T, Dip. Couns. Supervision, B. Ed.

Prof. supervisor and member ACA, PACFA, member SCAPE, ACATA, CAPAV, VIT.

Jo conducts a private practice, Into Blue Expressive Therapies from her studio on Phillip Island, Vic. Jo’s qualifications include a Master in Counselling, Bachelor of Education and Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Expressive Therapies and a Diploma in Counselling Supervision. Jo has an extensive background in working with children and adolescents with 10 years teaching in the secondary school system and 20 years in the primary system before establishing a private practice in 2002.  She has worked with children, adolescents and adults, using Expressive Therapies since 1997.

 Jo currently works as a counsellor and psychotherapist with adults, adolescents and children as well as a professional supervisor (ACA, PACFA) for counsellors and ET graduates.  As the Victorian Trainer for ETIA, Jo also conducts one-day workshops in Expressive Therapies and facilitates the certificate courses. She regularly facilitates educational workshops for agencies, schools and parents, on issues related to emotional intelligence, relationships, personal development, and learning styles.  For 36 years Jo has facilitated personal development in support of children, adolescents and adults and continues her life long passion to set the scene for life enrichment, personal growth and healing for people of all ages. Visit Jo at:


Contact: Jo Ablett - Phone: 0417 078 792   



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