Expressive Therapies Australia - Expressive Therapies

Redcliffe (Moreton Bay)  2024


Please ask for our detailed flyers and Registration Forms


All S. E. Queensland programs are offered at our training and consulting rooms in Redcliffe.  Morning and afternoon refreshments provided. BYO lunch.


For further details please request a detailed flyer. For Registration Forms

call Mark 0419 492 713 or email:



WORKSHOP TWO: 21 - 23 March, 2024

Certificate in Expressive Therapies with Children & Adolescents

Somatic & emotion focused, creative arts-based counselling

15 days, spread over five months, as five 3-day training workshops.

This highly experiential course offers training in emotionally expressive methods and Inner-Life Skills that promote emotional integration, self-awareness, self-esteem and resilience in children and adolescents.


Modalities: Emotion-focused Processes, Symbol Work, Bioenergetics, Art as Therapy, Music in Therapy, Expressive Writing, Body Focus, Visualisation, Role-Play, Relaxation and Meditation. There will be a focus on developing trust with young clients, encouraging their self-discovery, introducing emotional processing.


WORKSHOP 1:  Supporting Emotional Expression: Art, Music and Movement   22 - 24 February, 2024

WORKSHOP 2:  Exploring Family Issues: Processing Strong Emotions   21 - 23 March, 2024

WORKSHOP 3:  Symbol Work, Group Work and Transforming Trauma   2 - 4 May, 2024

WORKSHOP 4:  Balancing Emotional, Cognitive and Somatic Processes   20 - 22 June, 2024

WORKSHOP 5:  Inner-Life Skills for Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem   25 - 27 July, 2024

Trainer Dr Mark Pearson, each day 9am - 5pm.  Each 3-day workshop: $895


ONE DAY: Friday 10 May, 2024   9am - 4.30pm   $285

Introduction to Symbol Work

Catalysts for Therapeutic Conversations

A practical workshop using projective techniques developed in Australia over the last thirty years by mark and Helen, the founders of Expressive Therapies Australia. Learn to use a collection of miniatures to support clients to open up, symbolise their inner world, talk about self and resolve issues. Symbols can be used to increase communication, activate creativity, clarify cognition, process emotions and enhance problem-solving. In this innovative program you will gain confidence in using miniatures with art, with movement, with life narratives, with emotion-focused processes, and with somatic awareness.

Trainer Dr Mark Pearson. Fee: $285.


ONE DAY TRAINING: 11 May, 2024, 9am - 4.30pm   $285     

Working Through Anger & Frustration

– with Young Clients

This highly experiential introductory day will model practical ways of using creative arts approaches for dealing with anger, frustration, and the disruptive acting-out of children and adolescents. As well as presenting the framework and principles of Expressive Therapies, there will be a focus on understanding symbolic expression of anger, bringing closure after expressive work and supporting cognitive and somatic integration.


These approaches have been developed from emotion-focused and psychodynamic theory, and support young clients to resolve underlying emotional issues impacting negatively on behaviour and cognition. You will learn to use Expressive Therapy tools such as drawing, bioenergetics, emotion-focused activities and relaxation to support resolution of anger and frustration with young clients.

Trainer Dr Mark Pearson. Fee: $285.

TWO DAY TRAINING: 28 & 29 June, 2024   9am - 5pm each day   $565

Body Awareness in Integrative Counselling

- Introducing Somatic-focused Expressive Therapies

The wisdom of the body has been neglected in the evolution of cognitive and behaviourally focused therapy. Focusing on the body, its sensations, feelings and energies enables clients to enhance their therapeutic gains, achieve clearer cognition and establish a more rewarding relationship to the life of their emotions.


This experiential two-day training will introduce a range of creative arts-based therapy skills, including: the use of sensory art, body focus techniques, using movement through bioenergetics for self-awareness and stress release, effective relaxation techniques for those who may struggle to be still and quiet. In this training you will learn to guide clients to use somatic signals to: support self-understanding, combat excessive self-criticism, enhance emotional regulation and improve self-care.


While some therapeutic approaches stress the need to recognise and repair cognitive dysfunction, in ET it is equally critical to pay attention to somatic experience and understand the importance of psycho-physiological connections. Rather than aiming for relief of, or diversion from presenting symptomology, ET increases the ways a counsellor can draw the client's attention to the body's messages.

Trainer Dr Mark Pearson. Fee: $565.

ONE DAY TRAINING: Friday 19 July, 2024   9am - 4.30pm   $285

Expressive Therapies in Cognitive Behavioural Approaches

- Creative arts for linking sensations, emotions, thoughts and actions

In this one-day experiential professional development workshop you will learn multiple creative arts-based and mindfulness ways to support clients' self-awareness and discover how their sensations, emotions, thoughts and behaviours are linked. The focus will be on Expressive Therapies additions to the therapist's toolkit, including therapeutic writing, use of art, use of miniatures and somatic focus. The multiple ways ET can support integrative CBT approaches will be discussed. A number of worksheets created by the directors of ETA will be provided for: functional analysis, articulation of beliefs, problem solving and goal-setting. Relaxation activities as supports for anger management wil be explored.

Trainer Dr Mark Pearson. Fee: $285.


Advanced Sandplay Therapy Training

Wonder, Awe & Nourishment in the Land of Sands

With Dr Helen Wilson

Do you ever experience a background ‘hum’ of fatigue and disenchantment with some aspects of life? Do you ever wonder how to embrace your own inner uncertainty that accompanies the nature of therapeutic work with symbols and story? What about puzzlement in relation to clients' sandplay processes?


What we already know is that Sandplay opens the door to full connection with our human experience in all its complexity, light and shade. Importantly Sandplay very obviously also shines direct light on the beauty, purpose and meaning of life.  We should not miss focusing on these.


So … what do, or could, these questions mean for us as therapist? 


During these three days, we will explore what Katherine May (2023) speaks of as a desire to "reawaken our innate sense of wonder and awe".  In this course our journeying in the Land of Sands can lead us to something akin to a 'walk into the wilds' of our uniqueness. That walk ensures we find our way ‘home’ to peace and tranquility - a state in which we can observe easefully, with wonder and awe, the often-mysterious unfolding of a client’s process.


As well as professional and personal refreshment, this training will offer time for restorative nourishment and reconnection with wonder and awe, through the power of time spent in the Land of Sands.  

SECOND 2024 INTAKE REDCLIFFE:  Starts 19 - 21 Sept, 2024

Certificate in Sandplay Therapy & Symbol Work

With children, adolescents and adults

12 days in-person, (86 hours) spread over four 3-day training workshops, + 3 individual sessions, and online supervision.

Trainers: Mark Pearson, Helen Wilson and Andrea Snow

This course provides a thorough training, with extensive practical experience and supervision in the Expressive Therapies approach to Sandplay Therapy and Symbol Work. The method of Sandplay Therapy introduced was developed by Dora Kalff in the late 1950s, based on Dr Margaret Lowenfeld's play therapy, Jung's Analytic Psychology and mindfulness. Sandplay Therapy is now taught and practiced around the world, supported by an international society, and a fast-growing evidence base.


WORKSHOP 1: Foundation Skills One   19 - 21 September, 2024

WORKSHOP 2: Skills Two: From Theory to Practice   7 - 9 November, 2024

WORKSHOP 3: Symbolic Expression, Trauma Care, The Individuation Journey   16 - 18 January, 2025

WORKSHOP 4: Transpersonal Contexts, Supervision  6 - 8 March, 2025

Each 3-day training workshop: $950.  For further details please request detailed flyer and Registration Form from Mark: 0419 492 713 or email: 

THREE-DAY TRAINING: 4 - 6 October, 2024  $895

Enhancing Couple & Family Connections

- Expressive Therapies as Awareness & Communication Catalysts

Trainer Dr Mark Pearson. Fee: $895.

This three-day training will empower you to use Expressive Therapies in counselling with couples and families. You will learn ways to invite couples and families to engage with creative arts, somatic focus, symbol work, and role-play as part of their journey in counselling. The program builds on the long history of activity-based interventions from the many schools of family and couple therapy. Given the highly charged atmospheres encountered in family and couples' sessions, it makes sense to include a range of interventions that engage deeper self-reflection and emotional awareness, to bring clarity to interpersonal dynamics. Experiential understanding motivates development of new positive relating.


We will integrate evidence-based methods from Emotion-Focused Therapy, Experiential Family Therapy, as well as research insights from the Gottman's. While expressive, creative counselling methods support clients of all ages, this training will also include ways to effectively include children in family sessions. There will be a focus for couples on ways family-of-origin experiences and attachment patterns can influence current relating.

TWO-DAY TRAINING: 19 - 20 October, 2024  $565

Exploring Mindfulness Through Expressive Therapies

- For professional and Personal Development

With Dr Mark Pearson

In this highly experiential weekend workshop, you will learn multiple approaches to developing mindfulness and expressing self-awareness through creative arts activities. Mindfulness is defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). For most of us, our surrounding culture in our developmental years trains us to be externally focused, and to re-visit or regret the past and worry about the future. There are many ways to step into the present: in this workshop we explore somatic focusing, gentle movement, emotional awareness, observation of automatic thought processes, as well as ways to use the senses to arrive in the moment.


Practice with the activities, observing and sharing internal experiences, and integrating through writing, visual art, claywork, and use of miniatures, provides confidence for both our personal quest and support of others. Mindfulness has been shown to lead to increases in wellbeing and therapeutic presence when we are supporting others.

ONE-DAY TRAIING: 2 November, 2024  9am to 4.30pm  $285

Introduction to Expressive Therapies with Adult Clients

Expressive Arts for Growth & Wellbeing


Trainer: Dr Mark Pearson

This training is designed to introduce a specialised approach for counsellors, psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists and those who support mental health and wellbeing of adult clients. It introduces the theories, principles, and methods 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. For many adult clients, identity, spirituality, meaning and purpose may be areas of concern: ways to explore these concerns will be explored in this training.


Modalities explored: Symbol Work (miniatures), Creative arts worksheets, Therapeutic writing for self-reflection, Music and rhythm for emotional and somatic reconnection.


ONE-DAY TRAINNG: 1 November, 2024  9am - 4.30pm  $285

Finding Freedom from the Inner Critic

Increasing self-compassion


Trainer: Mark Pearson

This highly practical training offers creative arts-based and self-reflective approaches for identifying and disempowering automatic negative thoughts critical of the self. The Expressive Therapy tools of visual art, symbol work, self-discovery worksheets, emotion-focused role-play and dialoguing with parts, will be introduced. The seven steps to mastering the inner critic will be presented. Along with mindfulness and self-compassion practice, we will explore understanding of, and separation from, self-criticism. This day for therapy professionals, while focused on supporting adult clients, provides much that can also be applied with younger clients.


Self-criticism serves as an explanation we give ourselves for why we did not get the love, recognition or safety that was needed. The self-critical voice can often be experienced as tyrannical - aiming to correct us, in the hope that we can then get what we needed (Stone & Stone, 1993). Keeping the hope of fulfilment alive through the effort to be different, can result in a confused or weakened sense of self, and may establish a foundation for later relationship disappointments.


The inner critic can be likened to a script, self, or perhaps even ‘voice’, scolding us from the inside – imposing prohibitions on what we do, what we need, how we feel. The inner critic develops early in life, absorbing then mimicking judgements from significant others, absorbing expectations of family and society, motivated by creating self-protection and maintaining some sense of emotional equilibrium.  - Extract from Pearson & Wilson 2009

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