Transpersonal Arts in Therapy Training

Have you been considering a career working as a Transpersonal Arts Counsellor, transforming lives through Art and the Human Encounter?

At Tobias we deliver a holistic approach to arts in therapy and counselling.

For over 40 years our training has been providing experiential learning in a creative nurturing environment where students are supported in developing as Transpersonal Arts Counsellors.

If you are interested in finding out for yourself what makes Tobias School of Art and Therapy right for you, please let us know by calling 01342 313655 or emailing

What is Transpersonal Therapy?

Transpersonal Arts in Therapy Training is a challenging and enriching journey towards greater self-awareness and life management, leading to personal confidence and practical therapeutic skills. Each Module deepens the theory and practice of working holistically with clients, and how to case manage their journey, using a client-centred methodology.

The course provides the skills and knowledge essential for counselling practice including working with clients, working with groups, life transformation, grief, loss, risk management, children and life transitions and case management.

The most fascinating aspect of this training is the gradual and surprising discovery of the sources of health in the worlds near and far from nature to the stars…

What is Art in Therapy?

In Arts in Therapy, clients are offered hands on image making activities and dialogue. The therapist/counsellor initiates or supports a process of recovery, improvement or acceptance in the client’s condition. There is communication between the counsellor and the client throughout the processes with regard to the counselling/therapy itself and the impact on the client. A therapist works with either a group or in a one-to-one setting and provides a safe and secure environment for clients’ engagement in a creative personal process.

The student will be taught how to build and maintain relationships and how to contact and communicate with people within professional boundaries. The students will be able to initiate. maintain and conclude a working relationship. The student is taught compliance with current government legislation and professional association regulations.

Our Transpersonal Approach

Our transpersonal approach respects and encompasses historical/traditional culture and multicultural perspectives on body, soul and spirit. Key to our training is the awareness of how art and the human encounter can transform self and others in personal, cultural and spiritual ways.

We respect each individual’s search for meaning, and are respectful of the views and belief systems of our students. Tobias students are exposed to cognitive approaches to psychotherapy, as well as to experiential modes of healing engaging the full spectrum of human consciousness.

Our programme presents counselling approaches that emphasise the integration of body, mind, spirit, and environment within the context of one’s society. This unique course offers students a holistic, client centred approach to counselling and therapy for students. It provides a humanistic approach to mental and spiritual health and well-being.

Through a deep engagement with the visual arts our students are enabled to enter ‘an educated co-operation with image intelligences(Angelo 2003), whilst through the art of counselling they are enabled to bring this co-operation as facilitation of the transformation of others. In the tradition that Robert Lawlor calls anthropocosmic, ‘restated in our time by Rudolf Steiner, RA Schwaller de Lubicz and others’ (Lawlor 1982), we believe that an imaginal engagement with the Muses or the arts and their archetypal language, facilitates individual expression and improves health.

Our Vision

Tobias is founded upon the principle that both individual healing and collective evolution begin with an individual’s willingness to engage in self development involving the ‘whole’ person, encompassing body, mind, spirit and environment.

Tobias seeks to become a model for how an educational institution can support the emergence of more ‘conscious’ individuals who aspire towards authenticity and who can build communities and be connected to their environment. Our goal is to foster a new generation of integrated practitioners and thereby bring psycho-spiritual work into the mainstream of therapeutic practice.

We place a high value on the sense of community generated within the student and graduate body.

For such a community to be viable, students take on an attitude of personal responsibility for their own self development, so that they become models of exemplary practice for their clients. Tobias seeks to become a model for how an educational institution can support the emergence of more ‘conscious’ individuals who aspire towards authenticity and who can build communities and be connected to their environment. Our goal is to foster a new generation of integrated practitioners and thereby bring psycho-spiritual work into the mainstream of therapeutic practice.

Because most of our intake are mature students, we assume they do have significant life experience and wisdom. This experience is then informed by transpersonal knowledge, so the counsellor / therapist develops his or her own unique style and emphasis.

Our students leave with a compassion for self and others and the desire to serve in their communities.

For more extensive reading see Vision and Values

What will I Study?

This is an experiential course, exploring how we bring depth, intimacy and presence to relationships with others, with our world and within ourselves.

Theory is taught and embedded through artistic practice and group processes. The teaching emphasises the development of intellectual, emotional social and spiritual awareness.

Students learn client-centred counselling techniques, case management, ethics, working with different populations, legal obligations and setting up a practice. Students also complete 250 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Our training emphasises self-discovery. Too early an emphasis on skills in therapeutic training can encourage the student to use techniques as a defence against the anxiety of being in the inevitable uncertainty of the counselling situation. In our training, both theoretical perspectives and the development of counselling skills are initially presented in an implicit experiential way and only later made explicit. This building on inner experience is part of the ‘inside-out’ learning method in which students integrate skills into their own reality rather than using them as technical means to an end.

Transpersonal work is about seeing behind the mask and attempting to experience greater authenticity and creativity in one’s life by enhancing what  they have already done that is healthy and worth acknowledging. It takes our human potential and pushes us to cultivate already developed skills. It also combines scientific knowledge with traditional healing models and techniques that demonstrate how different cultural beliefs define notions of normality. Learning through direct experience ensures that the theory is embedded and embodied and that students engage deeply with their own experience to support healing and self-knowledge. It’s action learning! Here, experience itself is the source of learning and development and we champion the spirit of enquiry.

Teaching Schedule Year 1

The first part of the training is orientated towards developing self awareness to gain insight into one’s personal narrative and life experience.

Introduction – Training Approach: The Ley and the Labyrinth/ Salutogenesis

Abraham Maslow Primary Needs (behaviourism vrs humanism)

Creative Group Contracting (The Vessel)

The Fool’s Path – Anxiety, Fear and the Unknown

Images of the Self – Nature’s archetypal forms

Basic Counselling Guidelines and BACP Ethical Framework

Overview of Counselling Approaches


Person Centred Philosophy

Transpersonal Arts and Creativity

Working creatively with People with Disabilities

Nurturing Arts for Health

Assessment, contracts and first sessions

Diversity and Multiculturalism

Goethean Phenomenology – Colour, nature observations

Sculptural Morphology – The language of form

Working with story – a transformational journey

Raphael & Rembrandt as representation of two spiritual streams

Dynamic Drawing – Bilateral Drawing

Working creatively with older adults

Biographical Studies

Medical lectures: Physiology of the human being

Lifespan Development: Steiner, Freud, Klein, Piaget, Bowlby, Maine

Attachment and Attunement

Transference and Countertransference

Projection and projective identification

Communicating with Children (creative contracting)


Creative Interventions with Children

Therapy Outdoors – Listening to the song of nature

Working with the Four Elements

Mandalas – Self and the World

World Festivals

Professional Development

Listening Circles

Preparing for Placement

Personal project and clinical case study presentation viewings and reflections

Nature Rhythm Enquiry Presentation

Counselling and Arts in Therapy Assessments

Teaching Schedule Year 2

The second part of the training focuses more directly towards the application of these techniques when working with clients.

Building the Therapeutic Relationship

Boundaries and Containment – The Caduceus

Art, music and mental health – Open Studio approach

Social and Emotional wellbeing in adolescents – Beauty and the Beast

Self Harm – Blood and Blade

Seven Life Processes as a developmental pathway

The Senses

Creativity and Working with clay slip

Expressive Therapies Continuum

Goodman’s Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires

Assessment and Personal Project Preparation

Mother and Child relationships

Working with Emotions: Anger – Dancing with Dragons, Shame, Fear, Grief


Resilience and Self Care



Personal Therapeutic Model

Spirituality – the question of faith

Therapeutic Use of Colour – Physiological and Psychological

Platonic Solids – the language of creation

Sand boxes – therapeutic methodology

Mental health and ill health

Mental health – Depression; resources and suicidality;  Neumann’s model in relation to depression. Links to the Jungian model

Endings – client and training closures


Dreaming the other – Assessment, Formulation and Treatment

Listening Circles

Working with stone: the encounter between person and material

Personal Project presentation

Theory to Practice tutorials/guidelines

Case Study presentation


Learning and assessment:

The training is delivered via lectures, debates, presentations, audio-visual materials, group exercises, skills practices, process groups, reflective practice, and presentations. As well as attending timetabled teaching days at the college students spend time attending placement, supervision (typically around 1 day per week in total), undertaking personal therapy (approximately 1 hour per week) as well as independent guided study and preparation for assignments.

Assessment is continuous throughout the training.

Formative and summative assessments are integrated throughout the programme. Formative assessments such as journal writing, feedback from skills practice and participation in experiential work are not formally marked. Summative assessments such as essay writing, the competency to practice interview and end of year assessments are formally marked.

Details of timetables, assessment requirements and criteria as well as deadline hand in dates for assignments can be found in the teaching schedule and handbook which is given to students at the start of the training.


Year 1

You will need to achieve a pass mark as a minimum for each of the following:

Reflective Imaginative Journal and Essay
• 3000 word essay
• Reflective Journals

Nature Rhythms: An Art and Research Therapeutic Project
• Essay: 3000 word essay
• Artistic Enquiry Project Presentation 20 minutes

Prejudice and Diversity Counselling Assignment
• 2000 word essay

Plant Research and Observation Study
• Practical assignment

Counselling and Psychology Assessment (Terms 2 & 3) – Tutor Reports

Readiness for Placement Assessment

Affiliateship Requirements
(For Students wishing to Achieve City & Guilds Level 5 ACGI Award)

• A series of workshops (minimum of 3) with a themed programme throughout the series.
• 3000 word report

Year 2

Tobias Core Model and the use of Art Media in Therapy
3000 word essay

Personal Therapeutic Model Summary
500 word essay

Personal Project Statement
500 word essay

Art Project Presentation (45 minutes)
with tutor and peer group feedback

Supervision Report

Placement Client Reports

Year 3

Case Study Presentation (45 minutes)
with clinical, tutor and peer group feedback

250 hours of client contact clinical placement

Case Study Report
7000 word essay

Research Dissertation
8000 word essay

You need to achieve a pass mark as a minimum for all essays and assignments completed, including all rewrites.

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Contact Us

We will be happy to help you with any enquiries you have about our courses, or if you would like to enrol, please get in touch and we shall get back to you as soon as we can.

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