Dual Diploma in Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy

The Dual Diploma in Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy at WHEAT Institute is an intensive program spanning the course of two to three summer intensives, four long weekends mid academic year, online coursework over 16 months, practicum experience, ongoing supervision, and academic support to specialize in an area of personal interest through the preparation of a final project and a final thesis. You will complete all of our compulsory courses in this combined art therapy and expressive arts therapy diploma program to receive training in both Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy! This is a 700+ hour program. Students will complete the Art Therapy practicum requirement of 700 hours (300 direct client contact hours), plus an additional 200 direct client contact hours to meet the Expressive Arts Therapy practicum requirement. The combined use of art and expressive arts modalities is becoming much more common and gives greater flexibility to adapt to the creative strengths and preferences of the client.

Art Therapy provides a sensitive, creative approach for addressing emotional and psychological difficulties with foundations in psychodynamic theory, developmental psychology, and phenomenology. WHEAT Institute meets the Educational Standards of the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA). Graduates will have the necessary requirements to join CATA as professional members and to work towards registration as Registered Canadian Art Therapists (RCAT). CATA standards currently require that students have either a Bachelor's degree in a related field or complete a Prior Learning Assessment (PLAR), which can be done through the WHEAT Institute registration process . A Master's degree may be required by certain agencies, colleges or associations in order to bill as a therapist.


This program provides students a unique opportunity to become a trained art therapist in Canada, while also training in Expressive Arts Therapy. This solid foundation in these modalities will allow you to establish a private practice and facilitate individual and group therapy, while also preparing you to work in an agency or program requiring a specialist in the therapeutic use of the arts. You will be trained to work with a diverse variety of populations and have an expanded network of experienced instructors to support you in your transition to the workplace.

Expressive Arts Therapy provides a dynamic, creative, multi—modal approach for amplifying wellness and addressing emotional and psychological difficulties through the combined therapeutic use of visual art, movement, drama, music, poetry and spoken word. The field is divided into the areas of therapy and personal, community and educational development, reflecting the respective roles of Expressive Arts Therapist and Expressive Arts Consultant Educator/Practitioner. Multi-modal expressive arts therapy is grounded in phenomenology and prioritizes the use of the imagination in problem solving and enhancing one's experience of life. The inter-play of different arts modalities and media, combined with a holistic approach honouring mind, body, spirit and emotions, supports arriving at fresh insights in a holistic, integrated way. Expressive Arts training in personal and community development work supports Consultant/Educator/Practitioners in sharing the therapeutic use of the arts in healing arts classes, personal growth settings, schools, and agencies, which use creativity as a tool for self awareness and personal empowerment as well as social change.


Graduates of this program will have the training necessary to begin the registration process as professional members of the Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association as either Expressive Arts Therapists or Expressive Arts Practitioners, as well as the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association as either Registered Expressive Arts Therapists (REAT) or Registered Expressive Arts Consultants (REACE). A Master's degree is required to register as a REAT. REACE candidates may follow the Formal (Master's degree required) or Informal Pathway (combination of work experience and training). 

June 2022 Update: This summer 2022 we are pleased to offer a combination of in-person and Online offerings. Our in-person classes are being held at Painted Sky Studio in St. Laurent, Manitoba. Information on accommodation is located HERE 

For more information contact WHEAT Institute at info@wheatinstitute.com.

A copy of our course of study schedule is available upon request.

Current Requirements

A Bachelor's or Master’s degree is required in counselling, social work, fine arts, or psychology or an equivalent field with a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) completed to determine equivalencies. Students with diverse backgrounds will be admitted upon completion and acceptance of a PLAR. Prerequisites include Developmental Psychology (3 credits) and Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology (3 credits). This work may also be completed during the course of study.

As part of their learning process, students will be required to receive art therapy prior to or during the program for 25 hours. Ongoing engagement in the arts is recommended as part of the Studio Art requirement.

Current Application Process

Application deadlines: We are currently accepting registration for next year's 2022 Dual Diploma cohort, which will begin in July 2022. There are a limited number of seats available and spots will be reserved as applications are received. Registration closes June 2022.

Application process: Applicants are selected based on past academic records, a 500-word letter of intent and three letters of recommendation. Applicants must also submit: Documentation of previous art-making experience, current Resume (reflecting experience in clinical, rehabilitative and/or educational settings), Child Abuse Registry, and Criminal Record Check. Registration fee of $225 is due at that time. A selection committee will interview potential students. Confirmation of acceptance to the Diploma Program will occur within two weeks of application.

Training completion fund of $294.90 plus supply fee of $200 are due upon acceptance and signing of the Student Enrollment Contract.

Current Fees - Dual Diploma

There is no GST on any of our fees or tuition. All fees are listed in Canadian (CAD) dollars. Training is tax deductible, see more information here.

Dual Program in Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy *subject to program availability* $29,490.00 CAD
Enroll in both the Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy programs to receive diplomas in both Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy! This program can be completed between 2 - 3 years. Students will complete the Art Therapy practicum requirement of 700 hours and an additional Expressive Arts Therapy practicum requirement of 200 hours. Tuition term payments will be calculated on the course hours completed in the given period. An estimate will be provided to each student upon acceptance. For further information on registration and fees please email info@wheatinstitute.com

Term 1 due June 15
Term 2 due September 30
Term 3 due January 15
Term 4 due June 1
Term 5 due September 30
Term 6 due January 15
Term 7 due June 1
Term 8 due September 30

Additional Fees:

$225.00 CAD Non-refundable Registration Fee due upon registration (part of the application process)

$200.00 CAD Non-refundable Supply Fee due upon acceptance  

$294.90 CAD Non-refundable Training Completion Fund (TCF) fee due upon acceptance. See details of the purpose of this fund here.

$50.00 CAD Graduation Fee due in final term

Practicum and/or Thesis Extension for all Diploma Programs:

Students will be considered graduates following completion of their Practicum as well as having completed and received a passing grade on their Final Project or Thesis. There is an additional fee of $100 per supervision hour for any supervision required beyond that included in the program. There is a fee of $1000 for students wishing to extend their Final Project or Thesis for an additional year. This will be accompanied by additional research support.