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Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma

Take advantage of cross-disciplinary training in the multi arts approach to change through the creative process which is the Expressive Arts and Expressive Arts Therapy with experts in each field.

Expressive Arts is a multi-modal, arts-based approach towards creative, communal, and therapeutic transformation. Through a holistic weaving together and interplay of creative process and modalities such as visual, movement, drama, music, ritual, written and spoken word, Expressive Arts Therapy invites a change making container wherein individual and collective wellbeing can be addressed.

The field is divided into many areas including that of therapy, as well as personal, community and educational development. With respective roles of Expressive Arts Therapist and Expressive Arts Consultant Educator/Practitioner, the multimodal paradigm of Expressive Arts is grounded in person centered phenomenology that centers the use of presence and imagination towards problem solving and enhancement of one's life experience.

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.

The work Expressive Arts invites can be engaging and fun, while also evocative, and at times, challenging. The invitation to explore life with an arts-based inquiry leads practitioners and participants in and out of a liminal space where new perspectives might be embodied, explored, and applied. Somatic, land based, systemic, ecological, transpersonal, and trauma-informed considerations are likewise included within the scope and practice of Expressive Arts as we seek to cultivate inner and outer wholeness in life.

Our Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy includes an intensive program spanning the course of two summer immersions, one spring immersion, online coursework during the academic year, practicum experience, ongoing supervision, and academic and writing support in the completion of a research project in an area of personal interest. New diploma cohorts launch annually in July, with expected graduation at the end of December of a students' third year (a total of 2.5 years from start to finish). 

Expressive Arts Therapists may apply their work in a wide variety of settings that provides individual and group therapy including private practice, social service agencies, hospitals, seniors’ centres, educational institutions and any service that shares goals of providing individual and group therapy support through arts-based modalities.

Expressive Arts Consultant/Educator/Practitioners are likely to find themselves leading groups in agencies prioritizing group process, which might include school settings, shelters, refugee support centres, or store front art hives. Common goals include group support and cohesion, enjoyment, self-expression, insight, building self-esteem, and tapping and sharing one’s own unique voice through creative modalities.

Please note, for students interested in a comprehensive immersion in art therapy and expressive arts therapy, we offer a 800+ hour dual diploma including comprehensive training in both domains. See more information here.

2024 Update: We value the benefits of face-to-face programming and land-based experiences. This summer 2024 will be our last year offering a hybrid option where students who are unable to attend in person can elect to participate online. Starting summer 2025 we will have mandatory in person spring and summer immersions. The rest of the academic year (September - April) will remain as online classes. Information on accommodation is located HERE  

For more information, contact WHEAT Institute at or register here.

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

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Current Requirements

Graduates of this program will have the training necessary to become members of the Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association (OEATA). You can join as an Expressive Arts Therapist with a 500 + hour training program, including supervised practicum and thesis / final project. Registering as a professional member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA), as either a Registered Expressive Arts Therapists (REAT) or Registered Expressive Arts Consultant/Educators (REACE), is a process, with a variety of criteria, which can be found here


WHEAT Founder Darci Adam collaborated with IEATA to co-host their annual conference in 2017 titled: Indigenous Roots of Expressive Arts: Transformation, Social Justice, and Social Change, Locally and Globally

If you have a Bachelor's degree you may apply to register through the Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada or the Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association.

Developmental Psychology (3 credits) and Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology (3 credits) must be completed as prerequisites or during the program.

Students will be required to receive at least 25 hours of expressive arts therapy or art therapy therapy prior to or during the program as part of their learning.

Current Application Process

Application deadlines: There are a limited number of seats available and spots will be reserved as applications are received. Join our waitlist for the 2025 cohort. 

Applicants are selected based on past academic records, a 500-1000 word letter of intent and three letters of recommendation.

Applicants must also submit: Documentation of previous art-making experience and are expected to have experience in clinical, rehabilitative and/or educational settings, current Resume, 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 $127.45 plus materials fee of $200 are due upon acceptance and signing of the Tuition Contract.

Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma

"I got to play and laugh and cry and grow, while painting and sculpting and dancing and making poems and building a deeper and deeper knowing that this magical way of connecting to myself and others can be made available to all."

Expressive Arts Diploma Student, 2019

"This course was life affirming, life altering, and inspirational. I was left in amazement at the power of expressive arts."

Expressive Arts Student, 2019

"Entering the WHEAT Expressive Arts Therapy diploma program has presented so many life-altering and life-affirming moments. Along this incredible journey of learning and self-discovery, I have often paused and considered how fortunate I have been to connect to the incredible faculty and fellow students. In a word, WHEAT is transformative!"

Expressive Arts Student, 2019

Dance Class

Current Fees
Expressive Arts Therapy 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.

Tuition Fees for Expressive Arts and Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma: $25,490.00 CAD

* Term payments are calculated on the course hours you complete in the given period. An estimate will be provided to each student upon acceptance.
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

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  

$127.45 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. 

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