Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma

WHEAT is the only Private Vocational Institute in Canada to offer both Art Therapy & Expressive Arts Therapy Diplomas. Take advantage of cross-disciplinary training in Art Therapy, Expressive Arts and Expressive Arts Therapy with experts in each field.

The field of the Expressive Arts provides an interactive, dynamic and creative approach for amplifying wellness and addressing emotional and psychological difficulties through the therapeutic, multi-modal use of the visual art, movement, drama, music, poetry and spoken word. The field is divided into the areas of therapy, as well as personal, community and educational development, with 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. Our Diplomas in Expressive Arts and Expressive Arts Therapy include an intensive program spanning the course of two summer intensives, online coursework during the academic year, several studio immersion courses mid-academic year, practicum experience, ongoing supervision, and academic and writing support in the completion of a thesis in an area of personal interest.

Expressive arts therapists may apply their work in a wide variety of settings that provide 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 more 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. The work can be engaging and fun, while also evocative, and at times, challenging.

Please note, for students interested in a comprehensive immersion in art therapy and expressive arts, we offer a 700+ hour dual diploma including comprehensive training in both domains. See more information here.

May 2021 update: The 2021 Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma cohort begins their program on July 2nd. All summer classes will be offered online. In-person programming will likely resume in July 2022. We are hopeful for future face to face and land based gatherings, still including ongoing options for online participation. 

For more information, contact WHEAT Institute at info@wheatinstitute.com or register here.

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

Current Requirements

Graduates of this program will have the training necessary to begin the registration process as professional members of the Ontario Expressive Arts Therapy Association (OEATA registers Expressive Arts Therapists with a 500 + hours training program plus thesis / final project), as well as the  the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association as either Registered Expressive Arts Therapists (REAT) or Registered Expressive Arts Consultant/Educators (REACE). In their own words, "The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association supports artists, educators, consultants and therapists using multi-modal arts processes for personal and community transformation. We provide a global forum for dialogue; promote guiding principles for professional practice, and work to increase recognition and use of expressive arts as a powerful tool for psychological, physical and spiritual wellness." WHEAT Founder and Director 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 https://www.ieata.org/2017conferencewinnipeg.

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.


If you have a Master's degree you may apply to register as a REAT. REACE candidates may follow the Formal (Master's degree required) or Informal Pathway (combination of work experience and training - no Master's degree required). Click here for further information on REACE registration. Work hours completed as part of an educational requirement (practicum, internship) can be accepted if they meet all requirements for work experience. A maximum of 200 hours may be earned in this manner. IEATA will accept additional work experience that may have happened prior to or simultaneous with an educational program. 100 hours of work experience may be accepted for expressive arts research and articles and publications under the category of Research and Publications. This will include hours of work students spend on their final research projects outside of class contact time with instructors.

Registration with the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA) is dependent on qualifications as assessed by IEATA. Further information can be found on IEATA's webpage here

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 have received at least 25 hours of expressive arts or art therapy therapy prior to or during the program as part of their learning.

Current Application Process

Application deadlines: We are currently accepting registration for next year's 2022 Expressive Arts Therapy cohort, which will begin in July 2022. There are a limited number of seats available and spots will be reserved as applications are received. The application deadline is May 31, 2022.

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 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 $234.90 plus materials fee of $200 are due upon acceptance and signing of the Tuition Contract.

Expressive Arts 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

Current Fees

Expressive Arts 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: $23,490.00 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 31
Term 4 due June 1
Term 5 due September 30
Term 6 due January 31

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  

$234.90 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 / Thesis Extension for all Diploma Programs:

Students will be considered graduates following completion of the Practicum as well as having completed and received a passing grade on the final project / thesis. There are fees of $1600 / term for Practicum Extension and $1000 / term for Thesis Extension.