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WHEAT Student Practicums

Top Quality Training in the therapeutic use of the Arts

The Winnipeg Holistic Expressive Arts Therapy (WHEAT) Institute offers diploma and certificate programs that provide students with an experiential and theoretical foundation in the therapeutic use of art, drama, movement and storytelling. As part of WHEAT's Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma Programs our students complete practicum hours at different sites across Winnipeg, Manitoba and even Canada! 

What is Art and Expressive Arts Therapy?

The Art Therapy 2-year diploma provides an alternative, cooperative, and creative approach for addressing emotional and psychological difficulties through the therapeutic use of the arts. Graduates of this program will have the training required to register as professional members of the Canadian Art Therapy Association.

The Expressive Arts Therapy 2-year diploma provides an alternative, cooperative and creative approach for amplifying wellness and addressing emotional and psychological difficulties through the therapeutic use of the arts. This may include art, drama, dance, music and writing. Graduates of this program will have the training necessary to begin the registration process as professional members of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association as either Registered Expressive Arts Therapists (REAT) or Registered Expressive Arts Consultants (REACE).

WHEAT Practicums

Our students will complete practicum hours at different sites to fulfill their program requirements. The practicum placement is an opportunity for students to apply and integrate knowledge acquired during coursework. Students meet with clients in a local community agency or organization to enhance and develop their techniques and skills to use the arts therapeutically. Students carry out client contact hours, which consist of one-on-one sessions or group sessions in which expressive arts, drama, or art therapy techniques and modalities are used. 

Students will:

Provide a safe environment conducive for art, drama or expressive arts therapyBecome comfortable with the presentation of art materials and/or drama expression as forms of self expression and healingSupport clients in the use of non-verbal forms of expressionSupport clients in gaining insight regarding the dynamics of art, drama or expressive arts in their own process of healingIdentify themes in the client’s art or drama expressionUnderstand and experience how to work with varying populations and groupsPromote the professional role of an art, drama or expressive arts therapist

Some of the places student’s complete practicum hours at include schools, hospitals, nursing homes, social services agencies, recourse centres, women's shelters, private practices and community organizations / groups. Students often work with some of the most vulnerable populations which may include children and youth, special needs groups, hospital patients, survivors, seniors and refugees.

Examples of WHEAT Practicums

CancerCare Manitoba is one example of the use of art therapy for those undergoing cancer treatments. There have been studies that confirm the benefits of art therapy in helping chronic patients cope with hospitalization and provide support through treatments. You can read an article HERE and a case study from Concordia University on the use of art therapy with children in hospitals HERE. One of our Expressive Arts Therapy students has also been involved in helping start a new art therapy program at A Port in the Storm - a safe haven for rural and northern adults living in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario who must travel to and remain in Winnipeg to receive medical care. We have received nothing but positive feedback - guests love this addition to the available activities!

One of our Art Therapy students has developed a new program offered at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in collaboration with the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba. This program was recently featured on CTV News. Learn more about inspiring people with dementia through art! The benefits of creative arts for people experiencing dementia and alzheimer's has been well documented. You can read more about using art and expressive arts therapy with seniors HERE. We have also had an Art Therapy student introduce art therapy into the Selkirk & District Seniors Resource Council Inc. programming for 65+ seniors living in the Selkirk area. 

Several of our students work with agencies that offer support for those recovering from addictions, violence and trauma. Addictions Foundation of Manitoba provides residential and community-based addictions services, including individual and group counselling, for those experiencing problems with alcohol, drugs, or gambling. Agape House – Eastman Crisis Centre, Inc. offers support for women in crisis. Our students take courses in addressing addictions, working with trauma, and working with seniors, children and groups. Art therapy has proven to be beneficial in trauma recovery, and we invite you to read more about trauma-informed expressive arts therapy HERE.

Why Participate?

As a mental health profession art therapy is employed in many clinical and non-clinical settings. Using their evaluative and psychotherapy skills, art therapists choose materials and interventions appropriate to their clients' needs and design sessions to achieve therapeutic goals and objectives. They use the creative process to help their clients cope with stress or illness; work through traumatic experiences; increase cognitive, memory and neurosensory abilities; improve relationships; and achieve greater self-fulfillment. The purpose is ultimately one of healing.

Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy practicum hours can be completed anywhere there is a need! If you, or your organization / program, are interested in hosting a practicum student from WHEAT Institute please contact to learn more.

Donation Request

A Port in the Storm is in need of some additional supplies for the new art therapy program. Below is a list. Please email if you would like to donate.

Plastic containers (small margarine or soup size, about 1L)

Tubes from gift wrap and paper towels




Coloured tissue paper

White paper – tabloid size (11 X 17)

Poster Paper

Bristol Board

Small canvas (3X5, 5X7, 8X11)

Musical instruments (guitar, percussion)

Sewing machine

Rags for Cleaning

June 16, 2018


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