Course Outline

COU700 Expressive Therapies: Counselling with the Creative Arts

Course Coordinator:Trudi Flynn ( School:School of Law and Society

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course explores the theoretical basis and practical activities for the use of expressive therapies in counselling. This integrative approach draws from creative arts therapies, including use of art, music, movement, therapeutic writing and symbols. Counselling with expressive and creative arts therapies is an area of specialised competencies that requires an advanced person-centred perspective. This course utilises interactive experiential workshop learning to enable a personal appreciation of the relationship and interactive issues present in counselling when using expressive interventions.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Weekly Workshop 3hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Introduction to Expressive Arts Integrated Counselling;
Expressive Therapies Continuum
Qualities of Media
The Neuroscience of Expressive Therapies
Therapeutic Facilitation of Arts Integrated Counselling
Expressive Therapies Techniques 
Counselling with Visual Arts: Drawing, Clay and 3D
Counselling with symbols                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Therapeutic Writing
Therapeutic Integration of Music and Movement
Therapeutically informed Photography
Eco-Expressive Arts Therapies
Intermodality in Expressive Therapies in Counselling

What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Critically reflect on and analyse the history, principles and practices of expressive therapies as a counselling intervention. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2 Apply and evaluate the appropriateness of expressive therapies as a counselling intervention. Creative and critical thinker
3 Demonstrate and apply expressive therapies concepts and skills with clients in a knowledgeable, responsible and ethical manner. Knowledgeable
4 Reflect critically on your own values and beliefs in relation to using expressive arts in the counselling process. Empowered
5 Demonstrate ability to use expressive therapies with a diverse range of clients. Empowered
6 Critically appraise research studies related to the clinical application of various creative arts modalities. Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


COU701 and enrolled in Program AR708


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

In Week 3, students will be invited to complete an experiential activity in class, that will explore therapeutic qualities of media. Students will be requested to develop and present a 5 minute presentation that articulates what they have come to know in relation to two types of art media. The presentation will be offered to the class in Week 4. Students will be provided with brief formative feedback in response to their submission. Informal formative feedback will also be offered in workshops throughout the semester in relation to class discussions and activities. Timely and detailed written feedback is provided for students in relation to each submitted summative assessment. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Oral Individual 0%
Up to 600 words
Week 3 In Class
All 2 Literature Review (or component) Individual 30%
1500 Words
Week 6 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Practical / Laboratory Skills, and Written Piece Individual 35%
50 minutes session
800 words critique
Week 10 Online Submission
All 4 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual 35%
1500 Words + images
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Qualities of Media
To develop awareness of the therapeutic potential of qualities of media.
Product: Oral
A qualities of media activity will be completed in class in Week Three. You will be invited to i) develop a brief presentation (5 minutes), that articulates what you have come to know regarding the therapeutic qualities of two experienced media; and ii) present this to the class in Week Four.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated beginning understanding of qualities of media as a therapeutic consideration.
All - Assessment Task 2:Literature Review
Critically analyse the literature relating to the development of one Expressive Therapy modality. Examine the application of this form of ET within counselling with an identified client population. The literature review will briefly describe the chosen technique and its' research evidence. The review will summarise development of the modality, e.g. history, typical client presenting problems where it is most useful, contraindications, rationale for working with the modality, contemporary developments, and critique of the research evidence for efficacy.
Product: Literature Review (or component)
Working with one other student from the course, critically analyse the literature relating to the development of ONE Expressive Therapy modality. Particularly examine the application of this form of ET to its application within counselling with a particular adult client population. The literature review will briefly describe the chosen technique and its research evidence. The review will summarise development of the modality, e.g. history, typical client presenting problems where it is most useful, rationale for its inclusion, contemporary developments, and critique of the types of research evidence for effectiveness/non-effectiveness.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Selection of pertinent, appropriate and contemporary academic literature
Evidenced critical understanding and scholarly synthesis of the material.
1 6
Scholarly comment on the effectiveness of expressive therapeutic arts interventions with the identified population
2 3
Clarity of logic and argument, accurate use of APA7 referencing and formatting style.
1 6
All - Assessment Task 3:Skills Demonstration and Brief Critique: Counselling with Expressive Therapies
To demonstrate specific knowledge and capacity in the facilitation of an expressive therapies session, that integrates counselling and the creative therapeutic arts.

To demonstrate capacity to critically reflect on skills and performance.
Product: Practical / Laboratory Skills, and Written Piece
Part A: You are invited to facilitate a 50 minute session of counselling that integrates expressive arts therapies. This session will be recorded on video. You will have the opportunity to draw from a range of available expressive arts resources in your session. Your client will be invited to complete a client feedback form following the session.

Part B: You are invited to complete a brief 800 word critical reflection relating to your skills session. The reflection will respond to the following four inquiries:
*Describe the strategies/skills/processes you felt that you used effectively. How did you know this?
*Were there strategies/skills/ processes used that you would like to strengthen?
*Are there other alternative strategies and skills that you feel may have been appropriate?
*What do you now know in relation to the facilitation of expressive therapies informed counselling.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
clear knowledge of an expressive arts therapy intervention
2 5
Identified modalities and approach are therapeutically congruent, and appropriate to identified client goals.
1 2 3 5
Evident capacity to facilitate an integrative counselling approach informed by expressive arts therapy;
3 5
appropriate use of language, timing and ethical considerations
Critique evidences intra- and interpersonal therapeutic self-awareness. Evidence of personal learning through informed and pertinent critical reflection;
2 4
All - Assessment Task 4:Intermodal Inquiry and Reflection
To conduct and document an intermodal expressive therapies self-inquiry.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
You are invited to engage in a documented self-lead multimodal expressive arts inquiry process. Drawing from this experience, you will develop an associated written/ multimodal submission that will incorporate i) an introduction to the presented expressive arts processes, ii) a description of the personal experience of engaging in the process,referencing pertinent theory and techniques, iii) a reflection on “what you have come to know” via the creative process and production, iv) images of artefacts relating to the inquiry process and reflection and v) a comment on the perceived professional utility of the intermodal process of inquiry within counselling.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated capacity to effectively implement an intermodal expressive therapeutic arts inquiry.
2 3
Evidence of personal learning through informed and relevant critical reflection on an experiential process;
3 4
Demonstrated ability to analyse outcomes from the process and reflections,and to deduce implications for counselling practice based on personal learning.Explanations are linked to theory.
2 4 6
Demonstrated capacity to effectively document and report an arts-based and intermodal self-inquiry

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Cathy A. Malchiodi 2006 Expressive Therapies n/a Guilford Press
Required Mark Pearson,Helen Wilson 2009 Using Expressive Arts to Work with the Mind, Body and Emotions n/a Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Specific requirements

Students to supply their own art journal, A3 drawing pad, oil pastels and soft pastels.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

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