Duration: Weekend days only (12 days)

When: Starts October 2024

Costs: Please view all of our training courses and fees


Comprises six set ‘Counselling Skills’ days (for dates please contact us), one conference day, four ‘Arts Skills’ training days of your choice and one Child Protection training day (provided by our sister organisation The Centre for Child Mental Health).

This course will equip child professionals with key skills in providing counselling for children using art images and mental images to develop and deepen the work. In terms of how children process emotional experience and lay down memories, counselling skills used for adults are often not directly applicable. Hence, this course will empower people to work safely, effectively and ethically with children using the finest form of reflection: namely the coming together of thinking, feeling and imagination. The course will also entail when and how to refer on and ensure adherence to a safe Code of Ethics and Code of Practice. The course is ideal for those people whose work already involves speaking to children about their feelings but who have had no formal training in counselling skills.


Course curriculum

  • Key principles in using counselling skills with children
  • The art of active listening and how to respond
  • Adopting unconditional positive regard (Carl Rogers)
  • The power of accurate empathy
  • Working with a child’s feelings without leading questions, interpretations, inferences of meaning
  • Making therapeutic use of a child’s art and play images
  • Knowing how to move from problem to art/play image for a deeper level of understanding
  • Using storytelling as a therapeutic tool with children
  • Connecting with highly defended children
  • Knowing at what level to work
  • Working safely, ethically and within limits of competence
  • Child Protection, Code of Ethics and Code of Practice
  • Knowing how, when and where to refer on


How to apply

You will need to attend an interview day (Taster Day)

All students must also undergo at least 20 sessions of their own counselling or therapy during the training. It is recommended this is with a counsellor or therapist who uses the arts. This course forms one module of the Diploma in Child Counselling which is suited for counselling for children. With successful application it is possible to transfer.



The course is staffed by senior registered Integrative Arts Psychotherapists and Integrative Child Psychotherapists, many of whom have published key books and articles in arts therapy, child therapy and child counselling skills using the arts.

Admissions criteria

  • Some previous experience of working with children
  • Self-awareness and emotional robustness
  • Capacity to empathise
  • Developed interpersonal skills
  • High level of emotional warmth

Changes to the curriculum, teaching staff, assignments on our courses
IATE reserves the right to make adjustments to the above due to unforeseen circumstances. 
The quality of the training will not in any way be compromised in doing so.


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