Courses & Training

On this page you will find short details and application forms for:

  • Art in Mental Health: A Foundation Course in Art Therapy
  • Introduction to Sandtray Therapy with Practical Applications
  • Art in Heath: Practical Applications

Also three separate but linked one day courses:

  • Art & Conflict; Art & Anger Management and Experiences with Conflict & Anger Work


Jung and the Roots of Art Therapy

This seven week evening course has been developed through an exciting new partnership between Insider Art and Iron Mill College.

This course aims to introduce, contextualise and demystify some key ideas from Jungian psychology particularly psyche as an evolved self-regulating system. Some of Jung’s thinking was of his time and some was ahead: we will look at context, and how Jung’s intuitions have resonated with more recent areas like evolutionary psychology and cultural and spiritual aspects of therapy. Taught by an Art Therapist, the course particularly focusses on Jung’s major influence on the roots of Art Therapy.

The course runs over seven sessions with one focused on a detailed exploration of a case study. The course takes place on Tuesday evenings 7 pm - 9 pm at Iron Mill College, starting on 3rd May 2022.

This course is suitable for:

  • People who have completed previous Insider Art courses ('Art and Mental Health: Art Therapy Foundation', 'Art in Health: practical applications'), and/or
  • Qualified therapists and counsellors seeking Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and/or
  • Therapy and counselling trainees.

To request the course flyer and an application form, please email


Art in Mental Health: Foundation Course in Art Therapy

This course will run again in Exeter later this year, starting on 8th October 2019.  The course flyer and application form are still being finalised and will be available to download using the links below in late May.  If you experience any problems downloading the course information, please email Sarah Holmes at to request the course flyer and an application form.

If you would like to discuss making an application, please initially contact us by email to set up a convienient time to speak.  We are currently WITHOUT a landline.

Applications are accepted from 8th June 2019 and places are allocated on a first come basis. All applicants meet with one of the course leaders before places are confirmed.

The course runs on Tuesday evenings 7.00 pm - 9.30 pm with four Saturday workshops from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. We increased the number of workshops following student demand.

Term 1: Begins 8th October 2019 for eight weeks, ending on 3rd December (no session on 22nd October)

Term 2: Begins 7th January 2020 for eight weeks (no session on 18th February), ending on 3rd March

Saturday workshops: two in the autumn term (12th October and 23rd November) and two in the spring term (11th January and 29th February)

** Please note that the workshops may be during school half-term holidays


The course introduces participants to key factors in working with visual art in a wide variety of mental health contexts. It is not an Art Therapy training, but is a grounding in Art Therapy principles. Whilst some students go on to qualifying art therapy trainings each year there is no expectation that the majority of students will wish to pursue a full training.

The part time course, runs on Tuesday evenings over two terms with four Saturday workshops. (64 taught hours plus optional reading and optional self-directed written work). Participants come from a wide range of backgrounds - artists, teachers, health workers etc and have very diverse skills, experience, qualifications and interests. An enquiring and open mind is the main entrance requirement.

For more information about the course click HERE.

What do former students say? Click HERE to see a summary of the course evaluation from last year's Foundation Course.

Where do our students come from? Click HERE to see a map showing the locations of our students over the last three years.

Application form: download HERE or email


Art in Health: Practical Applications

Our Art in Mental Health, Art Therapy Foundation course offers this intensive, practice based 'third term', developed from our Participatory Visual Arts in Health courses. The third term explores practical applications of psychologically and emotionally informed art making with others. Though influenced by art psychotherapy understandings and practice, this course is not therapy training: it seeks to develop more people-skilled, informed, confident and effective Arts & Health practitioners.Working with art and creativity to benefit health and wellbeing is a broad spectrum. To qualify in Art Therapy requires M.A. level training. An art therapy foundation course is strongly recommended for those considering this route.

Runs: For six Tuesday evening single sessions (6.15pm - 8.45pm) and three Saturday double sessions (10:00am to 4:00pm) in three blocks:

Details to follow

Who is the course for?

Previous students on our practice based courses have included youth workers, health professionals, classroom support and play therapy workers, teachers and artists, many were funded by their workplaces to attend. As the course is work based and emphasises reflective practice based it is helpful if students are engaged with an on-going, appropriate arts project. Some students have negotiated placements for this purpose.

For full details about the course click HERE.

Application forms: email


Introduction to Sand Tray Therapy with Practical Applications

This six day course has been developed as a pragmatic approach to using sand tray in therapeutic contexts. Insider Art’s course is intended for students and practitioners who have some knowledge and experience of working therapeutically but have relatively little experience of working with sand tray. The course is offered as 30 hours of taught, continuing professional and personal development (CPD). We choose not to call this a ‘certificate’ as sand tray therapy is not an HCPC registered form of therapy and there are no officially recognised training standards or validating bodies for it. (See

This course has been extended from last year, and the updated information is now available.  You can either download the course information, using the links below.  If you would prefer to be emailed the application form and course flyer, please contact

The course explores a range of skills, models and approaches to working therapeutically with sand tray. Theoretical concepts underpinning sand play are reflected on alongside consideration of how sand play complements other therapeutic practices by encouraging the non-verbal expression and construction of images which have both special personal and collective or cultural meanings. The course is explicit in enabling practitioners to work safely and effectively with small, inexpensive, highly portable sand trays using found objects and requiring very few miniatures. Participants are introduced to working with sand tray through presentations and practical exploration of the following themes:

  • History and development of sand play therapy and its role in child development.
  • Imagination and creativity within the therapeutic process.
  • Story-making, narratives and dramatic structure.
  • Imaginative and symbolic thinking.
  • Introduction to Jung and Jungian sand tray
  • Sand tray as a psychological therapy and its clinical applications.
  • Play Therapy approaches to sand tray including: The Sensory Sandtray.
  • Art psychotherapy approaches to sand tray and making figures for the tray.
  • Introduction to archetypes, change, transformations, loss and endings in creative work.

Learning is through a mixture of presentations, interactive experiential exercises, reflection and discussion. All materials, handouts, refreshments and vegetarian lunches are included.

The course is led by: Karen Huckvale, HCPC registered art psychotherapist; with Julie Thompson, HCPC registered occupational therapist/ play therapist and Jessica Perriss, HCPC registered social worker/ play therapist. Together they have extensive experience of NHS, Social Services and private practice settings with children, young people, families and adults where they work with attachment, fostering and adoption issues, anxiety, depression, loss and bereavement, self-harm and eating, autistic spectrum, obsessive compulsive and attention deficit disorders.

This course provides education about sand tray therapy. All education about therapy inevitably provokes some personal resonances and draws on some personal experiences however the course has educational aims and isn't a substitute for personal therapy. We recommend all practitioners are clinically supervised.

The course is limited to 12 places.

The course runs on three pairs of Fridays and Saturdays (with 3-4 weeks between each pair of days) from 10.00am – 4.30pm in central Exeter.

The course will take place on the following dates: tbc

Fee rates: Employer funded £560, Self-funded £485, Discount £460, Concessionary £435

To download the course flyer, click here

To download an application form, click here

What participants said about last year's course. Click HERE to read a summary of the course evaluation.


Art and Conflict:

We hope to run this popular one day course again, but the date is still to be confirmed. Please contact to be put on our mailing list. Tutor Marian Liebmann.

Conflict is an emotive subject. This day course is about finding new ways to look at it. There will be a variety of practical art exercises to gain insights into different aspects of conflict, conflict resolution and mediation, including:

  • First reactions to conflict
  • Handling conflict non-verbally
  • Conflict arising in sharing space
  • Using drawing/painting as a step towards resolving conflicts
  • Working in pairs on others’ conflicts

Participants will acquire a greater awareness of different aspects of conflict, and how to work with conflict constructively. A set of handouts will accompany this course.

What did last year's participants say about the course? Click HERE to read a summary of the course evaluation.


Art and Anger Management:

We hope to run this popular one day course again, but the date is still to be confirmed. Please contact to be added to our mailing list. Tutor Marian Liebmann.

This course will take participants through some of the art therapy processes that can help with work on anger and anger management. It is modelled on the courses developed by the facilitator in her work in the Inner City Mental Health Service, Bristol, and has application to anyone wanting to look at their own anger, as well as those working with angry clients. Exercises include:

  • What is anger?
  • What’s underneath the anger?
  • Physical symptoms of anger
  • The anger cycle
  • Use of relaxation and guided imagery

These exercises and discussion of them will provide steps to working with anger constructively. A set of handouts accompanies this course.

What did last year's participants say about the course? Click HERE to read a summary of the course evaluation.


Experiences with Conflict and Anger Work

We hope to run this one day course again in Exeter but the date is still to be confirmed. To be added to our mailing list, please contact Tutor: Marian Liebmann:

This course will present some of the work undertaken by the tutor in the community; in an adult mental health service; and in Uganda with adults who were abducted as children by the Lord’s Resistance Army. There will be an opportunity to use art materials to reflect on these presentations. It will provide a useful reflection on the two previous practical day courses on conflict and anger, but can also be taken by participants who have not been on those courses. Themes to be covered include:

  • The usefulness of using art media in this area of work
  • The way in which art media can reach very diverse groups and cultures
  • The flexibility needed to adapt the methods to different groups

Marian Liebmann has worked in art therapy with offenders, with women’s groups and community groups, and currently at the Inner City Mental Health Service in Bristol. She teaches and lectures on art therapy at several universities in the UK and Ireland. For eight years she worked as director and projects adviser for Mediation UK, the UK’s umbrella organization for mediation. For the last eight years, Marian has worked as a freelance trainer, and her work has included training several Youth Offending Teams in the UK, plus carrying out Restorative Justice training in Uganda, Russia, South Africa, Serbia and three West African countries. She also runs Art & Conflict workshops in many countries. Marian is the editor of Arts Approaches to Conflict. She has written/edited eight books, including Art Therapy for Groups (second edition February 2004); Arts Approaches to Conflict; Art Therapy with Offenders; Art Therapy, Race and Culture; and Mediation in Context.

These are three linked, but separate days. All art materials are provided. No artistic skill needed, just the willingness to have a go. Please wear old clothes. Arts Therapists are welcome! Lunch and refreshments are included.

If you would like to go on the mailing list for these day courses and be sent the course flyer and application form as soon as they are available, please email or

Click HERE for the course flyer.

Click HERE for an application form.