CE1) Foundation in Art Psychotherapy (Online)

The certificate is approved by the British Association of Art Therapy (BAAT).

This course will appeal to anyone who is considering art therapy as a career. The course will offer participants an opportunity to learn about the essence of art therapy and its implementation with different client groups and populations. The "Foundation in Art Psychotherapy" course is the only one of its kind that has been culturally adapted to suit communities within the region.

The tutors are experienced art psychotherapists who will be presenting clinical work from their own art therapy practices regionally and internationally. The course is theory-based but includes an experiential component that will enhance the participants' learning experiences.

Class Outline

Class Outline

The course will be a combination of theory and practice and will incorporate an experiential component with group discussions.

Questions and Answers and Disclaimer

Who will deliver the courses?
The course will be delivered by Sara Powell along with a co-lecturer (registered Art Psychotherapist).

Who is the course suitable for?
The course is suitable for anyone who is interested in art therapy as a career and/or for professionals who are engaged with educational, medical, rehabilitative, and/or mental health services for children, adults, and families, or for individuals who have an overall interest in the arts.

Do I need to be good at art to do the courses?
No, you don’t have to be good at art. In fact, facilitating art with all abilities and moving away from the idea of having to be "good at art" will be one of the major teaching themes of the course.

Do I need any special qualifications?
No special qualification is needed. Anyone with an overall interest in the arts can register. 

Individuals with experience in the fields of education, medical, rehabilitative, or mental health services will find this course professionally enriching. In addition, if you come from a creative profession, this course can be a stepping stone to pursuing formal art therapy training.
Does this mean I can be an art therapist?

No. Art therapy is a state-regulated profession in countries such as the UK, and to be an Art Therapist, you will need to be trained to at least a Master's level and be on the statutory register of the Health and Care Professions Council, so this course is not a qualification to practice as an Art Therapist.

Will I learn techniques to support the populations I work with?
Yes, if you are already a qualified teacher, counselor, etc., you will learn how to facilitate sensitive communication through art and learn how to work safely and within your professional scope of expertise. You will also be introduced to different art materials and try out some exercises for yourself as part of the course is self-reflective through the use of art.


Please note: VCUQatar reserves the right to cancel classes if there are not enough participants registered. Already paid fees will be refunded.

Please do not purchase materials until you receive final course confirmation from VCUQatar.

Items to buy for this class

  • Pencil, eraser, sharpener,
  • Paint selection and brush
  • Paper (sketch pad) ideally A3 size
  • 1 canvas
  • Colored pencils
  • Oil pastels and/or color markers
  • 1 packet of clay

On occasion, there might be additional materials to purchase and bring in as advised by the instructor.

Where to buy your materials

Most of the materials are available from any art supply shop, for example:

  • Cass Art (Fire station): Community Classes students get a 15% discount upon presenting the registration ticket
  • Jarir Bookstore: Located on Rayyan Road or Salwa Road
  • Color Note: Situated on Al Nasser Street
  • Ibn Al Qayyim: Found at Markhiya Roundabout
  • Al Rawnaq

Register »

Terms & Conditions apply

Participants must buy their own materials

Mon, 5 Jun, 2023
Thu, 15 Jun, 2023
Sunday through Thursday
QAR 9000


Sara Powell HCPC, UK reg.


SARA POWELL is the founder of ATIC Psychological Counseling Center. She is from the UK, a Third Culture Kid, growing up in the Gulf. She is an Art Psychotherapist and is registered with the Health Care Profession Council (HCPC) UK and a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT). Sara has over 11 years of clinical experience and has provided psychotherapy to children, adolescents, adults, and families, and facilitated a variety of groups and programs. Sara is passionate about supporting women, specializing in child and adolescent-related disorders, and has worked extensively with people of determination and those who are non-verbal. Sara is a mother to a toddler and during her pregnancy observed a need for perinatal and postnatal mental health as well as an overall lack of early intervention services available for children 6 years and below, which led Sara to the introduction of ATIC’s Early Intervention and Child Development services. Sara has overseen numerous projects consulting Government agencies in Singapore and UAE (in forensic settings, with addiction as well as in medical settings, and with vulnerable children and young people). Sara is a published author and has presented at many national, regional, and international conferences.


Natalia Gomez Carlier, MAAT, ATR-BC


NATALIA GOMEZ CARLIER earned her degree in psychology from Universidad de Los Andes, a master's in art therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently a Ph.D. student of Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is also a Registered Board-Certified Art Therapist with the American Art Therapy Association. Natalia was a founder and President of the Colombian Art Therapy Association, taught at universities, and frequently presented at International Mental Health Conferences. She has practiced as a psychotherapist for more than 20 years in Bogota, Chicago, New York, Muscat, and Dubai. In psychotherapy, Natalia incorporates Psychodynamic, CBT, Gestalt, Brief Therapy, Jungian Therapy, Transpersonal, Mindfulness, and other modalities, and the uniqueness of each individual orients therapy. She speaks English and Spanish fluently and is a 300HR Jivamukti Yoga Teacher. 


Mariam El-Halawani, MA, ATR

Mariam is a US-trained art psychotherapist and has an MA in Art Therapy from NYU, New York. Her clinical experience includes working with clients in psychiatric, medical, educational, and clinical settings in different countries including the US, Italy, and the UAE. She offers therapy sessions in English and Arabic. She has a special interest in working with adolescents and young adults experiencing psychological distress, suicidal ideation, self-harm, and/or identity confusion. Being born and raised in the Middle East, Mariam’s expertise also lies in supporting Arab families in navigating multigenerational patterns, trauma, and difficult relational dynamics. Mariam is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in International Psychology and is passionate about contributing to mental health research. She is a published author and contributor to art psychotherapy journals and books. Her research focus includes vulnerable and stigmatized groups and the use of art psychotherapy services as a form of support.