ANZACATA, creative arts therapies and the NDIS

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What is Creative Arts Therapy?

Registered Creative Arts Therapists are university trained in both creative methods and also in psychological and psychotherapeutic methods to help clients better express themselves and to improve their wellbeing. Creative Arts Therapists are mental health professionals who use art, media and the creative process (drawing, writing, sculpting, drama, clay, sand, dance and movement) to facilitate the exploration of feelings, improve self-awareness and reduce anxiety for clients.

Registered with ANZACATA (Australian, New Zealand and Asia Creative Arts Therapy Association)

In Australia, New Zealand and Asia, Certified and Registered Creative Arts Therapists have a specific Master’s degree in Arts Therapy and over 750 hours of supervised clinical placement. They must undergo regular supervision, abide by a Code of Ethics and update their practice every year with professional development training.

Does Creative Arts Therapy Help?

A recent report from The World Health Organisation (Health Evidence Network synthesis report 67, 2019) investigated arts based therapies from over 3000 studies and found “a major role for the arts in the prevention of ill health, promotion of health, and management and treatment of illness across the lifespan”. The WHO report found:

  1. The overall evidence base shows a robust impact of the arts on both mental and physical health
  2. It is useful in the expression and exploration of difficult or complex problems.
  3. It is cost effective, engages minority or marginalised groups, complements other therapies or medical interventions.

Can Creative Arts Therapy be Funded under NDIS?

Yes! Creative Arts Therapy is funded under the NDIS. It must be undertaken by a Creative Arts Therapist, registered with ANZACATA. The participant must have funding allocated for Capacity Building – Improved Daily Living Skills and it must be deemed ‘reasonable and necessary’.  The Therapist will work with the participant to make a plan, conduct sessions in accordance with the goals of the participant and report to the NDIA on progress with the participant in reaching their goals.

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has produced the NDIS Practice Standards Verification Module on 1st January 2020. Art Therapy is described on p9.



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