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Doha College students explore art therapy as a profession

The Psychology Department at Doha College believes in a practical approach to learning that is founded in scientific theory, and in extending students’ knowledge and experience outside the curriculum. To achieve this, the department invited Trish Bedford, Community Wellness Director at Flourishing Minds Consultants, to conduct a psychology conference focused on art therapy as a profession.

The event was aimed at A Level art students and those who are interested in studying medicine. Through case studies, experiences and activities, the students were shown the breadth and depth of this form of treatment – a relatively new form of therapy in many countries, and established in Qatar since 2016.

Often the hands will solve a mystery (problem) that the intellect has struggled with in vain.

G. Jung

Before the workshop, Dr Denise Mosher, Head of Psychology at Doha College, explained the place of Psychology in education, and outlined the aims of the workshop. Watch her introductory brief below.

The workshop set out to accomplish many objectives:

  • To show students that there are different routes to careers and that they should be flexible in their thinking and approach - their lives could take a different turn, sacrifices may be required.
  • Discuss practitioner relationships (GPs and Therapists) and the credibility of art therapy (include research).
  • Introduce students to a different form of therapy - show, through case studies, experience, and activities, the breadth and depth of this form of treatment (allay the impression that Art Therapy is a 'soft option').
  • Touch on culture bias, ethnocentrism, and minorities.
  • Indicate that therapy is time-consuming and not always successful - but that practitioners celebrate the joys of success even if they appear to be small.
  • How to deal with prejudice towards the profession, e.g., anger by relatives towards therapists that may be directed at what is considered 'unsuccessful' treatment.
  • For students to be inspired by psychology

The workshop clarified a common misunderstanding about having to “be good at art,”“artistic” or that the therapy is just “painting and drawing”. A common response is “I can’t draw!” There are different forms of creative expression using items including, but not limited to, crayons, markers, pastels, paint, pipe cleaners, clay, recycled materials, watercolours, and of course glitter!

Therapy consultant Trish Bedford explained that no artistic skills are required, and art therapy is not an art class. It is about self-expression; you cannot get it wrong. At the end of the Therapeutic Art Workshops, the students and staff shared insights, identified unique qualities, and arrived at an informed experience of the creative process in psychological support.


Watch some of the participating students going through the process.

If you would like to know more about the 6th form at Doha College, including the school's unparalleled range of subject choices, tap the button below:

Life in 6th form