What would you think if you walked into a clothing store to see only one style of shirt, offered in just one size and one colour? We know that with clothing, people have a wide variety of needs and preferences. What is a great fit for one person may feel awkward and uncomfortable for someone else. The same statement can be made about approaches to counselling and therapy. That is why a wide variety of styles and approaches have been developed in order to best meet the needs of a diverse population.

One of the strengths of the IKON Institute is that we offer training in a variety of therapies, including transpersonal counselling and art therapy. The IKON philosophy recognises that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work in therapy, and that transpersonal work and creative arts therapies in particular address the need for credible and effective alternatives to traditional talk therapy.


What is a Transpersonal Therapist?

A transpersonal therapist is a counsellor who helps clients explore experiences that go beyond the self or ego. While traditional talk therapy focuses on addressing issues within the individual, transpersonal therapists explore a broad range of human experiences, including the spiritual and mystical. Transpersonal therapists use a variety of techniques that may include imagery, the creative arts and meditation, to name a few.

Transpersonal counselling is grounded in evidence-based theory and modern techniques that explore human growth and potential. It uses practical, observable realities that clients are encouraged to test and experience for themselves. This approach grew out of the transpersonal psychology movement from the 1960’s, and is based on the work of giants in the field such as Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, and Roger Walsh.

Why are alternative approaches important?

Just like offering variety in our stores, offering approaches such as transpersonal counselling and art therapy is crucial to our wellbeing and growth. Transpersonal and creative arts therapies provide alternate approaches for accessing and exploring our deepest traumas and beliefs. “The range of psycho-therapeutic modalities taught by IKON…provide treatment options that are highly effective for the most traumatised and disadvantaged sections of the community, where the more conventional ‘cognitive’ styles are relatively ineffective. These include victims of trauma (sexual, war, natural disaster) coupled with those suffering cognitive decline and dementia,” writes Dr. Alistair Campbell of the Australian Association of Holistic and Transpersonal Counsellors.


Will I be able to find a job?

IKON graduates have secured a wide variety of meaningful work, applying their training in settings from primary schools to psychiatric hospitals to aged care facilities. In fact, 87% of 2013-2014 graduates who responded to a recent survey reported working in a related field. And the impact that they are having on our communities is great. Our graduates serve as mentors for at risk youth, help new parents manage stress, develop suicide awareness programs, facilitate rehabilitation workshops, work with individuals who have dementia, and provide one on one counselling to teenagers. They are working for important organisations such as Bailey Henderson Hospital, Aboriginal Family Support Services, and the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services. Our graduates now hold positions as Program Coordinators, Research Officers, Holistic Therapists, Disability Support Workers, and Youth and Health Managers.


What do past students say about the program?

Students, professionals, and organisations across Australia recognise the quality education and training provided by the IKON Institute. The following testimonials are just a sample of the successes our students have shared:

Since graduating, I have been running an art therapy program at a psycho-social rehabilitation centre. I have also been providing art therapy sessions as part of a series of holistic health workshops provided by a Mental Health organisation in Perth as well as establishing my private practice to assist clients on a one to one basis.” Louise Mustard, Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy

I currently run my own private practice “Alkemi Art Therapy” as part of my “Lifeflow – Integrated Health and Wellness Therapies” practice. Here, I work with clients to explore and address health issues and transition points in their lives using a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model. The Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy helped me to combine my knowledge of the verbal and non-verbal ways that we communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings. This in turn allows me to create sessions where my clients are able to express themselves in a multi-layered way.” Rachael Scott, Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy

“IKON helped provide me with more growth, more satisfaction, increased enjoyment of working with people, being able to help others and the wonders of watching someone work through their challenges.” Michelle Wagner, Transpersonal Art Therapist

For more information about the Transpersonal and Art Therapy at IKON, including evidence-based research, see our previous blog posts: