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The Academy of Art & Play Therapy is a boutique international training organisation with a long history and reputation for providing outstanding postgraduate training and supervision in clinical art and play therapy.  We cater our services specifically to qualified counselling clinicians who wish to gain specialised knowledge and skills in using art and play therapy with their clients.

We offer our training to qualified counselling clinicians worldwide, including:

  • counsellors
  • mental health/clinical social workers
  • psychologists
  • psychotherapists
  • psychotherapy trained psychiatrists

The Academy’s core philosophy is that we value quality over quantity. This translates into a focus on providing high quality learning experiences with an emphasis on tailoring training and supervision to each student’s workplace needs.

The Academy’s overall aim is to equip its students to be confident, competent, specialised practitioners in clinical art and play therapy.


The Academy was founded in 2007 in Sydney, Australia by psychologist Dr Rosa Bologna. The Academy was initially established as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). The Academy was the first training organisation registered with ASQA to develop and offer a nationally accredited art and play therapy postgraduate course for qualified counselling clinicians that encompassed both art therapy and play therapy modalities applicable to clients of all ages. The Academy has ceased its RTO operation in Australia, and now focuses on delivering internationally accredited training through the CPD Standards Office (UK). It provides online postgraduate training and supervision to counselling clinicians across the world as well as providing face-to-face in-service options in Australia, Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and the UK.

Rosa portrait

About Rosa

Dr Rosa Bologna is the founder and director of the Academy of Art & Play Therapy. She is a registered psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA), a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS), and a member of the American Psychological Association (APA). She is also an accredited clinical supervisor and is on the British Psychological Society’s Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors (RAPPS).

Rosa is a qualified and experienced trainer, assessor, and curriculum developer in the Australian Vocational Education Training (VET) sector. She also holds full membership with the British Psychological Society’s Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology (DARTP) and holds an honorary appointment as an Adjunct Professional Fellow at the Transdisciplinary (TD) School at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where she offers Higher Degree by Research (HDR) supervision to students enrolled in a Master’s by Research or PhD.

Training, curriculum development and keynote addresses

Rosa has developed and delivered practice-based training in clinical art and play therapy to counselling clinicians since 2000.  Rosa is a qualified and experienced tertiary curriculum developer and was the first person to develop and deliver a clinical art and play therapy qualification nationally accredited with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

Rosa has presented at numerous conferences and has been a keynote speaker for:

  • child, adolescent, and family counselling associations’ annual conferences
  • child protection annual forums
  • NSW School-Link annual conferences
  • National Child Protection Week conferences
  • school counsellor annual conferences

Clinical supervision

Rosa is a qualified clinical supervisor and is on the British Psychological Society’s Register of Applied Psychology Practice Supervisors (RAPPS). Rosa has been providing clinical supervision to psychologists, clinical social workers, psychotherapists, and counsellors for over 20 years. She has also provided group supervision to clinicians from over 50 different government and non-government agencies which include teams associated with:

  • Aboriginal out-of-home care services
  • Adult mental health
  • Anglicare
  • Barnardos
  • Benevolent Society
  • Brighter Futures services
  • Burnside
  • Centacare
  • Child & adolescent mental health services
  • Child & adult disability services
  • Child protection counselling services
  • Community health
  • Department of Community Services
  • Department of Education
  • Disability mature carers programs
  • Domestic Violence services
  • Drug & alcohol services
  • Transcultural mental health
  • Women’s health centres

Counselling and assessment

Rosa commenced her private practice in 1998, seeing clients presenting with a wide range of psychological issues and needs. Rosa’s particular area of interest and expertise is in complex trauma assessment, intervention, and advocacy.

Rosa has over 25 years’ experience working with a range of client ages and groups including:

  • children
  • young people
  • adults
  • couples
  • families

Rosa has previously held positions and contracted as a psychologist in a variety of settings including:

  • alternate education
  • child protection
  • immigration detention
  • intellectual and psychiatric disabilities
  • juvenile justice
  • occupational rehabilitation
  • out-of-home care
  • veteran affairs

PhD Research

Rosa was awarded the Charles Sturt University Medal for most outstanding PhD research in the Faculty of Science.

Rosa’s PhD study involved developing a theoretical and methodological thought partnership between Pierre Bourdieu, Carl Jung, and Paul Ricoeur to explore mental health play therapy counsellors’ understandings and critical reflexivity of influences on their relational practices with parents.

Research interests

Rosa’s research interest areas are mostly associated with complex trauma, critical psychology, depth psychology, transdisciplinary thought partnerships, and nutritional psychology. Specifically:

  • exploring complex trauma using an archetypal lens.
  • developing relational practice and critical reflexivity principles for professional practice.
  • exploring personal, social, and collective unconscious influences on professional practice.
  • addressing psychological issues by moving beyond individual diagnostic criteria and adopting psychosocial case formulation approaches and using whole-person practice principles.
  • developing transdisciplinary theoretical and methodological thought partnerships.
  • exploring the influence of nutrition and diet on mental health and wellbeing.

Guest Speakers

The Academy’s training program includes interviews and presentations from guest speakers who are experts in various aspects of clinical art and play therapy. Where relevant, we also include guest speakers from related disciplines whose transdisciplinary knowledge and skills enrich our approach to clinical art and play therapy practice. Our guest speakers are passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise and assist the Academy in enhancing its training materials and students’ overall learning experience.

Various toy figures including Disneys Pocahontas and Snow White
Book about welcome to coutry
Disney toys in sandpit feat Moana

Values, vision & mission

The Academy’s values, vision and mission are best understood in the context of the original meaning of the words psychology and therapy. The word psychology is derived from the two Greek words psyche (soul) and logos (study), meaning “the study of the soul”. The word therapy is derived from the Greek word therapeia meaning “to attend and take care of”. Thus, those associated with the practice of psychotherapy are understood to be “attendants and carers of the soul”.

Sadly, over the years, a focus on the study and care of the soul has diminished in mainstream clinical practice and has been largely replaced by a focus on studying phenomena that can be easily quantified and measured (e.g., the mental and biological functions that influence behaviour). This includes a preoccupation with assessing, measuring, and reducing symptomatic behaviour rather than exploring and addressing the deeper, root causes of clients’ presenting issues.

While we value systematic assessment, we believe that to achieve genuine clinical rigour, clients need to be considered in their totality. This requires a whole person approach where clients’ presenting issues and symptoms are explored in their broader psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual contexts.  We also consider it imperative that a whole person approach is grounded in the principles of soulful clinical practice. We define soulful clinical practice as one that is guided by the principles of depth psychology whereby the unconscious and transpersonal are actively included and explored as part of clients’ healing processes, and where the therapeutic relationship is considered central to therapeutic change.

We also value the principles associated with social justice and advocacy and believe that counselling clinicians can play an important role in advocating on issues such as child protection, trauma-informed practice, and the impact of the natural and built environment on individual and community wellbeing.


The Academy is guided and informed by its commitment to:

  • child-protection principles
  • client-centred practice
  • clinical rigour
  • critical thinking
  • customised practice-based training
  • eco-friendly and eco-informed practice
  • ethical, safe clinical practice
  • evidenced-based practice
  • reflective practice
  • relational practice
  • social justice and advocacy
  • soulful clinical practice
  • trauma-informed practice
  • whole person approach to case formulation
  • wholistic, systemic thinking


Our vision is that counselling clinicians across the world discover, embrace, and celebrate the therapeutic power, depth, and clinical rigour that clinical art and play therapy offers in achieving optimal outcomes for clients of all ages.


Our mission is to facilitate and foster counselling clinicians’ confidence and expertise in using clinical art and play therapy approaches to achieve long-lasting therapeutic outcomes for their clients.

We also aim to continue being the international leader in the provision of outstanding postgraduate training and supervision in clinical art and play therapy.