WELF 7008 Ethics and Diversity in Research and Therapy

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102357

Coordinator Susan Sisko Opens in new window

Description In 2022 this unit replaced by 102909 - Ethics and Diversity in Counselling. This unit introduces students to key considerations for practicing therapy and research in a diverse and neo-colonial context. Students will study the emergence of research in the arts therapy profession and explore connections and tensions between personal, professional and research ethics. Through close reading of professional documents, case studies and research papers, students will examine how the 'subjects' of therapy and research are conceptualised and constructed. From a perspective that links knowledge and power, students will look at what the published research says about what works and how in therapy; ask whom therapy and research work for; and examine the work these therapy and research practices do.

School Social Sciences

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Equivalent Subjects HUMN 7036 - Research in the Social Sciences

Restrictions Students must be enrolled in 4595 Master of Art Therapy or 1770 Master of Social Science Specialisations (Studies in Art Therapy).

Assumed Knowledge

Concurrent or previous study of any foundational subject in either counselling or art therapy.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Analyse the key discourses and power relations that shape professional, clinical and research practice in the arts therapies.
  2. Critically evaluate what constitutes research evidence in the arts therapies and other psychotherapies.
  3. Formulate a sound basis for ethical and relational decision-making in therapy and research.
  4. Reflect on one's own positioning and intersectionality, in order to work sensitively with diverse therapy and research participants.
  5. Engage art therapy as a practice of social justice to counter ongoing effects of colonisation and the widespread inequities that bring people to therapy.

Subject Content

History and significance of research in the psychotherapies and arts therapy.
Evidence in the psychotherapies
Values and ethics in arts therapy research and clinical practice.
Ethical considerations and scenarios for arts therapy research and practice within a culturally and socially diverse and neo-colonial context.
Historical and emerging discourses that shape the psychotherapies
Normality, abnormality, diversity and difference within counselling and art therapy research and professional literature.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Participation ongoing 10 N Individual
Reflection 1500 words 45 N Individual
Discourse Analysis 1500 words 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Di Maria, A (2019). Exploring ethical dilemmas in art therapy : 50 clinicians from 20 countries share their stories. Routledge
  • Kapitan, L. (2018). Introduction to art therapy research. Routledge

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 1

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Susan Sisko Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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