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Community Art Counselling

Online Training

Lefika La Phodiso’s community art counselling training is now available online and can be experienced from anywhere in the world. 

Are you a community worker, mental health practitioner, psychologist, social worker, teacher, artist or art facilitator wanting to extend your practice? Or just someone who loves the creative process and wants to participate in an intensive self-development course? Sign up for this comprehensive training and learn how to apply analytic thinking and the expressive potential of image making with the people you work with and yourself. 

Our online training course

The skills you will gain can be adapted to, and incorporated in a variety of work spheres. This course was developed by Dr Hayley Berman – art psychotherapist, senior lecturer at Hertfordshire University and a visiting lecturer at the University of Johannesburg – and has been offered by Lefika for over many years. The courses are delivered by Lefika’s expert trainers, including lectures by Lefika founder Dr Hayley Berman.

Our training modules

The course consists of eight modules and each module includes theory video lectures supporting the written materials, transcripts of lectures, presentations, additional videos, resources, quizzes, self-reflection activities and assignments, and assessments.

Included in the course materials are the full set of Lefika’s ‘The Working Body of Knowledge’ series (in pdf format) - a set of eight books each covering a different theme applying to Lefika’s case material, theoretical framework and model of practice.

The online training costs R15 000 but if you pay for all eight modules up front you will receive a 10% discount. Payment of the course on a module by module basis will cost R1 875 per module. Our training is also available on a modular basis and you can decide to only sign up for one module or a few modules, for example, the trauma module because this is what you are interested in

Fully-accredited training

Once you have successfully completed the online training and if you decide to proceed with accreditation, you will apply and be invited for an interview. If you are accepted for accreditation, you will have to complete 60 practical hours. Your 60 hours will comprise setting up group (liaison with site/s), contact group time, group preparation time, supervision, reports. There is an additional fee for accreditation. The full training is accredited by South Africa’s Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) with a certificate at an NQF Level 5 certificate (post-matric/ school leavers).

Upon successful completion of the online component of the course you will receive a certificate of completion from Lefika La Phodiso.

Previous Students' Work

There are many opportunities throughout the course to produce art work as a reflective activity. Here are some examples of work produced over the years by community art counsellors during their training.


The words of our previous community art counsellor trainees say more than we ever can about the impact the training has had on their lives.

Ziyanda Magadla

“I saw how the kids reacted to the material and I wanted to take the journey with them -  it spoke to me. I got to unpack things that were with me and I was not aware that they were with me. For instance, the loss of my mother, I only figured it out on the lefika training that I haven’t dealt with it. They don’t just train you to be a facilitator - but they put you into an experience of being a participant and so you get to learn about yourself.” 

Alisa Ray

“I started work as a community arts facilitator in Sophiatown in 2005. I heard many instances of trauma in the children’s lives and was concerned about how I should deal with this information. Towards the end of 2011, I became aware of Lefika through the Gauteng Organisation of Community Art Centres (GOMMAC) and they sponsored my training at Lefika in 2012. The training has given me the tools I so much wanted to give me the confidence to work with diverse communities across Johannesburg. I feel so privileged to continue my work as a community art counsellor using art and counselling skills to help people.” 

Kamal Naran

“What did I gain from doing the community art counselling course? Doing the community art counselling course took me along a self-growth path that I had not expected. In having to learn how to empathically relate to people to help them grow, I went through my own growth that allowed me to be different in the world, see the world differently and engage with people differently. It made me aware of how important witnessing and being witnessed, through an artistic medium, can be. And how therapeutic, powerful, and empowering the process of art-making can be in our own growth and healing. I gained an appreciation for noticing the little things, for listening with intent, for using the arts to overcome the complexity of words, for seeing and understanding the other person's perspective through their art. I gained an understanding that through the intentional therapeutic use of the arts, I can make a positive impact or provide an alternative, positive experience for someone else. The community art counselling training was a space where my passion met my purpose.” 

Gugu Manana

“The trauma module and its effects made a huge impression on me. There was an image depicting events of xenophobia and killing in one of the South African townships. This really stayed with me because it wasn’t only one generation that was affected - it cut through next generations and some are still bleeding from its effects. Time lost, opportunity missed - all those who were young at that time had to wait until their forties to talk about the events of that time. It was transferred intergenerationally and it was collective trauma that paralysed that whole community.”

Sandra Greeff

“It was nothing like any courses or trauma training I have experienced. The course created a greater interest in art as a healing modality as the art pieces I produced contained images and emotions I could not attain by traditional verbally expressive narrative counselling or therapy. The colours, textures and personal meaning I used were profound to say the least and I understood their meaning and significance.This was, “my” process and was not interpreted for me but left for me to find meaning in it.The 2017 group was as important as a container in the module unpacking and the facilitators held the space well allowing for depth and meaning to be created from this training. The training realigned my professional career trajectory and finally at 50 years old, I completed an Hons in Psychology (2019) followed by an Hons in Art Therapy at UJ (2020). It wasn’t just another counseling training but so much more!…” 

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