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Service Providers:
Arts therapy and the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme)

What is arts therapy?

Arts therapy is an allied health profession. It is delivered by professionally trained arts therapists who work with clients using art, dance or drama within their therapy sessions. The therapist supports participants to work toward their individual goals in creative ways to enhance physical and emotional wellbeing. 

How does arts therapy work?

The Participant and the therapist work together within clearly defined boundaries and goals in a safe, confidential and nurturing environment. Participants do not need to have any prior experience making art as the emphasis is generally on the creative process and the development of psychological insightrather than the end product.

Who would benefit from arts therapy?

Arts therapy is client-centred, inclusive and outcome oriented. It can be useful for individuals, groups, and communities. It is suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds.

What is the NDIS?

The NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) is an Australia-wide initiative that provides funding for people with physical and psychosocial disabilities to access supports to maintain and improve their quality of life. It is underpinned by the concept of choice and control for participants and their families.

Arts therapy and the NDIS

NDIS participants may access arts therapy to support them to achieve their goals. Participants whose funds are managed by the NDIA may only use NDIS-registered arts therapists. There is a list on the ANZATA website – www.anzata.org/therapist-directory.

ANZATA recommends that all other NDIS Participants use professional arts therapists. Arts therapists who are registered with the NDIS provide support in three main areas:

1. Early Intervention Supports for Early Childhood (Children 0-6years)

These services are for NDIS participants who are children 0-6 years old. An arts therapist works with the child and their family to meet their individual goals and aspirations. The arts therapist has experience in early childhood interventions and working in teams with other early childhood professionals.

2. Therapeutic supports

These services are for NDIS participants who are aged from 7-65 years old.  An arts therapist assists participants to improve social engagement, vocational participation, and well-being.

3. Innovative Community Participation

Arts therapists enable participants to access mainstream activities.

How to find an arts therapist

Professional arts therapists are members of the Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA). To find an ANZATA member who is a NDIS registered Provider in your local area, visit the ‘Find a Therapist’ directory – www.anzata.org/therapist-directory.

Search by ‘region’ and ‘NDIS registered’.

What will happen when participants get in touch with an arts therapist?

Arts therapists work with participants to achieve the goals and outcomes set out in their NDIS plan.  A service agreement will outline the ways a participant will work with an arts therapist, to achieve their goals.

How are arts therapists qualified?

In order to practise and use the recognised title AThR (ANZATA-approved arts therapists), the following requirements must be met:

  • Complete a minimum two years masters degree from an approved course
  • Complete a minimum of 750 hours of supervised clinical placement.
  • Professional membership of Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association (ANZATA)
  • Complete continuing professional development and work under a code of ethics


Check out the ANZATA website for a listing of arts therapists who are registered providers for the NDIS.


Please note: We recognise that the NDIS is a dynamic system and that changes happen regularly. If you are aware of updated information or if you would like to suggest improvements to this content please use this form to notify us so that we can update our website.
Email Kristy – committee2@anzata.org

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