ndis art therapy

Understanding the Role of Art Therapy in a NDIS Participant’s Journey 

Have you ever felt that colours, paintings and art are more adept at describing your emotions than words? You’re not alone. While art therapy may be a concept that is new to many people, the reality is that people have been using art across multiple cultures and through hundreds and hundreds of years as a form of self-expression and healing. 

Before understanding NDIS Art Therapy, let us first look at NDIS, and art therapy individually. 

What is Art therapy? 

Art therapy isn’t just about creating visually appealing artwork; it’s a therapeutic process harnessing the power of creativity to foster emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Through painting, drawing, sculpting, and other mediums, individuals express themselves in ways words alone often cannot. 

What is the NDIS scheme? 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is an initiative by the Australian Government that empowers people with disabilities with the funding and resources they need to gain new skills and job opportunities, have greater independence, or spend more time with their family and friends. Effectively, the NDIS in Australia connects people with disabilities to any service that may add value to their lives. 

NDIS and Art therapy 

As art therapy utilises the processes involved in creative arts to facilitate mental, emotional and physical well-being, this makes art therapy especially useful to participants under NDIS. People with neurodivergent traits, such as autism, find art therapy particularly useful because of the sense of calm it provides them. Art therapy also provides them with a much-needed outlet for self-expression and communication.  

In the context of the NDIS, art therapy is recognized as a valuable form of support for individuals with neurodivergence. In addition to people lying on the Autism spectrum, those dealing with ADHD can also significantly improve their ability to focus and enhance their concentration by engaging in art therapy. NDIS Art therapy can help people with ADHD focus better by providing structured creative activities that engage their attention, allowing them to channel their energy into the art-making process. The hands-on nature of art therapy can also help individuals with ADHD regulate their sensory input and enhance their concentration skills over time. 

According to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), art therapy falls within the therapeutic support provided in the Improved Daily Living Category of your plan. These services aim to improve daily living skills and foster independence within the community. Through Expressive Art therapy, individuals work towards and accomplish their long-term recovery objectives while maintaining a sense of hope and optimism. 

It is important to note that an NDIS art therapist (like Rupa Parthasarathy at Mindkshetra) focuses more on the process of indulging in creativity rather than the finished product to stimulate somatic reintegration which in turn promotes healing, mental well-being and a state of mindfulness. 

NDIS Art Therapy – The Costs Involved 

NDIS Art Therapy in Australia can cost as much as $193.99 per one-hour session while booking one-on-one therapy sessions, and as much as $65 per one-hour session if it is in a group. 

As working with an Art Therapist involves developing a long-term relationship, understanding if they are a good fit for individual participant needs is important. At Mindkshetra it is to allow for informed decision making, we offer Open studio sessions for $30-$35 (depending on the session theme). These are one-off Open Studio sessions, which are meant to familiarise NDIS participants with the atmosphere at the Mindkshetra studio and experience the overall creative process involved. Our Hand-Build Resilience and Crafting Self Awareness courses run for a period of 5 weeks and cost about $300-$350 for the entire duration.  

Lastly, while the NDIS provides funding for art therapy services for eligible participants, it may be important to consider that art therapy is not covered under Medicare. Your General Practitioner/ psychologist/ psychiatrist may refer you to seek Art Therapy as a complementary intervention to help achieve your goals. There are some private health insurers who cover Art therapy under the umbrella of counselling services.  

NDIS Art Therapists – The People Behind the Therapy 

One of the biggest reasons why art therapy works so well in helping people with disabilities find an avenue to express themselves and find a medium to communicate with others is the people behind the therapy. NDIS art therapists need to undergo training and maintain rigorous practice standards to get their certification and licensing. Having registered with ANZACATA (Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association), Rupa Parthasarathy is an approved NDIS art therapist. Such specialised certification allows a NDIS art therapist to address complex emotional and mental health issues. 

Furthermore, NDIS art therapy isn’t about teaching art. Unlike art teachers, art therapists need to look beyond techniques and skills and focus on the expression through art to address mental health issues, promote emotional well-being, and enhance self-awareness. 

Interested in trying out art therapy for yourself? Click here to book a consultation or to get in touch with us. 


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