Social Work and Art Therapy


To become a professionally registered Art Therapist one must complete a post graduate Masters Degree in Art Therapy. This means, in order to study art therapy at an industry recognised level one needs to have first completed a Bachelor Degree in a related profession. All professionally registered art therapists have experience and qualifications in another profession prior to becoming an Art Therapist.

Kate Cotching is also a Social Worker (BSW) and an Artist (MFA). This background is what Pelican Arts is built upon. Kate regularly brings social work knowledge and skill base into her practice by working with the client on interpersonal or social issues.

Social workers have a crucial part to play in improving mental health services and mental health outcomes for participants. They bring a distinctive social and rights-based perspective to their work. Their advanced relationship-based skills, and their focus on personalisation and recovery, can support people to make positive, self-directed change.

As well as her membership with the Australian, New Zealand, Asia Creative Arts Therapist Association (ANZACATA),  she holds a membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW).

Social Workers and Art Therapists have so much in common, both take a psychosocial approach to their practice and both are concerned with social justice and equality.

“Social workers are trained to understand and assess that the mental illnesses experienced by individuals, families, groups and communities are not caused or determined by a single factor.”

“Social workers maintain a dual focus in both assisting with and improving human wellbeing; and addressing any external issues (known as systemic or structural issues) that may impact on wellbeing, such as inequality, injustice and discrimination.” (AASW, Scope of social work practice)