Résumé of the professional and educational contexts of the arts therapies

The professional context of arts therapies in Belgium

Over the last few years there has been growing interest in the arts therapies in

Belgium and the number of arts therapists has been rising rapidly. Our profession

comprises arts therapists who have been trained nationally and internationally. The

professional practice of arts therapies covers the specialized disciplines of visual art

therapy, dance-movement therapy, dramatherapy and music therapy. These arts

therapies are used in a methodical way in the treatment of clients with psychosocial,

psychological and/or psychiatric problems. The arts therapies are experiential and

action-based. The client experiences the specific art form, he or she observes

the art form or (when possible) reflects upon the experiences in and stimulated by the

art form. The art therapist works methodically towards mutual agreed treatment

goals. The result of the therapy can be working through, getting insight, gaining

cognitive, social or physical functioning or psychological wellbeing. (BVCT-ABAT, 2010).

This expansion of the arts therapies has resulted in the establishment of the Belgian

Association of the Arts Therapies, de Belgische Vereniging voor Creatieve Therapie –

Association Belge d’Arts Thérapies ( The Belgian Association of

the Arts Therapies supports the development of professional arts therapy practitioners

and maintains standards in practice. BVCT-ABAT also addresses the professional

concerns of its members. For more information, please contact


Training institutions & courses

In Belgium, there are three university colleges which award degrees in the arts


Artevelde University College, Ghent awards an officially recognized Advanced Bachelor Degree in the Arts Therapies (incorporating art therapy, dance movement therapy, dramatherapy or music therapy). The programme at

Artevelde University College is a part-time program consisting of 6 modules.  

PXL University College in Hasselt awards an officially recognised Advanced Bachelor Degree in Art Therapy. The program at PXL University College is a three-year part-time programme.

Lemmens Institute in Leuven awards an officially recognised Masters Degree in Music Therapy. 

Additionally, Agape in Koolskamp offers a four-year dance-movement therapy training

which leads to a certificate. This programme has been approved by BVCT-ABAT.

Gent: Artevelde University College

Hasselt: PXL University College