Practising Licence Programme: Dialogic-Diagnostic Arts Therapist (ONLINE)

This programme aims to qualify any trainee who has passed all the programme’s requirements of the International Association of Counselors & Therapists (IACT) and be admitted as a licenced dialogic-diagnostic arts therapist (DDAT)Artistic representations such as drawings and paintings serve as visual manifestations of the emotional and cognitive processes of the artist. Additionally, it serves as a means of transmitting information. The trainee is expected to develop an understanding of various artistic methods, including drawing a house, drawing a tree, drawing a person, and drawing a family, which are utilised as dialogic-diagnostic tools. The trainee is anticipated to analyze the significance of symbols, realia, artifacts, genograms, sociograms, and ideograms utilized in the visual representations to acquire an understanding of the latent psyche and the nine distinct mental states of the creator. It is anticipated that the trainee will utilise the provided drawings in order to comprehend the phases of socio-emotional development and family dynamics, as well as to identify any hidden issues or concerns that may be present within the depicted scenarios. The trainee will also be developing personalised intervention and counseling strategies subsequent to the identification of social-emotional behavioral difficulties exhibited by the individual.

The IACT is a prestigious professional body based in the USA that admit any person who have fulfilled the rigorous requirements of the practising licence programmes to obtain practising membership as a counselor or a therapist. The membership with the IACT is a mark of high standard and excellence. Practising members are not only knowledgeable and bound by high ethical standards, but are also highly respected as well. They are eligible to work in many countries such as North American, Asian and European countries etc. 

The three tiers of IACT’s practising licence are Credentialed (Therapist), Registered (Assessor) and Board-Certified (Diagnostician). Board-Certified members hold the highest status of the membership of IACT.  

As a requirement of the IACT, all courseworks, assignments and essays of a trainee must be supervised and verified by an approved instructor of the IACT. All works of the trainee are required to be submitted by the instructor to the IACT’s Assessment Board based in the USA for final assessment. 

Merlion Academy is authorised to supervise and verify trainee’s work seeking to gain admission as an IACT member. Trainee will also be supported by both the IACT Singapore and Malaysia chapters

Admissions for the programme are conducted on a rolling basis and can begin at any time.

Course Modules:

  • Module 1: Arts (Drawing/Painting) as the Creative Mode of Communication
  • Module 2: Developmental Stages of Projective Drawing
  • Module 3: Types of Arts as Dialogic-Diagnostic Tools
  • Module 4: Arts (Drawing/Painting) for Socio-Emotional Behavioral Challenges
  • Module 5: Intervention for Persons with Socio-emotional Behavioral Issues
  • Module 1: Psychological Complexes
  • Module 2: Mandala Assessment and Therapy
  • Module 3: Self-Awareness & Single Human Figure Projective Drawings
  • Module 4: Family Dynamics & Family-Centered Circle Drawings
  • Module 5: Miscellaneous Projective Drawings
  • Module 1: Colors and Chromatic Analysis of Colored Projective Drawings
  • Module 2: Collective and Individudal Psyches
  • Module 3: Understanding Archetypes in Dialogic-Diagnostic Arts Therapy
  • Module 4: Kinetic Projective Drawing Techniques
  • Module 5: Case Studies in Dialogic-Diagnostic Arts Therapy

Case Study Presentation Symposium
Trainee will be provided a detailed case study to prepare for his/her oral defense basing on all the five series he/she has acquired from the programme. An external examiner will be present to grade the presentation.

Module exemptions will be granted based on individual’s merits and to the graduate of relevant diploma accredited by International Association of Therapists.


1. Assessments are assignments based, mainly submission of publishable journal articles and papers.
2. Guided learning hours to fulfil: 30 hours per module (150 hours in total).
3. Non-guided learning hours (research, assignments and journal papers writing for publishing): 30 hours per module (150 hours in total).


220 hours of internship under clinical supervision at a counseling center or therapy clinic or hospital.


8 months per tier 

Entry Requirements:


21 years and above

Minimum qualification

Minimum a bachelor’s degree in
i. special education, education, psychoeducational therapy, biology, medicine, counselling or psychology; or
ii. any discipline with postgraduate diploma in teaching, education, educational therapy, psychology etc.

English requirement

1.  Pearson Test of English (PTE) 53; or
2.  IELTS 6.0 (reading and writing must be at 6.0); or
3.  A pass in English Language paper at GCE Ordinary Level
4.  TOEFL 65 
5.  Equivalent (such as Pearson Versant English Test). 

Course Fees:

(Non-refundable one-time application fee of SGD 95.00 is payable upon application)

Program fee

SGD 1,500.00 per module

Marking fee

SGD 50.00 per module

Payment mode

Stripe / Credit card / Alipay

Refund Terms

90% – more than 28 days before course commencement

50% – less than 28 days before course commencement

10% – less than 3 days before course commencement

  0% – more than 3 days after the course commencement