A career as a creative arts therapist is rewarding for many reasons. We’re also seeing the demand for this type of therapy increasing at levels we’ve never experienced before.

This powerful form of psychotherapy enhances a person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. At DTNZ, we specialist dance movement therapy and art therapy.

We use the definitions below:

    • Dance movement therapy is defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as a form of psychotherapy that uses movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive, and physical
      integration of the individual, for the purpose of improving health and wellbeing.
    • Art therapy is based on the idea that creativity enhances wellbeing. The methods that might be used include drawing, painting, sculpture, drama therapy, music, narrative and storytelling,
      creative writing, and poetry.

DTNZ is looking for new providers to work with us to deliver therapeutic services to clients who have experienced sexual abuse and trauma via the ACC Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims contract. If you’re a registered psychologist, counsellor, or social worker, or creative arts therapist with ANZACATA membership and want to explore innovative approaches to therapy, please visit this page to find out how we can work together.


If you are interested in pursuing a career in creative arts therapy, there are a few options that you might like to consider that will help you become a dance movement therapist or art therapist.

These are:

International (online) or Auckland – Dance Therapy Training Aotearoa: Diploma in Dance Movement Therapy and Intro to DMT workshops

Auckland – Whitecliffe College: School of Creative Arts Therapies

Auckland – University of Auckland: Masters in Dance Movement Therapy

Additional clinical experience and/or training may be necessary with some of the options listed above, in order to practice as a creative arts therapist. A good way to begin your pathway into studying Dance Movement Therapy is to attend a workshop or experiential group. Please email if you have any questions.


In 2019, DTNZ created the Kotahitanga Korikori DTNZ Scholarship. This scholarship encourages and supports Māori and Pasifika students to train as dance movement therapists by undertaking a Diploma of Dance Movement Therapy programme or a Master of Dance Movement Therapy. Funds from the scholarship are to be used to cover fees and study costs. Find out more now.


Some of the career options you will have as a creative arts therapist include working in:

• School counselling
• Community mental health settings
• Disability services
• Private practice
• Drug and alcohol services
• Trauma services (including ACC)

Professional associations

Creative art therapists are highly trained. In New Zealand, only those therapists with professional or provisional professional membership with Dance Therapy Association of Australasia or American Dance Therapy Association (or an equivalent recognised body) can deliver creative-based therapies.  All of the therapists at Dance & Art Therapy NZ meet these standards. Some of the associations are listed below:

DTNZ’s support of creative art therapists

DTNZ is committed to being the leader in the dance movement therapy and art therapy profession. Some of the ways we work to achieve this goal is by supporting students currently studying creative arts therapy with placements and by ensuring our current therapists have access to expertise and training to ensure they can best help our deserving clients. This includes offering therapists training to bridge any potential cultural gaps that may make it easier to connect.

Harmony Trust delivered the Dance Therapy and Harmony Trust – Whakawhanaungatanga Cultural Awareness Workshop about the process of establishing good relations and Dr. Ying (Ingrid) Wang from the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation at the University of Auckland hosted the Understanding Cultural Barriers Addressing Sexual Violence Within the Asian Community.