Training in Painting Therapy
According to the Liane Collot d’Herbois method, based on anthroposophic medicine

This training course is structured on the model of the “Training in Painting Therapy” held by the Emerald Foundation in The Hague, Holland. Changes have been made with regard to the schedules and duration, but not the fundamental contents drawn up by Liane Collot D’Herbois herself.

To qualify for admission the candidate will have to send an application to the school’s teaching staff, attaching a personal letter with CV and a personal, written explanation of why he/she wants to take the training course according to this method. The application phase will be followed by an interview with the school directors who will assess the possibility for admission to the training course. Should the candidate be admitted, he/she will be able to regularly enroll, according to the school’s instructions.

Furthermore, the applicant will need a preparatory course on the method, consisting of at least 180 hours on the development of fundamental themes of this work in relation to light, color and darkness. (first preparatory year)

To this regard, every year the School organizes a series of introductory seminars on the method, open to all the members of the Association but is obligatory for those who intend to enroll in the training course.

Ultimately, the painting therapy training course lasts 5 years, besides the aforesaid first preparatory year, and in the next 4 years 12 “therapeutic pictures” will be developed: each of these is a particular standpoint in the relationship between light, color and darkness and provides for an in-depth work for the future art therapist  (12 charcoal exercises of light and darkness and 12 veil water color paintings) and exercises developed specifically for the clients.

The course duration is of 33 weeks (8 weeks per year + 1) for a total of 1,214 training hours (including the preparatory course).

The 8 weeks per year will be divided as follows:

  • one week on a general preparatory theme
  • three modules of 2 weeks each where in each, 12 therapeutic pictures will be developed
  • one week with a general theme or in-depth theme
  • a week will be added at the end of the four years during which a biographic work will be developed

The work on light, color and darkness is an experiential work: along with classroom studies during the training, the students need to carry out a personal study so that, through phenomenology and their practical experience they can reach the knowledge and understanding of light, color and darkness, consolidating such knowledge in themselves.

Likewise, the students are asked to undertake, in a creative way, an individual research through the observation and study of the external world and the internal world of these archetypes, and later, share and make it visible through the narration and drafting of short in-depth theses.

Besides this practical work, there are also other hours dedicated personal work or studies and/or research on what was taken up in the classroom: further development of the exercises given during the lessons, conclusion of veil paintings or light and color with charcoal, observation and drawing observations, performance of homework assigned and programmed for the assessment, (foreseen yearly) research in the field of nature, study of anthroposophic literature and anthroposophic medicine, drafting of short theses based on the content

The course is aimed at:

  • To those who intend to prepare for the profession of art therapist, with the achievement of a SIAF recognized diploma.
  • To those who wish to study and practice the themes of therapeutic painting according to the Liane Collot d'Herbois method for personal interest, possibly to experiment in an individual pictorial / artistic research or to lead groups in the exercise of this discipline.
    In this case the attendance at the lessons related to the specific therapeutic field will be replaced by the practice of pictorial exercises of deepening and integration to the basic program and the students will be exempted from the obligation to attend traineeships. In this case, the certificates of attendance will be recognized.

The first year of the course will be common to both courses, as a necessary interval to be able to mature a conscious decision with respect to one's future.

The subjects taken up during the five years of the training course can be divided as follows:


- preparation of the setting

- welcoming the client

- phenomenological and objective observation of the client

- active listening

- relating with the client

- code of ethics

- human biography


Theoretical studies and research:

  • Light and darkness
  • Color
  • Studies on nature
  • Phenomenology
  • Anthroposophy in relation to light, darkness and color
  • Eras of culture, aspects of the history of art

Concrete work:

  • Exercises of perception, observation and drawing in chiaroscuro and colors with various techniques
  • Light and darkness with charcoal
  • Water color painting on moist paper

Veil painting with water colors


  • Light and darkness
  • Color
  • Studies on nature and the human being
  • Phenomenology
  • Yearly drafting of a short thesis on a therapeutic picture of one’s choice
  • Drafting of the final study


  • Exercises in perception, observation and design in chiaroscuro and colors with various techniques
  • Light and darkness with charcoal
  • Water color painting on moist paper
  • Veil painting with water colors
  • Meeting with the assigned tutor for the assessment of the personal work performed


Development of therapeutic skills and research:

  • Observation of the healthy human being and the human being with his/her
  • Observation of client’s paintings
  • Presentation of the client
  • Working with the doctor and other therapists

General and anthroposophic  medicine:

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology
  • Physiology
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Embryology
  • Curative pedagogy
  • Geriatrics
  • Clinical cases

The anthroposophic medicine work will be carried out with one or more doctors according to the theme of each module. The program consists of 33 work hours yearly.


Four types of apprenticeship are offered starting from the third year onwards:

- apprenticeship, service in a nursing home or hospital, or anthroposophic medicine nursing homes, care home for the elderly, home assistance to the aged or disabled etc. ( 72 hours )
- observational apprenticeship in the studio of an anthroposohic art therapist practicing another method (36 hours) 
- observational apprenticeship in the studio of a therapist practicing the Liane Collot D’Herbois method (80 hours ) 
- a final apprenticeship of 2 months (to be done at the end of the fourth year and upon authorization of the teaching staff) in which the therapeutic candidate will work independently with the clients under the supervision of a doctor and a therapist working with the Liane Collot method. (160 hours)

The candidate will prepare written reports for every apprenticeship undertaken from the viewpoint of light, color and darkness in the macrocosm (the world around us) and in the microcosm (the human being) and also from the viewpoint of the medical work performed during the course.
At the end of the fourth apprenticeship year, the report will have to discuss the art therapy process, performed by two clients, as specified in detail below.

For those who already have a diploma on another anthroposophic art therapy method (or who already obtained direct experience with another anthroposophic art therapy method) the second apprenticeship is not required.

At the end of the training, there will be final test, consisting in the presentation and discussion in public – an exam commission composed of the school’s teaching staff and the assigned SIAF and training course colleagues  – of the short thesis of 18,000 words giving a detailed description of two pathways pursued by two clients who the art therapist candidate had directly assisted under the supervision of an art therapist holding a diploma in the Liane Collot D'Herbois method. Particular attention must be paid to the observational process of the free works.

It is important that such an essay be written from the point of view of light, color and darkness and the instructions on how this is to be structured will be given directly by the school’s teaching corp.   

At the end of the training course, after taking the final exam. The student will be issued an Art Therapist diploma in painting therapy according to the Liane Collot d’Herbois method based on anthroposophic medicine.

First year calendar - year 2022

1a introductory week:  25th and 26th April, 2022 "Experience in light and darkness: medium light"

                                         27th-30th April, 2022 “The 12 colors from Magenta to Violet: magenta, carmine, vermillion, orange”.

2a introductory week:   2nd-6th May, 2022 “Veil painting: introduction in light colour and darkness                             

1a training week:           20th – 24th June, 2022  “Evolution of the earth”

 2a training week:          27th June -  1st July 2022 “Twelve basic exercise in light and darkness: medium light”

 3a-4a training weeks:    4th – 15th July, 2022 “Three greens”

 5a-6a training weeks:    29th August – 9th September, 2022  “Magenta”

 7a-8a training weeks:     12th – 23th September, 2022, “Carmine”

Detailed programs will be provided to registered members.    

S.I.A.F. Italia

The Terra di Siena Institution was registered with the code SC 05\09 in the National S.I.A.F. list of the Educational Institutions for the quality training issued, valid for the insertion of its students in the professional category Register of Art Therapists.