Practising License Program: Dialogic-Diagnostic Arts Therapist (BLENDED)

This program aims to qualify any candidate who has passed all the program’s requirements of International Association of Counselors & Therapists (IACT) and be admitted as a licensed & practising dialogic-diagnostic arts therapist (DDAT). A drawing or a painting is a projection of the drawer’s mental states. It is also a mode of communication. A candidate is expected to understand the different types of arts such a draw-a-house, draw-a-tree, draw-a-person, draw-a-family etc being used as a dialogic-diagnostic tools. The candidate is expected to interpret the meaning of the symbols, realia, artifacts, genogram, sociogram and ideogram used in the drawings and paintings to gain insight of the hidden psyche and nine different mental states of the drawer. The candidate is expected to use the drawings to understand socioemotional development phases and family dynamics & hidden issues of the drawer. The candidate is expected to prepare individualised intervention and counselling plans after the diagnosis of social-emotional behavioral challenges the drawer could have. 

IACT is a prestigious professional body based in the USA that admit any member who have fulfilled the rigorous requirements of the practising license programs to obtain practising membership as a counselor or a therapist. The membership with 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 license are Credentialed (Therapist), Registered (Assessor) and Board Certified (Diagnostician). A Board-Certified member holds the highest status of the membership of IACT. Each tier of the practising license comprises 5 modules and takes a year to complete.  All tiers of the practising license programs must be completed in sequence.

As a requirement of IACT, all coursework, assignments and essays of a candidate must be supervised and verified by an approved instructor of IACT. All works of the candidate 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 candidates’ work seeking to gain admission as an IACT member. Student member will also be supported by the Singapore and Malaysia IACT-chapters.

The 5 modules at the credentialed (therapist) tier are:

  • Module 1: Arts (Drawing/Painting) as the Creative Mode of Communication
  • Module 2: Types of Arts as Dialogic-Diagnostic Tools (I)
  • Module 3: Types of Arts as Dialogic-Diagnostic Tools (II)
  • Module 4: Arts (Drawing/Painting)for Socio-Emotional Behavioral Challenges
  • Module 5: Intervention (focus more on socio-emotional behavioral issues)

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 program. 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. Assessment is based on coursework, assignments and essays.
2. Guided learning hours to fulfil: 30 hours per module (150 hours in total).
3. Non-guided learning hours (reading time and journal papers writing for publishing): 30 hours per module (150 hours in total).

Entry Requirements:


21 years and above

Minimum qualification

A bachelor’s degree or licentiate qualification in
i. special education, education, psychoeducational therapy, speech & language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling or psychology; or
ii. any discipline with post graduate diploma in teaching.

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