Creative Expression Centre for Arts Therapy (CECAT)

CECAT Services is a therapeutic creative arts service that utilises a range of creative mediums and processes to assist in the recovery of young people and adults with a primary diagnosis of mental illness. This therapy provides an alternative to talking therapies, with a primary focus of resolving trauma and mood related disorders and the effects this has on a person’s functioning.  This approach to therapy benefits those with kinesthetic-tactile and visual learning styles.

CECAT is a free service and accepts both public and private clients.

CECAT staff work with consumers individually and in groups to provide targeted therapeutic interventions while developing emotional resilience, self-understanding, self-acceptance and creative problem solving. CECAT has three core streams of care:

Creative Arts Skills

Creative arts skills training is a small component of the work undertaken at CECAT. Trained Art Instructors provide skills training to enhance the ongoing therapy process and to assist new participants settle into the CECAT environment. This stream of care provides ongoing support and assists those transitioning from our service to community-based activities, studies or employment.

Creative Arts as Therapy

CECAT staff use creative arts as therapy sessions to explore and develop participant’s self-expression. This assists the participant in gaining insight, self-knowledge and acceptance of their individuality. In this type of therapy,  use of the creative process is more important than what is produced.

Creative Arts Psychotherapy

Creative arts psychotherapy is targeted therapy undertaken either individually or in a group setting, in a safe and supportive environment to address specific internal issues or trauma.

CECAT Services encourages social inclusion through community-based projects and exhibitions. However, the psychotherapeutic creative work undertaken by consumers is not generally exhibited or seen publicly. Prior art, music or writing experience is not required.

How long can someone attend CECAT?

Attendance at CECAT is for up to three years and provides up to four sessions a week, dependent on a consumer’s therapy goals. Attendance beyond this time must be negotiated and is based on consumer need. Consumers may be re-referred to CECAT as many times as needed if there is evidence of significant trauma or life events requiring intervention.

Who is eligible?

  • Persons with a primary diagnosis of mental illness 
  • Aged between 16 and 65 years 
  • Are motivated to change  
  • Are able to collaborate and cooperate with others
  • Have cognitive ability for symbolic thinking
  • Have some insight into their behaviour and the impact on others 
  • Have available practical and emotional support from a mental health professional 
  • Have a capacity for therapeutic relationships. 

Who is not suitable?

  • Those with secondary, moderate to severe developmental or pervasive learning disorders, brain injury or other organic disorders 
  • People with a persistent and severe mental illness requiring long-term support
  • Verbally or physically aggressive persons
  • People requiring assistance with self-care or mobility, unless an external support person can assist them onsite. 

CECAT Care Pathway

  • Once a referral is received, it is screened. If the eligibility criteria are met, the consumer is offered an appointment to assess if CECAT can meet their needs.
  • If accepted, they are assigned a CECAT key worker, who works collaboratively with them, their mental health case manager (and carer as needed).
  • Initially, consumers attend arts skills sessions. At their first 3-month review, a therapeutic plan is made and actioned. At this time, consumers may spend some time in the arts skills training stream, but will move into the other care streams offered at CECAT, as determined by their needs and progress.
  • Consumer progress is reviewed quarterly and their mental health case manager is updated regularly. Sometimes the CECAT key worker will work with the mental health case manager and consumer to also attend other services to assist with their recovery.
  • 6 months prior to discharge, the Consumer, keyworker and the mental health case manager will develop a transition plan to explore and incorporate additional community based activities, study or part time employment into the daily activities of the consumer.


CECAT Services accepts referrals from mental health professionals , such as psychiatrists, social workers, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, registered nurses and GPs, who case manage their clients. To gain the best outcomes for consumers, CECAT requires the consumer to have ongoing support from their nominated mental health case manager. The following information is required on referral:

  1. Completed CECAT referral form (Word 320KB)
  2. Completed Brief Risk Assessment form
  3. Current Mental Health Care plan 
  4. Signed CECAT care-coordination agreement. Note that incomplete or missing information will result in delays

Consumers may be referred to CECAT while still in hospital, if clinically appropriate, with the support of their treating team.

Referrals can be

Posted to: Creative Expression Centre for Arts Therapy, Private Bag 1, Post Office, Claremont WA 6910
Faxed to: (08) 9347 6692
Emailed to:

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm (closed public holidays)

Group therapy sessions: Monday to Friday 9.15am – 12.00pm, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 1.00pm – 3.30pm

CECAT Services group sessions run similar to WA State school terms (except over the Christmas break)

Individual sessions:   Monday – Friday 9.00am – 3.00pm

Contact Us

Phone: (08) 9347 6907
Fax: (08) 9347 6692
Address: CECAT Services, Graylands Campus, J Block, Brockway Road, Mount Claremont WA 6010.
Postal address: CECAT Services, Private bag 1, Post Office Claremont WA 6910.

Last reviewed: 13-08-2018
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Creative Expression Centre for Arts Therapy (CECAT)