How to become a Colour Therapist. Read through our comprehensive job guide to learn more about this career.
What does a Colour Therapist do?
Colour therapists aim to relieve symptoms and promote healing through exposure to colour. They believe that the colours we absorb affect the nervous system and the release of hormones, which may in turn affect our mental, emotional and physical state.
As a colour therapist, you may see clients with a range of conditions including depression, eczema, high blood pressure, and menstrual problems. You may also use colour to help people boost their immune system, or increase their creativity and ability to learn.
Once you have discussed your client’s medical history and colour preferences, you would treat their condition by exposing them to an appropriate colour source. You may use a variety of techniques, depending on your training and experience, including:
- using stained glass filters, crystals, lighting gels, or coloured silks to irradiate the whole body, spine, or a localised area (rhythmically or constantly)
- setting up a strikingly lit and vast selection of bottles of coloured essence, and applying the liquid to the skin of the client
- using ‘healing hands’, meditation or visualisation methods
- demonstrating and teaching breathing exercises.
You might also advise on the use of colour in dress, diet and home decorating, and teach clients how to perform visualisations with colour.
Some colour therapists believe they can read people’s auras and ‘see’ which colours are needed to address an imbalance.
You would arrange a schedule of appointments to meet the needs of your clients, which could include working evenings and weekends .
You would usually work from home or in private consultation rooms, although you may also work in clients’ homes.
How much does a Colour Therapist earn?
You would usually be self-employed and charge an hourly rate, typically between £35 and £65 an hour.
Many therapists supplement their income by doing other work alongside colour therapy.
Figures are intended as a guideline only.
You can prepare to work in colour therapy by taking a certificate or diploma, such as those awarded by:
- International Association of Colour (IAC)
- Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT).
Colour therapy diplomas normally take two years to complete. You could start by doing shorter courses, but these tend to be useful as an introduction or for general interest.
You may find experience or qualifications in counselling, anatomy and physiology useful, and possibly essential for entry to some courses. It can also be helpful if you have experience of working in a caring profession.
In the second year of a colour therapy diploma course you will train as a probationary practitioner. This includes a minimum of 30 hours’ supervised practice, which you may have to arrange yourself. You will need to complete separate units in anatomy and physiology and counselling before your diploma is awarded.
See the IAC and VTCT websites for details of courses.
Training and Development
Colour therapy is an unregulated area, however, you may increase your career prospects by joining a professional body, for example the International Association of Colour (IAC) or the British Register for Complementary Practitioners (administered by the Institute for Complementary and Natural Medicine (ICNM)).
Membership of an association will also often provide development and networking opportunities, as well as guidance on professional standards and ethics. Check the organisations’ websites to see which would represent you best.
You could increase your skills, knowledge and work opportunities by taking courses in related areas such as reflexology, aromatherapy, massage or crystal therapy. Many practitioners will offer colour therapy alongside other therapies.
Skills and Knowledge
- empathy with clients
- good listening skills to determine the best treatment
- a genuine desire to help people
- the ability to recognise when to refer clients to a qualified medical doctor
- commercial skills to help you run a business.
Your main work opportunities will be as a self-employed therapist. To be successful you will need to build up and maintain a sound reputation and client base. You will need to market and promote your business, which may involve working long hours at first until you have established your practice.
With experience, you could move into teaching colour therapy. To meet the standards set by the IAC and teach in a Colour Training Centre you would need to be qualified as a therapist and have a teaching qualification or proven experience (see the IAC website for details).