MARI (Mandala Assessment Research Instrument) is a powerful tool using colour and symbol to make the preconscious visible. It is a very unique, visual and creative tool which is used in combination with a variety of therapies (psychotherapy, music and art therapy and occupational therapy).


The MARI system accesses information from our psyche, in a playful, non-threatening way.

It allows us to experience transformation and new insights about ourselves and our life situations.

 It is:

  • based on a Jungian system of symbols and colours, developed and researched by art therapist Joan Kellog in the 1970's.
  • used to assess a client’s current psychological state and gives a visual representation of the psyche.
  • used to access material from the unconscious mind using symbols and colours thereby adding richness to the therapeutic dialogue.
  • a process, using both left and right brain-thinking, with the client as the guide in leading the discovery.
  • a diagnostic as well as a therapeutic tool bringing clarity to the issue at hand.  Once you see the psyche in this new way, you can understand and affect change.




The MARI provides – for therapists:


The MARI provides – for clients:

In-depth psychological information that is traditional, transpersonal and creative.

Positive short-term counseling and easy record keeping.

Enjoyable, non-threatening experience where clients have full autonomy.
Allows clients to access their own intuitive guidance.

Reveals strengths, insight and awareness in a visual way.




More about The MARI Card Test


The MARI card test is a non-verbal way of gaining insight into one's present state---in mind, body and spirit. Art therapist Joan Kellogg developed this method in 1978 based upon art therapy principles, consciousness research, Jungian theory and cross-cultural studies. Amazingly simple, the card test provides insights which we may find difficult to express through words.

The MARI Card test has been researched by the Mandala Assessment Research Institute (MARI) for validity and reliability. The process works well for people seeking new personal insights and has also been effective in a variety of health care systems: medical, mind-body, drug and addiction rehabilitation, counselling and therapy, education, correctional institutions, among others. Ongoing research and validation of this test is a continual process.

What to expect from a session:

The less a client knows about the symbols the better. A session can be arranged as part of a therapeutic journey, or it can be a one-off assessment.

6 symbol and colour cards are chosen from a possible 39 symbol and 45 colour cards.  The cards are then arranged on a 12-phase board. 

The practitioner explores the universal and personal meanings of the cards with the client.

The session is concluded by drawing a mandala (circular picture).    



Get a MARI assessment

The best way to experience the value of this powerful tool, is to go for an individual assessment with one of the following practitioners:

  NameAreaContact e-mailContact Tel No.Qualification / Registration
Di_3_bw Diane MarisPinelands, Cape Town 0829260548MARI Practitioner and Trainer;Guided Imagery and Music Practitioner;Musician and Process Art Facilitator.
Eleen PolsonHazelwood, Pretoriaeleen@polsons.info0722121719Counselling Psychologist with specialisation in Expressive Arts Therapy and Trauma release.
Jolena NicolSomerset West, Western Cape. Therapist, Expressive Arts Therapy

Anje Pollard 

Anja Pollard

Monument Park, Pretoria 0842068471 Registered Music Therapist, GIM fellow

Joelene Conradie crop

Joelene Conradie

Durbanville, Western Capejoelene.conradie@gmail.com079 633 1043 / 021 974 7667Clinical psychologist and MARI teacher-in-training
Shona SaaymanMuizenberg & Simonstown, Western Cape.shonams@iafrica.com0833575292Psychiatric occupational therapist with expressive arts therapy and Sensory Intelligence practitioner.
Sonet du Toit - Swart&Wit

Sonet du Toit

Vaal Triangle

Industrial Psychologist Registered Counsellor, GIM Practitioner, BWRT Practitioner.

Maritsa Barlow

Maritza Barlow

Free State, Bloemfontein


Registered Music therapist


Adéle Prins

Muizenberg, Western Cape. therapist, Artist, Musician and Designer.



Amy McGhee

Honeydew, Johannesburg. Life Coach
Screenshot_20240515_130643_WhatsAppFathima FayersUmhlanga, KZNfayersfathima@gmail.com0603884223Occupational Therapist - Mental health




MARI training


2 Parts:

1)               Short Workshops (Introduction to MARI)

2)               Intensive Training to become a MARI Practitioner

3)              (NEW!)  Online Practitioner Courses


1) Short  taster workshops

Come and experience a taster of the MARI (Mandala Assessment Research

Instrument), through the medium of creative expression, Morning session.

(This is an experiential workshop and does not equip someone to use the test.)

Short Workshops are arranged according to needs in your area. 


2) Live Practitioner Courses

3-4 day Practitioner Courses are still on offer in Pretoria/Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Minimum intake, 4 people per course.


3) Online Practitioner Courses

MARI Practitioner Courses are offered online, under the auspices of MARI USA.

We would still always recommend live training first, but the online option solves the problem of distance and, the online setup, with the aid of powerpoint, email, WhatsApp and skype makes the course very do-able and just as creative as the live training.

Payment for the course fee and materials is made to (go to online training). The course fee includes case study supervision.

The materials are then sent shipped from the US.  (We obviously have some potential difficulties with postage in SA, but so far, we have used consignment stock.)

Contact Diane Maris ( to find out the current on-line and in-person options.  


 DateTownVenue Presenter(s) To book contact Investment CPD* allocated
Morning Workshops, To be arrangedCape Town

The Healing Room, Rondebosch

Diane Maris

To be confirmed

3 CEU's

Morning Workshops To be arranged

PretoriaClydesdale near Affies. (venue to be confirmed)

Eleen Polson

 To be confirmed

 3 CEU's


Practitioner refresher courses

Diane Maris offers Practitioner refresher courses in Cape Town, as well as Skype sessions for supervision and case discussion.  Contact her on to arrange. 




 intensive training to become a MARI practitioner


To become a MARI practitioner and use this amazing tool in your practice, a four day intensive training is necessary, as well as purchasing the MARI-material. 

MARI Intensive Practitioner's Course August 2018.  More information on the Intensive MARI course. 

Booking form MARI Intensive Course 2018  Fill in this form and send back to Diane Maris at

Next training dates: 

 DateTownVenuePresenter(s) To book contact Investment CPD* allocated
25 (19h00)- 28 January (17h00) 2020 To be confirmedCape TownTo be confirmedDiane Marisimageryandmusic@iafrica.comR3700+$330 (R7300)20 CPD

Thursday, 2nd - Sunday, 5th August 2019)

PretoriaMusic Therapy Unit, UPDiane Marisimageryandmusic@iafrica.comR3800+$330 (R7400)20 CPD