What is Art Psychotherapy?

It is a specialised approach that – alongside talking about issues – uses art as a non verbal way for clients to get to know themselves better.  Images are an age-old tool for communicating about human values and suffering. Art psychotherapy harnesses this natural function of art to connect us with emotional truths and intuitive self knowing (i.e. the contribution of right-brain activity). Within structured art psychotherapy, these 'felt' experiences form the basis for new self understanding and seeing creative ways forward. 

Why use the arts?

The use of art materials is a way to represent thoughts, impulses and feelings as colour and form.  It doesn’t matter whether the image is a few squiggles or a recognisable picture – the main thing is that inner states can be seen ‘out there’ and so spoken about with more clarity and at a useful distance. The arts are equally effective for mapping out and working on external life dilemmas or situations.  

How quickly can I expect results?

At the first meeting we’ll discuss your expectations and agree realistic aims. We'll then have regular reviews to discuss what is working for you and changes required. The process of art psychotherapy can uncover buried emotions and you may feel slightly worse at times, however small positive shifts are also likely to occur early on.  

Do I need to be good at art?

You don’t need to be good at art to benefit from art psychotherapy. The aim isn't to increase your artistic skills or to make finished pieces, although both may happen.  The important thing is to be open to using art materials and seeing what happens. Part of my role is to help you use approaches that feel comfortable and satisfying. 

Who can benefit? 

Art psychotherapy is effective for increasing creativity and resilience, including the development of better skills for managing emotional, psychological and life event setbacks. In private practice I work with individuals on the following issues and have seen many positive results.   

What is an Arts Psychotherapist? 

An arts psychotherapist is someone who has undertaken a 4 year approved training in Art Psychotherapy at postgraduate level.  Professional art psychotherapists are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and may also have additional accreditation with other professional bodies.