ABOUT ART THERAPY
Art Therapy is often described as a form of Counselling or Psychotherapy that uses art making as a way of communicating and expressing yourself. Art Therapy can help you to explore thoughts and feelings, where they can be 'seen' in a new way. Art skills are not taught as such, but an Art Therapist can help you to try out new things if that's what you want to do.
People of all ages may benefit, including young children, and Art Therapy can help with a wide range of issues. It can help facilitate change in people with social, emotion or mental health issues, learning or physical disabilities, neurological or physical conditions and illnesses.
WHY USE ART?
Sometimes it can be difficult to talk directly about things, or there just aren't any words to express how you're feeling. Some things can be too difficult to say. Using words and images together can help you create a deeper understanding of your self. Sometimes there are too many words, and some people find quiet art making a welcome relief, and a chance to get in touch with a part of their self which can get overlooked.
It may be that you have previously engaged in talking therapy and have found this approach to not be quite right for you. Or you have benefited, but still feel there is further work to do, and you would like to try a different approach.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A SESSION?
The sessions last an hour, and are usually at the same time and day each week. You will have your own basic pack of art materials, and you can use any of the other materials and objects in the room too; it's your choice. In a session, we might start by checking in to see how things are, before you choose your materials and a theme, or themes. If you get stuck, we can try and come up with ideas together. Sometimes it's useful to just try out materials and see what happens. After you have made your art, we will aim to look at it together, and you can talk about what you have made. You don't have to talk if you don't want to – the art can speak for itself. Sometimes, you might even choose not to make any art at all, but you just want to talk.
DO I HAVE TO BE GOOD AT ART?
No! You don't even need to have any art experience. The most important thing is for you to be willing to have a go. The process of making something is just as meaningful as the end product.
One parent who came to Art Therapy with their child described their experience:
'At first I was reluctant to have a go, but was really surprised at how easy it felt once I'd started'.
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY ART?
The art that you make in Art Therapy is safely kept after each session. You may want to do a different piece each session, or you may want to work on one piece over several weeks. Now and then it's good to have a look at all your art, to see how things are progressing. At the very end of Art Therapy, you can take all your art home with you.
SERVICES I OFFER
ART THERAPY WITH ADULTS
I usually see adults on a 1:1 basis. Adults who come to Art Therapy often find great relief in being allowed some space to re-connect with their more playful and spontaneous selves. Those who have experienced difficult childhoods may find it helpful to release stuck feelings from that time. Neuroscience tells us that the parts of the brain activated during art making are the same as those in pre-verbal development, which means we can access our experiences from very early childhood. Sometimes adults come to Art Therapy just to understand themselves better.
ART THERAPY WITH CHILDREN
Children will use art and play as a natural part of their communication. Making art can help them to process difficult things that have happened. Helping children to put words to their creations (although words are not always necessary) can help them to find ways of expressing themselves to others that might otherwise be perceived as difficult behaviours. Having things seen in a different way through the art can be enormously helpful for parents/carers too. When a parent/carer and child make art together, it can help to build a stronger attachment.
Supervision of your clinical or professional practice, including trainees on placement. Using art in your supervision can help you to look at things in a new way.
ART BASED WORKSHOPS
Usually in small groups, to help develop and reflect on your professional or creative practice. This can be arranged independently or as part of an organisation.
I am an Art Psychotherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT). I am a recognised Supervisor with training organisations that are approved by HCPC, UKCP and BACP. I have a background in Art Teaching, in both mainstream and specialist settings. My creative ethos, training and experience enables me to adapt the way we work together to suit you.
MA Art Psychotherapy; PGCE; BA (Hons) Fine Art.
I have a practice studio in a quiet rural location near to Glastonbury and Street, in Somerset. It is resourced with a range of 2D and 3D materials, including toys. Covid measures are in place to ensure safe working.
When working with children, I occasionally have capacity to travel to the child's school or another location to suit. This incurs travel fees - please ask me about this.
My fees vary depending on the type of work I am asked to do; whether it is individual, group or with an organisation. I have a small number of places at concessionary rates available for those who are self-funding and on a low income. Please feel free to discuss your requirements with me.
HCPC Registration number: AS15007
'Playing Together: The use of directed joint engagement activities in Dyadic Art Psychotherapy'. In Jennings, S. and Holmwood, C. (Eds) Routledge International Handbook of Play, Therapeutic Play and Play Therapy (2020)
The best thing about Art Therapy is that I get my feelings out by doing something I love.
Coming to Art Therapy gives me confidence to tell other people things.
Young Person, aged 12
If it wasn't for the art, I don't think I would be able to explain or express myself. Using different forms of art – from writing, drawing, or making, is a very good way to express yourself and to see your thoughts and feelings in front of you. You don't need to know anything about art. It's a way to see your thinking and perception and to help understand yourself!
My son and I have really enjoyed working with Bridget. The work we have done together has been really important for his emotional development. The most helpful thing was talking about his past in a natural and organic way. He has always loved art, so this was very natural for him.