Art Therapy in Hackney
It is not always easy to translate our felt experience into words. Art Therapy uses images and the process of making images as an alternative way of exploring and addressing emotional and psychological issues.
It is a form of psychotherapy that is accessible for anyone. No experience or expertise in art is needed to benefit.
I am a registered Art Therapist with over 18 years experience. I offer Art Therapy from rooms in the heart of Dalston, Hackney.
We all find life difficult at times, and a safe place to work things through can make a real difference. It is important to find a therapist you feel is right for you, someone with whom you feel secure enough to share your concerns. It is also important to find a way of working that fits.
My hope is that these pages will offer some information about both Art Therapy and myself so that you can begin to think about whether I may be able to help you. If you think you would like to make an appointment for an initial meeting in Dalston, please get in touch. I’ll also be happy to answer any queries you have.
About Art Therapy
There is no need to have artistic experience or skill to benefit from Art Therapy. In therapy art is not judged for its aesthetic merit. It’s not a private art lesson, and making “good art” (whatever that may mean!) is not our goal here.
Instead my aim is to help you to connect with the innate creativity present in each of us, from which new insights can emerge.
Art materials have their own properties, and the physical experience of using them can help to reach below the surface.
An image can hold multiple and fluctuating meanings, reflecting the complex nature of emotional experience. It’s perfectly possible of course, to hold apparently contradictory positions simultaneously, and images allow for this wonderfully well.
Having a concrete and external object that “holds” something of our internal world makes it possible to share and to see things in a new way.
In Art Therapy images are not interpreted but rather form a third element in the therapeutic relationship; the client and therapist gain understanding of the artwork through joint exploration at the pace of the client.
The process of making images is valued as much as any finished object. It may be that at the end of a session no object remains. For instance, moving clay through a series of forms can provoke associations and help you to tell your story.
Art Therapy can help with issues common to counselling and psychotherapy, including:
I have a particular interest and experience working with chronic illness and bereavement. I also have a lot of experience of working with children and young people. Within my East London private practice I am able to offer whole family Art Therapy sessions where appropriate to assist with family issues.
Art Therapist is a Protected Title and it is illegal to practice as such without completion of an accredited training at MA/ MSc level and registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
If you are interested in finding out more about Art Therapy, including some examples of client experience, click here to visit the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) website.
I studied painting originally, at Northumbria University, and found myself drawn to exploring how art could be used to promote psychological and emotional wellbeing.
After graduating I got involved in lots of community arts projects, including the wonderful Art Room at St Nicholas’ Hospital in Newcastle; a place where people experiencing mental health difficulties came together in a vibrant creative community.
It was there that I really began to see first hand how powerful and beneficial using art materials in a supportive space could be. Images made in the art room made it possible for people to share aspects of their internal world that would be very difficult to capture verbally. These concrete expressions were valued and accepted without judgement, as were their makers.
These are really the touchstone ideas behind Art Therapy, and so it was a natural progression for me to move on to formal training. I qualified from the University of Hertfordshire in 2001 and have been working as a registered Art Therapist since then.
Over the past 17 years, I have been lucky enough to work with people from very diverse backgrounds and across all age groups. I continue to be amazed by the way in which making images in the presence of another can help to make sense of experience, to build self-esteem and resilience and to find creative ways forward.
I've learned with experience to be open in my approach, and to be guided by the needs of my clients. I recognise that using art materials is not for everyone, and am able to adapt my practice to fit; there are many ways to be creative! Although my original training was predominantly psychodynamic, systemic ideas and attachment theory also inform my practice. I also hold a Post Graduate Certificate in Systemic Practice from the Institute of Family Therapy.
I am a full member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT). As an Arts Therapist I am registered with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC).