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Art Psychotherapy
Newport, Gwent

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Welcome to my studio in Newport, where I offer Art Psychotherapy for adults. I also work at Time Counselling and Wellbeing in Risca, where my practice includes work with young people.

The arts in all their many forms offer expressions of wisdom and healing, helping us to understand, explore, and enrich our lives and the world around us. On some deep level this has been a part of the human story from our origins. 

Not everyone makes 'art', but the power that images have to influence our lives is widely recognised. Trusting our own images, whether they make themselves known as dreams, thoughts and ideas, visions, or otherwise, can provide us with a sense of orientation, even through challenging and uncertain times.  

 

Art making in combination with a psychotherapeutic approach contributes to healing traumas, and negotiating the difficulties that life may present to us, whilst also deepening awareness of our best qualities and potentials.  

If you would like to make an enquiry, or arrange an appointment, please do so via the details at the bottom of this page. I will respond as soon as possible. 

Who is Art Psychotherapy For?

I work with adults of all ages, from a wide range of backgrounds, who are looking for a supportive, nurturing, and creative approach to psychotherapy. There are many reasons for engaging in psychotherapeutic work, but broadly speaking the requirements of most who contact me initially fall into one (or both) of these two areas;

  • Experiencing difficulty with emotions, thoughts, relationships or circumstances.​

  • Seeking a means of exploring and deepening creativity, or perhaps the intersection of art - spirituality - ecology.

 

Art Psychotherapy (or Art Therapy, the terms are interchangeable) is a form of psychotherapy that is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council - HCPC - in the United Kingdom, with whom I am registered, and I abide by their code of performance and ethics. I hold the necessary professional indemnity insurance, and engage in regular clinical supervision with a suitably qualified and experienced therapist.

 

Art Psychotherapy is distinct from 'art as therapy' or other types of creative activity for wellbeing. The therapy incorporates both verbal and visual communication. You do not need to have any particular knowledge of art, or prior experience of using art materials. The 'art' in art psychotherapy is about expression, enquiry into conscious and unconscious processes, and making visible what cannot be put into words. It is never judged in terms of being objectively 'good' or 'bad'.

 

 

What can Art Psychotherapy help with ?

  • Emotional and mental distress - e.g. anxiety, depression, stress, grief

  • Growing in conscious awareness of the psychological realities within yourself, and society

  • Feeling 'stuck', or that life is lacking meaning

  • Relationships - Working with difficulties, and finding greater depth within them

  • Attending to your own creative endeavors in a new context

  • Expressing yourself when it is difficult to find the words for your experience

  • Reclaiming your faculties of playfulness, and creative imagination

  • Discovering and responding to your sense of purpose

  • Exploring spiritual/religious themes and experience

  • Deepening awareness of connection to the wider web of Nature, and the 'more than human' 

 

How I Work

Art Psychotherapy utilises the 'therapeutic alliance', which is based upon mutual trust and respect between the client and the therapist, enabling the expression and exploration of both the conscious and unconscious aspects that influence your experience. This could be best thought of as a process in which both parties are involved, and are committed to working together to explore the thoughts and feelings that you express during the session.

The process enables you to reach your own insights, and ways of proceeding in the world, rather than adopting those of the therapist. In this sense Psychotherapy is an empowering experience, and aims to be a way in which you can reveal greater meaning within your life, and bring the benefit of this to the important place you occupy in the broader scheme of things. We pay attention to the ways in which culture, society, and environment, influence how we experience ourselves and develop as individuals.

During the sessions you will have the time and space to explore whatever you need to. The work is usually 'non-directive', meaning that I follow your lead in terms of what topics are entered into, although in due course I may offer some suggestions or encouragement particularly around working with imagery. A typical session may involve periods of dialogue, image making with or without talking, and contemplation/reflection around any work that has been created. 

The way I work is primarily informed by depth psychology, psychodynamic/psychoanalytic principles, transpersonal psychology, and contemporary and historic traditions within the arts and culture. In this approach to therapy, what are often termed 'symptoms' are treated with a certain respect. We enquire into their meaning, origin, and look for what is calling for our attention, the root of the problem. The aim is that whatever brings you to seek therapy in the first instance - often a crisis or sense of 'breakdown' - can lead to a breakthrough in terms of Self awareness, purpose, and leading a life that is fulfilling.

I favour Depth Psychology as a tradition of psychological enquiry because I feel it has much in common with the Spirit of the arts and humanities themselves, and so I tend to follow the thinkers and theorists who speak most directly to this. Generally speaking, Depth Psychology refers to that which lies beneath the surface; the unconscious, dreams, obscured or more hidden aspects of ourselves which influence our experience. This includes exploration of the imagination; the place from which images, stories, inspiration, mythologies, all emerge. Depth Psychology looks both within the individual, and also outwards, at how our identity meets with the wider ‘collective' of humanity, and the world in general.

 

Experience

  • MA Art Psychotherapy, Goldsmiths College, University of London

  • Ba(Hons) 1st Class, Fine Art: Contemporary Media, University of South Wales

Since 2008 my experience in the field of mental health and social care has come from a number of contrasting settings, working with many individuals of varied age, background, and personality.

I have worked as an Art Psychotherapist in an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and as a trainee I undertook placements in CAMHS, and in an NHS adult psychiatric inpatient setting. Prior to and during my training I worked for 4 years in an NHS community facility for adults following discharge from the local psychiatric hospital. More recently I have also provided day to day management (including staff supervision) of a local authority accommodation for young adults (16-25) classed as vulnerable, and worked within a residential adult mental health service in the private sector.

 

I now work independently as an Art Psychotherapist in private practice, and a visual artist.

In addition, I have experience as a client in psychotherapy, with several different therapists. This means that I am familiar with what it might be like to seek the services of a therapist and to engage in the therapeutic process from that perspective. 

You will find further information on my art practice, thinking around creativity, and areas in which I specialise, elsewhere on this website.

 

Practical details 
Beginning and ending therapy

  • I usually work with clients weekly, and where possible we arrange a consistent time to meet. This regularity helps the therapy to provide you with a sense of being 'held' by the process, knowing that you will have a time and space available for you each week. If your reason for starting psychotherapy is related to experiencing difficulty with emotions, thoughts, relationships or circumstances, then I would recommend weekly work for the first two months as a minimum to begin with, before you consider the option of less frequent meetings.

  • For those whose engagement is more focussed upon their own creative endeavours, less frequent appointments may be appropriate from the outset. Longer session times are available by arrangement.

  • Regular appointment times cannot be guaranteed for those attending fortnightly, or less frequently.

  • In all cases we begin by meeting for an initial appointment, which is an opportunity for you to talk about why you are considering engaging in psychotherapy at this time, and how you would like it to benefit you. I will let you know about how the therapeutic process works in greater detail, and in my opinion what art psychotherapy may be able to offer you. The standard fee applies, and the meeting is for 1 hour. 

  • We will think together about the potential for our working together to be of benefit to you, and I will assess whether what you require is within the range of my skills, experience, and knowledge. 

  • There is no obligation to commit to further appointments at the end of the initial meeting. You may prefer to give it some time for consideration. If you decide to continue, I suggest having a further 3 appointments to get a feel for how the process works for you, before making any decisions about longer term work. You are free to end the therapy whenever you choose, however, in the same way as it is important to get off to a good start, it is also important for psychotherapy to end well. It is advised that this is agreed and arranged at least 2 sessions in advance, so we can work towards a constructive ending to the therapy. 

  • There is no minimum or maximum amount of sessions. We will jointly review the effectiveness and appropriateness of the therapy as we go, and keep this an open topic of discussion.

 

Fees

  • £50 per 1 hour appointment

  • I have several spaces for clients paying a concessionary rate. Please enquire if you require this. (January 2022 - All concessionary appointments currently occupied)

  • Payment can be made by cash or bank transfer. An invoice will be provided when booking an initial appointment.