Deborah Aita, Arts Psychotherapist, HCPC, BaDth.
I offer arts psychotherapy to help you deepen your understanding of yourself, your relationships and your patterns of behaviour so that you can adapt and make informed changes to how you live your life. Like traditional 'talking therapy', arts psychotherapy involves talking, however it does not rely on the spoken word but mixes talking with 'doing'.
The 'doing' bit is a way of stimulating creative thinking to get around a problem or to think of it in a different way. We might use objects to help you see the problem more clearly or we might use a story to help you think about it metaphorically so that you can consider it in a different light. These methods can be surprisingly enlightening and may help you to think and talk in greater depth. You might draw or describe an image; we might imagine we are characters in a story or people from your life; you might read or write a poem to express a feeling or experience. Your uniqueness will determine which creative methods we use and these methods will only be those that you feel comfortable using.
There are so many reasons why people come to psychotherapy, and often the main reason is accompanied by many other factors that contribute to the problem. Anxiety may lead to relationship difficulties because of unhelpful responses to stress, a relationship issue itself may lead to difficult feelings such as anxiety or depression. You may feel confused, hopeless, angry, sad: all of these and more, unable to make changes or live your life to the full. You may have suffered a bereavement or a relationship break-up, or you may be struggling to make a transition in your life because of illness or age. You may have a mental health diagnosis such as depression or bipolar disorder and you may be on medication to manage an illness. There is plenty of research evidence to show that the arts psychotherapies are effective in treating the full range of issues that bring people to psychotherapy.
Many people do not know what ails them and this is where arts psychotherapy can be so helpful because it works 'obliquely', coming sideways at a problem. Using a collaborative creative, intuitive and spontaneous approach I offer you safe structures and tried and tested methods to support you to fully engage in the process of examining your life, behaviour and feelings.
We all need to tell our own stories, to say who we are, but sometimes we hide aspects of our most important stories in our unconscious because they are too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves. Because these stories are hidden they can control us, impacting on our way of living, affecting our relationships and behaviour, and we may feel powerless to change. Working safely and confidentially I support you to access your imagination, through metaphor and symbol, so that the stories that matter to you can be released from your unconscious and cease to control you.
You need have no experience of the arts to make use of the arts therapies. Many people tell me that they're not creative but I firmly believe we are all creative in our different ways because even basic functioning in the world requires creative thinking. I am able to find effective ways for you to draw on the creative thinking skills that you already have so that you can think around a problem, so that you can find understanding in ways that words alone may not allow. There are many misconceptions about what arts psychotherapy is so do look at my website which explains how this oblique approach to psychotherapy works.
Training, qualifications & experience
After a long career in the arts and education I took a Masters degree in Dramatherapy at Roehampton University in London. This postgraduate training teaches how to utilise the arts in the service of psychological, psychotherapeutic and anthropological theory so that the inherent healing qualities of the arts are activated. I learned much from my student placements in adolescent secure units and a large mental health forensic hospital, as well as regular practical and theoretical examinations. My final dissertation centred on the uses of role based interventions in the treatment of schizophrenia.
I am registered as an Arts Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) which allows me to use the legally protected title of Dramatherapist. The HCPC has strict codes of conduct by which I abide. I am also a full member of the British Association of Dramatherapists (BaDth). I attend regular continuing professional development, conferences, training and supervision.
Since January 2010 I have been employed by Weldmar Hospicecare Trust as their Arts Psychotherapist for four days a week. I work with patients, families, carers and children who need extra psychological support both pre- and post bereavement. Because of the nearness of death there is often a spiritual element to this work and through the arts I offer ways to express what may be difficult to put into words.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Attachment disorder
- Bipolar disorder/Manic depression
- Child related issues
- Drug abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Internet addiction
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Pregnancy and birth
Photos & videos
For your first session I charge an initial consultation fee of £30.
Thereafter I charge £50 per one hour session.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Wednesdays between 8.30am and 6pm
Types of client