I'm a non judgemental and creative therapist (MBACP) with over 13 years experience as a complementary therapist and three years as a transpersonal arts counsellor. As an arts counsellor, I have successfully helped adults and children to move forward with a wide range of conditions such as trauma, PTSD, learning disabilities including autism, attachment disorders, eating disorders, anger, loss, anxiety and depression (working 1:1). Please see testimonials at the bottom of this section.
I run a successful private practice and work as an arts counsellor part-time in a Specialist Residential College. My therapeutic approach is playful, inclusive and person centred. I run creative wellbeing groups for women, retreats and a practitioner training for my shamanic path. I look forward to meeting you.
What is Transpersonal Arts Counselling?
Transpersonal Arts Counselling uses artistic techniques often inspired by nature, its rhythms and processes. The process respects the authenticity of each individual and is based upon a solid therapeutic relationship.
This therapeutic creativity then allows clients to become more aware of natural processes in and around themselves and the healing potential of colour, line and form.
Transpersonal Arts Counselling weaves together a holistic approach that originates from Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy is the philosophy of life that respects the freedom of each human being. The Artistic Therapy connected to this was developed in the early twentieth century by Rudolf Steiner, Dr. Ita Wegman, the artistic therapeutic work of Dr. Margarethe Hauschka and the artist Liane Collot D’Herbois.
My therapeutic practice is based upon the principle that illness has its roots in an imbalance of the soul and that artistic work is an expression of that soul. I aim to strengthen and bring balance to the whole human being, helping to resolve and prevent illness, therefore allowing a happier life to unfold.
I offer various drawing, painting and clay-modelling techniques, in order to correspond with the three faculties: thinking, feeling and willing. Often one area dominates over another and we try to find a healthy balance here through different artistic exercises.
For example, working with colours involves a soul-movement and a colour can set the mood of a painting. Colours are a strong medium with the ability to connect with our inner emotional world. Through guided painting, visualisation exercises and pastel drawings, we can discover the harmonising quality of colour and regain our emotional equilibrium.
Working with Ali was an amazing experience. I have been in counselling before but never felt so free to express myself and to work through my concerns and experiences both past and present. Ali holds an incredibly open, safe and supportive space, a therapeutic container for you to delve deeper.
I always felt I had emotional support when it was needed and was met with a positive but not suffocating attitude. There were clear boundaries and Ali was professional yet flexible which was always massively appreciated. I felt I could bring any issues or thought process to our sessions and we could work through it.
Working creatively with Ali was amazing for me. The artistic mediums/exploration that Ali offers really highlighted topics that were in need of being addressed, this was quite an eye opening experience, it allowed me to take the pressure off having to find words when I didn't know what they were. Combining Ali’s therapeutic creative approach with her support and knowledge meant I was able to gain a deeper insight into, and untangle the challenges I was experiencing. Most of these issues have been resolved, others I continue to work through - thanks to Ali I have tools and practises I use, and trust my intuition more than ever in regards to these. I wouldn’t think twice about contacting Ali if I felt I needed more support.
My life has quite drastically changed since working with Ali and quality of life has undoubtedly improved. I have been able to transition to a more positive place of growth and freedom. I feel so much more confident in myself and able to speak my truth. My communication skills have massively improved and I am now confident in, and able to set boundaries that continue to support my mental and physical wellbeing.
Catherine B, Teacher, East Grinstead, 2020.
We have known Ali for 8 years, first when she taught my daughter and for the last two years, she has been supporting my daughter with 1:1 Arts Counselling on a weekly basis. The emotional support provided through Ali’s Arts Counselling plays an important role in helping my daughter to cope with her extreme levels of stress and anxiety.
I personally, have found her a most empathic and professional support, who gives excellent feedback, whilst respecting the confidentiality of my daughter’s sessions. Above all, she creates a happy and safe environment in which her clients can work with her.
She is an excellent communicator who manages, by her own personality and skills, to enable clients to share their innermost anxieties because they feel safe to share, in an atmosphere of confidentiality. She sets clear boundaries which adds to the sense of security that the client’s disclosure will be kept confidential.
As for her creative approach, she stimulates my daughter’s imagination, whether by reading or by creative arts, which can be very immersive.
That which follows is based upon my daughter’s feedback:
I enjoy making things and I find the sessions very creative, I particularly enjoy the crafts. The sessions help me to feel calm and I know Ali likes to help the people she works with. She helps me to feel more secure and sets boundaries for me, which is helpful. I find it possible to be a bit more open with her about my feelings, than I can be with other people.
I find Ali very trustworthy, she helps me to behave in a more grown up manner. When we work together, it is a safe space because it is only her and me. She helps me to look into myself and talk about difficult things, which helps me feel better.
Jane V, Parent, London 2020
Ali’s Arts Counselling helped me to strengthen my resilience in difficult times. I have learnt a range of excellent techniques to help me cope with the stress and anxiety of being seriously ill. I’m no artist and have always had a fear of blank sheets of paper, however there was no judgement. Her sessions have been invaluable to me during a period of ill health. Overall, they have helped me build resilience to the slings and arrows that cancer treatment can throw at you. After each session I have always felt calm and at peace, often rested and re-energised, as well as feeling much more in control of my own health and well being.
A Walters, Massage and Reiki Practitioner, Lewes, East Sussex 2019
We are convinced that Ali’s intervention helped our daughter L to transition from College to a placement in an adult setting.
The work with Ali helped L discuss, and come to terms with, a particularly sensitive and pressing issue that she had been grappling with for some time on her own.
L said recently that she viewed working with Ali as her special time.
This is a credit to Ali as L is not a young person who finds it easy to speak out at all – especially about feelings and things that she is not happy about.
Parents of L , London 2020
Training, qualifications & experience
I'm a fully insured member of BAAT and BACP. I have undertaken a professional training recognised by the Medical Section at the Goetheanum in Switzerland.
I work in a Specialist College and Camphill Community, with young adults ( 16 – 24 yrs).
I also have a private practice and work 1:1 or with small groups from my sustainable Eco lodge, in the heart of the magical South Downs National Park.
I have a warm, empathic approach. I am experienced working with young people who have learning difficulties, high fear and anxiety levels. I create a safe, therapeutic space and am open to working with a wide range of conditions, such as attachment issues, loss, anxiety and depression, terminal illness and trauma.
I run creative wellbeing groups and wellness retreats, as well as an UK based Medicine Wheel programme. I enjoy helping participants to develop self-awareness and to re-connect with themselves, through nature based, creative exercises.
British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy
BACP is one of the UK’s largest professional bodies for counselling and psychotherapy. Therapists registered with the Association fall into a number of different membership categories such as Individual Member, Registered Member MBACP and Registered Member MBACP (Accred), each standing for different levels of training and experience. MBACP (Accred) and MBACP (Snr Accred) members have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by the Association.
Registered members can be found on the BACP Register, which was the first register to achieve Accredited Voluntary Register status issued by the Professional Standards Authority. Individual Members will have completed an appropriate counselling and/or psychotherapy course and started to practise, but will not appear on the BACP Register until they've progressed to Registered Member MBACP status.
All members are bound by a Code of Ethics & Practice and a Complaints Procedure. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Concessions offered for
Arts Counselling is once a week for a minimum of six weeks at a time. Each session is 1 hour and costs £45.
Weekdays 10am - 5pm
Please see my website www.alirabjohns.com for more information on my Arts Counselling and Shamanic work.