Andrew Phillips | Art Psychotherapy / Art Therapy | Newport, Wales
I am an Art Psychotherapist and visual artist, with over ten years experience of working with children, young people, and adults, in various mental health and social care roles. I am available for appointments with adults in central Newport, and at TIME Counselling and Wellbeing Centre in Risca, where I also work with young people. You will find images of these spaces further down this page.
I offer online art psychotherapy for those who are keen to use art materials or engage in discussion of creative work during the therapy session, but are unable to attend in person.
Art Psychotherapy is a type of psychological therapy that uses art materials in addition to dialogue. It is suitable for any level of experience — from those who are unfamiliar with using art materials, to those who have worked creatively for many years. Art Therapy as a professional practice is on a par with other 'talking' therapies, and should not be confused with art based activities (for example colouring books). Whilst the act of using the materials can certainly have a therapeutic benefit in itself, working with a qualified therapist enables you to engage with the deeper qualities of images and creative processes, in connection with your own life.
Please send me a message if you would like to arrange an appointment, request further information, or have any questions. I will respond as soon as possible.
On this profile page I cover the following areas
- The therapy I offer
- What art therapy is
- How it may benefit you
- Who art therapy is for
- Practical information such as location. fees, and availability.
- By following the link to my website you will be able to get a sense of my own engagement with creative processes.
How I work, and what you can expect from therapy sessions
The way I work is primarily informed by depth psychology and psychodynamic principles, as well as contemporary and historic traditions of art and culture.
In my approach to therapy, what are often termed 'symptoms' are treated with a certain respect, and we enquire into their meaning, origin, and what needs to be healed or changed. We avoid labelling these experiences as ‘bad’, and instead relate to them as invitations to explore what might have brought them about—whether that comes from the present, the past, or usually a mixture of the two.
The therapy acknowledges that life can be difficult, and we exist within a world that makes many demands of us, and we find that we cannot control many factors in our environment. We challenge both the internal and external critic(s), which can create a sense of blame or shame, and distort how we relate to ourselves and others.
One of the benefits of this kind of therapy is its versatility. The way in which I work will vary to some extent, according to the needs of each client. As the client you will have the choice of what you talk about, or how you use the art materials, and in that sense each meeting is directed by you. The therapy session will be different for each person, with some people spending a great deal of time making images, and others preferring to mostly talk.
The core of the work is based around the ‘therapeutic relationship’, which exists between the client and the therapist. This is a unique type of relationship, which allows you to communicate in a way that might not be possible with other people in your life (such as friends, family members, colleagues, etc), and to be listened to carefully, with no assumptions being made in relation to your past or present. You will be treated as a whole person, and not a collection of problems or labels. The art therapy sessions can incorporate good humour, playfulness, and be an enjoyable experience, as well as a deeply transformative one.
My integrative approach to Art Psychotherapy has roots in a number of different psychological modalities, and ways of considering the human experience.
It is important to recognise that these are elements which may inform how I interact with you during the session, and that the essence of the therapy is 'person centered'. This means that the emphasis is always on conversation and creative engagement with art materials.
Psychodynamic Therapy - Considering unconscious processes, and helping to understand the pain arising from conflicting feelings, and aspects of ourselves that we may have come to view as troublesome or unacceptable. This includes consideration of the here-and-now dynamics that exist within the 'therapeutic relationship' between client and therapist during the therapy session itself.
Attachment Theory - A way of illuminating the bonds we make to particular others, and of considering the distress which arises from unwilling separation or loss.
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. This might include considering the motivations that drive and influence the behaviour of corporations, organisations, governments, social groups, cultures, etc. One example of an approach to 'depth psychology' which may be a more familiar term for some would be 'Jungian'—relating to the work and continued influence of Carl Jung.
Transpersonal psychology - Engaging with spiritual tools, traditions, or ideas, integrated with psychological approaches.
Ecopsychology - Explores our relationship with, and as parts of the Natural world, often expressed in terms of recognising how our individual experience is linked to the wider web of life.
How Art Psychotherapy can benefit you
Art Psychotherapy can be an effective form of treatment, and way of exploring the following areas;
- Developing a greater understanding of yourself.
- Healing for emotional difficulties, distress, and trauma.
- Addressing troubling feelings or behaviours.
- Improving relationships, by considering how you relate to yourself, and with others.
- Increasing resilience and confidence for challenging circumstances.
- Recovering and deepening a sense of purpose, direction, and creative agency.
- A sense of relationship with Nature, and the 'more than human world.'
- The therapy pays close attention to your needs as both an individual with particular hopes, dreams, difficulties, fears, and also as an important participant within the wider worlds of family, social groups, culture, and society.
What is Art Therapy?
Art Psychotherapy (or Art Therapy) shares much in common with other forms of counselling and therapy. It has a lengthy history, with roots in psychoanalytic theory, 'outsider art', group work, social engagement, and of course - the rich traditions of the arts. At the heart of the work is the exploration of creative processes, alongside the 'therapeutic relationship' between client and therapist. When you use the art materials my role is to stimulate engagement with the image by nurturing the 'spirit of enquiry' about what has been made, consider how we both relate to the image, and to support the deepening of your own insight regarding the work.
No prior experience of making art is required, because what is made during the therapy session is not regarded in terms of its artistic 'merit', but instead offers a means of communication, and mode of expression. Each art therapy session unfolds at your own pace, with no requirement to use the materials unless you want to - Art Therapy is both visual and verbal, much like other 'talking therapies.'
I work with a compassionate and non-judgemental approach, and the therapy space is always one of trust and respect.
Who is Art Psychotherapy for?
There are many reasons why individuals choose to see a therapist. This can often be a desire for change in one form or another, or a sense of dissatisfaction with life, and the feeling that there is something missing - perhaps a sense of meaning or purpose. What frequently brings people to therapy initially is to find relief from what we might term 'symptoms', or the need to explore in greater depth aspects of life in general. Art Psychotherapy can provide a supportive, nurturing, and confidential environment in which to give expression to what feels too personal, fragile, or obscure to reveal in the company of others, even our most trusted and loved relations.
Therapeutic services are often sought out when a person feels overwhelmed, or that certain emotions or behaviours are becoming overly dominant in their life. Some people may feel haunted by their past, others fearful of the future. One of the most important tasks of therapy is to recover a sense of being a whole person. By this we mean integrating both our 'positive' and 'negative' qualities, and becoming more aware of how we relate to what we regard as 'other', which is anything we perceive to be entirely different to ourselves.
People often begin therapy due to one or more of these experiences.
- Relationship difficulties
- Anxiety (or Generalised Anxiety Disorder)
- Panic Attacks
- Feeling Sad
- Low self-esteem / Low self-confidence
Training, qualifications & experience
- MA Art Psychotherapy, Goldsmiths College, University of London
- Ba(Hons) 1st Class, Fine Art, 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, ability, family background, and importantly - very different personal visions for their future.
I have worked as an Art Psychotherapist in an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, in addition to other roles in adult NHS mental health services. 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 Therapist in private practice, and with organisations in the charitable sector.
A great deal of my therapeutic approach is informed by a continued engagement with art making. The central theme of my work (generally mixed-media, painting, and drawing) focuses upon exploring a sense of 'inner landscape,' and connecting through this to the wider world of Nature. My work has appeared in various exhibitions and publications, and in 2019 I was elected a Professional Member of the Society of Scottish Artists. You will find further information (and images) about this side of my practice through the link to my website.
Within this range of experience, I have helped people experiencing difficulties and challenging circumstances including;
- low mood
- feeling sad
- panic attacks
- low self-esteem
- low self-confidence
- problems within families and relationships
- young people in, and leaving care
- illness and physical disabilities
- learning disabilities
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. It is a requirement for art psychotherapist's to have been in therapy throughout the duration of the training (3 years), and I also sought this out prior to, and after my studies. In addition to being beneficial for wellbeing, I found psychotherapy to be an enriching way of engaging with one's sense of purpose in life, the unconscious, art and symbols, history, myth, and spirituality.
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
Health and Care Professions Council
The HCPC are an independent, UK-wide health regulator. They set standards of professional training, performance and conduct for 16 professions.
They keep a register of health professionals who meet their standards, and they take action if registered health professionals fall below those standards. They were created by a piece of legislation called the Health Professions Order 2001.
Registration means that a health professional meets national standards for their professional training, performance and conduct.
Areas of counselling I deal with
Other areas of counselling I deal with
- Depth Psychology
- Archetypal Psychology
- Spiritual Psychology
- Men's work
£45.00 per session
Concessions offered for
- £45 per 1 hour session
- Concessions are available on an affordability basis, rather than by category. Pay what you can from £35. Please feel free to enquire.
- A discount is given when booking and paying in advance for a block of 6 sessions.
Weekdays - First appointment 7am, latest appointment 7:30pm.
Saturday appointments are available once or twice per month.
During the first meeting we can have a conversation about why you are considering therapy, what hopes and expectations you have for therapy, and you can ask any questions you might have regarding the sessions or the therapeutic process. During this time I will inform you about how I work, and what benefits I think the therapy may have to offer you. We can discuss practicalities such as making payments, and timings of the sessions. I will also explain the therapeutic boundaries which exist for the safety and well being of both parties, and are necessary for the proper functioning of the work.
Following the introductory session you are free to decide whether or not you would like to work together.