Art Psychotherapist | HCPC registered
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Every professional displayed on Counselling Directory has been independently verified by our team to ensure they have suitable credentials to practise.
*I respond to all enquiries as soon as possible. If you have contacted me and not seen a reply within a couple of days, please check your 'spam / junk' folder. I have recently been made aware that sometimes replies to enquiries have been turning up there.*
I offer in person Art Psychotherapy for adults, and young adults (16+), in Newport. I currently have availability to work with new clients for ongoing 'open-ended' psychotherapy, or short-term, and single-session work focussed on a particular issue, or area of your life.
I believe that Art Psychotherapy can be a rewarding and life enhancing experience for many people. The safe and confidential setting allows you to express yourself with a freedom that may not be possible, or desirable in other situations. Whatever you talk about, or create, will be met with care and attentiveness. Working within the ethical boundaries of the 'therapeutic relationship', I am approachable, keen to understand what your experience is like from your perspective, and welcome working with a sense of humour when appropriate.
My approach is very flexible, and allows you to engage in the process of therapy in a way that suits you. This means that the option of using art materials will be available, but the sessions can also be based around talking. You do not need to have any experience of art making in order to work with me, and benefit from the therapy.
You may be considering therapy for one, or several of the following concerns
- Experiences of mental and emotional suffering. Including, but not limited to; depression, anxiety, feeling sad, shame, grief & bereavement, anger, low confidence, low self-esteem, stress, loneliness, addictions, trauma, feeling overwhelmed, disconnection from your inner life.
- Purpose - Finding new directions, and creating a life which feels satisfying. Moving on from feeling 'stuck.'
- Relationships - Working with challenges, and finding greater depth within them.
- Difficulty expressing yourself
I also have a specific interest in the following areas.
- Art and creativity.
- Nature, or the 'more than human world', and the environment in which we live.
- Spiritual / religious enquiry and experience.
Reasons for starting therapy are different for each person, and may not always be clear at the beginning. For some people there is just the sense that coming to therapy might be helpful, and the reasons why will then become more apparent during the course of our work together.
Types of session
- In person therapy - I currently have availability to see new clients for long-term, or short-term Art Psychotherapy. Close to Newport city center.
- The online sessions I provide are suited to people who would like a conversational approach, around themes such as; your sense of purpose, art and creativity, connection to Nature, bearing witness to the times in which we live.
- Single sessions are also available, for focussed exploration of a particular theme. These can be in person, or online. See my website for details.
Working together | The working alliance between us is an important factor in the therapy. The foundation of how I approach therapy is collaborative; two people working together, with the shared purpose of creating meaningful change in the life of one of them, the client.
The sessions are usually weekly, and I recommend that all clients begin with this frequency of appointments for at least the first month if possible. There is no financial commitment in advance, or minimum number of sessions you need to have.
- £50 per 1 hour session.
- Concessionary rates - I have a number of appointments available for clients paying a reduced fee. Please feel free to ask me about this if you require it.
Contacting me | Please feel welcome to contact me if you would like to book an appointment, request further information, or to discuss whether Art Psychotherapy would be suitable for you.
The best way to get in touch is by sending an email message through this website, briefly outlining the reason for your enquiry. I always respond to enquiries, so please check your email accounts 'spam/junk' folders if you have not heard from me within a couple of days. You could also include your phone number and I will send a text to let you know I have replied by email, to ensure it is not missed.
You may also contact me by phone. Please be aware that if I am unable to answer, there is no way for me to know that the call came via this website. So you may wish to email me and request a phone call, or try again at a different time.
My approach to therapy
I work in a way that nurtures the process of becoming yourself. To live in accord with what feels right for you, and from your deepest sense of who you really are, can often involve significant challenge, as we encounter resistance from within ourselves, and face challenges from external sources. In practice this means working through what prevents you from living a life which feels fulfilling, and asking 'what might your own version of a more satisfying and meaningful life look like?'
To move towards a greater sense of wholeness requires finding a way of being at home with our most valued qualities, as well as the parts of ourselves which may feel less welcome. We will give consideration to your inner world (emotions, thoughts, dreams), the various people you interact with (family, partners, friends, colleagues), as well as other aspects of life. We can consider any events that you feel are relevant. It can also be important to look beyond your individual self - to the society, culture, and environments that you are participate in - because what happens in these areas can have a significant impact in our individual lives.
What are the sessions like?
The therapy is tailored to you as an individual, and will change and develop according to what you might need from it. Each session begins by allowing you the time and space to start where you are, to look into yourself and see what needs to be considered at that time. You will have the freedom to use art materials during the session if you wish to. This usually involves a period of working on an image, and then reflecting upon what you have made, and your experience of making it. This can be a beneficial way to engage with, and deepen, the themes you bring to therapy, and in my experience, even clients who are hesitant about this at first, are often surprised by how powerful and transformative this can be.
Art Psychotherapy offers a unique invitation to move into a new way of relating to yourself, other people, and the world in which we live. During the therapy session this means adopting an attitude of openness, enquiry, and reflection, as we consider what meaning the 'symptoms' and experiences you describe might have for you. What might they be trying to tell you about your life? What is calling out to be heard? This could be thought of as attending to a process of transformation (think of a 'caterpillar to butterfly' metaphor), which can lead to lasting change, rather than an attempt to only 'get rid' of what feels troubling.
The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) are the regulatory body for Art Psychotherapists in the U.K. My registration number: AS14739. I abide by their code of conduct and ethics.
I have regular clinical supervision with a suitably qualified and experienced therapist.
I hold the required level of indemnity insurance.
I do not begin work with a new client unless I am confident that my knowledge, skills, and experience can meet your concerns.
Training, qualifications & experience
- MA Art Psychotherapy, Goldsmiths College, University of London
- Ba(Hons) 1st Class, Fine Art: Contemporary Media, University of South Wales.
I have 15 years of varied experience within the fields of mental health / psychotherapy / social care, and the Visual Arts. I have held various professional roles within mental health and social care services (both NHS and private sector). My continued practice as a visual artist also informs my familiarity with creative processes and self-expression.
- Art Psychotherapist in private practice.
- Visual artist with continued commitment to professional practice.
- Art Psychotherapist in an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service
- Art Psychotherapy trainee placements in an NHS adult psychiatric inpatient setting, and also in a CAMHS service.
- 4 years working in an NHS community facility for adults following discharge from the local psychiatric hospital.
- Day to day management (including staff supervision) of a local authority accommodation for young adults (16-25) at risk.
- Residential adult mental health service in the private sector with NHS collaboration.
- Elected Professional Member of the Society of Scottish Artists.
Within this range of experience, I have worked with 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
Experience of psychotherapy
It is a requirement for Art Psychotherapists to be in weekly psychotherapy for the duration of their (3 year) training. I also sought this out prior to, and after my studies. This means that I am familiar with what it is like to find a therapist, and to engage in the therapeutic process from the perspective of the client.
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 (HCPC)
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
- Transpersonal Psychology
- Archetypal Psychology
£50.00 per session
Free initial telephone session
Concessions offered for
- All sessions are 1 hour.
- A number of places are available for clients who require a concessionary rate. Please feel welcome to ask me about this.
- I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation for those who would like a brief conversation before deciding whether to arrange an initial appointment.
When I work
Weekend morning's may be available available for single session work.
What is Art Psychotherapy?
"The therapeutic role of the arts in alleviating human suffering and resolving emotional conflict predates the birth of art therapy as a profession by thousands of years. The novelty of art therapy lies in its merging of these practices with the relatively new fields of psychiatry and psychotherapy." (Shaun McNiff)
Art Psychotherapy (or Art Therapy, the terms are interchangeable) in the UK is regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council, with whom I am registered, and I abide by their code of performance and ethics.
Art Psychotherapy is a profession in the field of Counselling and Psychotherapy, and is different from what might be considered 'art based activities,' or 'art as therapy.' Whilst using art materials can certainly have a therapeutic benefit in itself, working with a qualified and experienced Art Psychotherapist is very different. The emphasis is upon engaging with the deeper qualities of images and creative processes, within a therapeutic relationship, in order to nurture experiences of insight and healing.
At the heart of the work is the 'therapeutic relationship' between client and therapist. This term relates to the unique nature of the interaction between the two people, which is intended to create a nurturing, and confidential alliance, based upon trust. This enables you to express any aspect of your experience which needs to be given voice. It is distinct from a friendship, familial, or work relationship because it incorporates clear boundaries, and serves a particular purpose.
The art in art therapy also forms a key part of this 'relationship' between the two people. It is not regarded in terms of its artistic 'merit', but instead offers a means of communication, and mode of expression. 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 into the relationship between the image and your inner life.
I appreciate that using art materials may be unfamiliar for many, and whilst I encourage and support their use during the session, this is always optional. It is worth noting that no prior experience of creating art, or knowledge of art, is required to work with me, or to benefit from the Art Psychotherapy sessions.
Theories and approaches that inform my practice
'Theory informs - Experience Transforms'
My integrative approach to Art Psychotherapy has roots in a number of different psychological theories, and ways of considering the human experience.
Depth Psychology - Is a broad term, referring to any approach to therapy that values and works with the hidden or deeper aspects of human experience. 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. Today this term is understood to refer to elements of Psychoanalytic understanding, Analytical Psychology / Jungian Psychology / Archetypal Psychology - which are all distinct, yet related. These outlooks have important things to offer with regards to both developmental perspectives, and into the mysteries of how we experience life. Importantly, I feel they also acknowledge the vital importance of art, dreams, literature, and many other cultural forms of expression, which is why I find this an appropriate and beneficial fit for the work of Art Psychotherapy.
Psychodynamic Therapy - This refers to working with unconscious processes, helping to understand the pain arising from conflicting feelings, aspects of ourselves that we may have come to view as unacceptable, and the psychological processes which have formed in order to defend us against certain experiences. In practice this also means giving consideration to the dynamics that exist within the 'therapeutic relationship' between client and therapist, sometimes during the therapy session itself.
Transpersonal psychology - Engaging with the relevance of spiritual experiences, 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. This includes acknowledging that humans experience emotional pain due to destruction of the natural world, because we are not separate from it.