Andrew Phillips | Art Psychotherapy / Art Therapy | Newport, Wales
I am an Art Therapist and visual artist, with over ten years experience of working with children, young people, and adults of all ages, in the field of mental health and social care. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), hold professional indemnity insurance, and have an up to date enhanced DBS check. I receive regular clinical supervision from a suitably qualified and experienced therapist.
I offer appointments online, or in person, with flexible time slots, concessionary rates available for those who need them, and a discount for block booking of sessions.
Please feel welcome to 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.
What is Art Psychotherapy, and how can it benefit me?
Art Psychotherapy shares much in common with 'talking therapies,' but as with the other arts therapies (dance, drama, movement), it is both verbal and visual. At the heart of the work is the exploration of creative processes, alongside the 'therapeutic relationship' between client and therapist. No 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 an additional 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. I work with a compassionate and non-judgemental approach, and the therapy space is always one of trust and respect.
Art Psychotherapy can have a beneficial impact upon your wellbeing, and specifically in 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.
- Existential enquiry.
- 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.
Most people who begin therapy are seeking change in one form or another, and on some occasions you may find the session difficult, as the process of bringing about positive change may require that you challenge patterns of thinking and behaviour which no longer serve you well. You will always be treated with an unconditional positive regard, and supported through any difficult phases that may arise as part of the therapeutic process.
Art Psychotherapy can be an appropriate treatment for many symptoms, including;
- Anxiety (or Generalised Anxiety Disorder)
- Panic Attacks
- Feeling Sad
- Low self-esteem / Low self-confidence
People often begin therapy due to one or more of these experiences. In therapy, what are often referred to as 'symptoms' are treated with a certain respect, and we enquire into their meaning, origin, and what needs to be healed or changed. Although the experience of them may not be pleasant, we avoid labelling them as ‘bad’, and instead relate to them as invitations to explore what might have caused them—whether that comes from the present, the past, or usually a mixture of the two. The therapy acknowledges that life can be difficult, we exist within a world that makes many demands of us, and we cannot control certain factors in our environment. We also challenge both the internal and external critic(s), which can create a sense of shame, and distort how we relate to ourselves and others.
How do I work, and what are the therapy sessions like?
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. 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 would '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.
In person appointments
I am available for in person Art Therapy appointments near Newport, and Cardiff, at TIME Counseling and Wellbeing Centre, Risca. All those working at TIME are adhering to the current government Covid-19 guidelines, for the safety of yourselves and the therapists.
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 an accommodation for young adults (16-25) classed as vulnerable, in partnership with a local authority, 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 through a sense of reverence. I emphasise the importance of nurturing our capacity for wonder, as a necessary skill for negotiating the challenges we encounter within our personal lives, and in society. Making art can help us stay open to mystery, and inspire the courage we need when encountering the unexpected. 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 seven years of 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
- Men's work
- Introductory session, short-term and ongoing work.
- £45 per hour - weekdays before 5:30pm
- £50 per hour - 5:30pm onwards and weekends
- Concessions are available on an 'ability' to pay basis, rather than by category. Please feel free to enquire.
- A discount is given when booking and paying in advance for a block of 6 sessions.
Concessions offered for
We begin with an introductory session where 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 with me.
Arranging the therapy sessions
The date and time of the appointments will be led by you, and is treated as ‘confirmed’ when mutually agreed through email, phone, or in person during a therapy session.
For online work, once a time has been confirmed I will send a Zoom invite to your email address in advance of the session. At the time of the session (or shortly before) you can click on this link, and the session will begin once I have ‘admitted’ you to the conversation.
Location for in person sessions
These will take place at TIME Counselling and Wellbeing, 66-67 Tredegar Street, Risca, NP11 6EB.
Online sessions will take place remotely, using Zoom. This is a free to use video conferencing facility, which is safe and secure.
You will need to make sure that your environment for online work provides you with privacy, so you can speak in confidence without being overheard, and without interruption.
If the client is a child, or young person who may need adult assistance in setting up the equipment and logging in for online work - Please ensure that after helping them with this, the young person then has the space to themselves for their confidentiality.
The content of the sessions and any communication between us is treated confidentially. This applies to;
- What is said during the therapy session
- Correspondence via email, text, or any other means
- The artwork you make
- Your personal details and information.
There are specific limitations to the principle of confidentiality;
- If I have reason to believe that you (the client), or any other person, is at risk of serious harm. In such a situation I am professionally obliged to follow an appropriate course of action.
- I am required to report infringements against minors.
- If you are referred for Art Psychotherapy by a court, it is likely that I will be asked to provide a report detailing the therapy.
- A court can subpoena (have access to) all documents and artwork, if you should become subject to legal proceedings.
In work with under 16’s the content of the session still remains confidential, however I would have a degree of contact with a parent or caregiver. This is for the purpose of discussing the development of the therapy in broad terms, within the context of how best to support the child or young person.