Catarina Vasconcelos (HCPC - Art Therapist, Psychologist (MA)
Welcome to my profile.
Please feel free to read below about me and my work approach. I hope you find this information useful and I'm happy to answer any questions that you may have.
I believe that as life happens there are moments of ups and downs. I believe that everyone deserves a holding hand, a smile and a caring gesture. I believe in feeling, reflecting, thinking, expressing and transforming. I believe that "you are not what happened to you; you are what you choose to become" (C. G. Jung).
In my therapy sessions I integrate both my knowledge of Psychology and Art Psychotherapy in order to best support you according to your needs and preferred form of expression.
In order for you to get the most out of therapy, it is important that we develop a collaborative working relationship in which you feel safe and to which you are committed. My role is to listen to you without judgement or prejudice and help you make sense of the reality you are living and of the feelings and thoughts that you are experiencing. I will support you in setting out goals for you and provide you with guidance. With my help you can explore any issues that are getting in the way, learn about yourself and create positive change. It is OK if it feels difficult to think of a goal initially. Please know that this will be your time for yourself and all sessions are strictly confidential.
The use of creative mediums in art therapy enables you to communicate and express yourself, which might include feelings or experiences you find hard to put into words. In art therapy, art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing (BAAT). It is not an art class and no artistic skills are required.
I offer talking sessions as well and depending on what you want to achieve and what makes sense to you, I may suggest particular exercises that may be helpful in allowing you to explore and process something, such as guided visualization, role-plays, body movements. When appropriate, I may as well recommend cognitive-behavioural strategies that may benefit you in developing awareness of thinking-feeling-behaving patterns and in changing these to more helpful ones. Also, sometimes it may be important to work with the relational dynamics that emerge between us and to look your past history, in order to help you in your present process. At all times you are in control and in each session we will work with what is relevant for you at that particular time.
As a psychology clinician and art psychotherapist, I do not see my work as one of fixing people's problems and I rather facilitate your journey and development through a joint creative process. I believe every person is the expert of their own life and holds the clues to guide them in their journey towards their full potential.
As required by my professional body, I attend regular supervision with a professional clinical supervisor, who holds the confidentiality of all my work.
If you feel that you would like to work with me, I would love to hear from you. I'm one chat/phone call away.
Training, qualifications & experience
I am a qualified Art Psychotherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council in the U.K. and a member of the British Association of Art Therapists. I am also a qualified Psychologist (University of Lisbon) and a graduate member of the British Psychological Society and of the Portuguese Council of Psychologists.
My first steps into the world of Counselling Psychology were done in 2008, as part of my MA in Psychology, and they involved working at a community-based service offering individual cognitive-behavioural counselling sessions to adult women who suffered from depression and anxiety.
I soon figured I needed to include creativity in my work, hence I undertook a post-graduation in Expressive Methodologies in Therapy and then a MA in Art Psychotherapy. I have, since then, offered creative therapy to vulnerable children and young people in primary schools, from various ethnic and social backgrounds. Also, I have developed extensive experience working with women of all ages and walks of life: I have offered art therapy to women affected by breast cancer in a hospital setting; and I have offered counselling and art therapy to mothers and carers of children under 5, who experienced difficulties in their lives as parents and individuals.
With continuous passion for my job and in learning from incredible people, I gained a vast experience of working with a number of psychological issues and life changing circumstances, including: bereavement and loss, depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, work related stress, parenting difficulties, postnatal depression, divorce, childhood and adult trauma, abuse (sexual, emotional, physical), neglect, homelessness, learning disabilities, ASD and ADHD diagnoses.
In addition to my clinical work, I have also worked in the academic world, tutoring, supervising and advising students who pursuit a therapeutic training. Alongside my private practice I currently work as a Child Therapist at Solace Women's Aid.
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
- Women's issues.
- Identity issues.
- Loss and Abandonment.
- Family issues.
£45-£70 (depending on location and availability)
Concessions offered for
If you would like to find out more about working with me we can arrange a free telephone consultation so that we can see whether we would be a good fit.
In your first therapy session with me, we will have the opportunity to get to know each other and it is helpful for me to get a sense of your current life situation, history and what has brought you to therapy now. We will use this initial session to explore and contract on how we may work together, depending on your needs and on my approach.
The number of sessions offered varies depending on clients and their individual needs. For people who may benefit from long-term work, I offer sessions up to one year or more.
If you feel that I could help you, I look forward to connecting with you.