Deborah Aita, Arts Psychotherapist, Dramatherapist, HCPC registered.
Because you may not have come across ARTS PSYCHOTHERAPY before here is a brief guide to how it works. Arts psychotherapy involves talking, just like traditional 'talking therapies', but it also mixes the talking with 'doing' so that we don't have to rely on words. This way of working is really helpful, both for those who struggle to find the words to describe their feelings and thoughts, and also for those who are really good at talking and may tend to rationalise their emotions with lots of words. If you think of the phrase 'a picture paints a thousand words' you may get a sense of how arts psychotherapy works. The 'picture' might be a painting, a story, or an object but the idea is that we get an image in our heads that says more than a thousand words might.
The doing bit of arts psychotherapy is about stimulating creative thinking to get around a problem or to think of it in a different way. By utilising different parts of the brain we can make connections that might not otherwise happen, or that might take longer to occur to us. To do this we might use objects to help you see a problem visually or we might use a story to help you think metaphorically. You might draw or describe an image; we might imagine we are characters in a story or people from your life; you might read or write a poem to express a feeling or experience. There are so many ways of working creatively and part of my job is to be sensitive to what might work for you, what will suit your own unique personality and ways of being.
There are many reasons why people come to psychotherapy, and often the main reason is accompanied by other factors that contribute to the problem. For instance, anxiety may compound relationship difficulties because of unhelpful responses to stress, or a relationship issue itself may lead to difficult feelings such as anxiety or depression. You may feel confused, hopeless, angry, sad: all of these and more, unable to make changes or live your life to the full. You may have suffered a bereavement or a relationship break-up, or you may be struggling to make a transition in your life because of illness or age. You may have a mental health diagnosis such as depression or bipolar disorder and you may be on medication to manage an illness. There is plenty of research evidence to show that the arts psychotherapies are effective in treating the full range of issues that bring people to psychotherapy.
Many people do not know what ails them and this is where arts psychotherapy can be so helpful because it works 'obliquely', coming sideways at a problem. Using a collaborative creative, intuitive and spontaneous approach I offer you safe structures and tried and tested methods to support you to fully engage in the process of examining your life, behaviour and feelings.
We all need to tell our own stories, to say who we are, but sometimes we hide aspects of our most important stories in our unconscious because they are too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves. Because these stories are hidden they can control us, impacting on our way of living, affecting our relationships and behaviour, and we may feel powerless to change. Working safely and confidentially I support you to access your imagination, through metaphor and symbol, so that the stories that matter to you can be released from your unconscious and cease to control you.
You need have no experience of the arts to make use of the arts therapies. Many people tell me that they're not creative but I firmly believe we are all creative in our different ways because even basic functioning in the world requires creative thinking. I am able to find effective ways for you to draw on the creative thinking skills that you already have so that you can think around a problem, so that you can find understanding in ways that words alone may not allow. There are many misconceptions about what arts psychotherapy is so do look at my website which explains how this oblique approach to psychotherapy works.
Training, qualifications & experience
After a long career in the arts I trained as a Dramatherapist at Roehampton University. My student placements were in adolescent secure units and a large mental health forensic hospital. My final dissertation centred on the uses of role based interventions in the treatment of schizophrenia.
I am registered as an Arts Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and abide by their codes of conduct. I have presented at the conferences for the British Association of Dramatherapists and the Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains.
Until September 2018 I was employed for nine years as Lead Arts Psychotherapist at Weldmar Hospicecare. I now work privately, as well as freelancing for a number of organisations including the Foster Care Association.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Attachment disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Child related issues
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Passive aggressive behaviour
- Personality disorders
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Pregnancy and birth
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Photos & videos
£50 per one hour session
(£35 for initial/first session)
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Please contact for availability
Types of client