Deborah Aita, Arts Psychotherapist.
I am an Arts Psychotherapist. Please read further if you're seeking a deeper understanding of yourself and wish to go beyond talking by working creatively to express your feelings and explore the hidden or unconscious parts of your self that may be controlling your behaviours.
Arts Psychotherapy does involve talking, just like traditional counselling or 'talking' therapies, but it is a psychological therapy that doesn't have to rely on words. It is a creative way of working that is really helpful for those who struggle to find words to describe their feelings and thoughts, but also for those who are very good at talking but who may tend to rationalise their emotions or rely on cognitive interpretations for what is going on for them.
If you think of the phrase 'a picture paints a thousand words' you may get a sense of how Arts Psychotherapy (or Arts Therapy as it is also called) works. Often a picture is metaphorical, or it could be a story or an object as well as an image, so it has lots of layers of meaning. Therapy involves exploring these meanings to see how they relate to your self and your way of being in the world, seeing how they may cause psychological distress and relationship issues. We might use objects to think about a problem or a story to help you think metaphorically; you might look at an image or you might make one yourself from objects or art materials; you might express a feeling with a drawing or a movement; you could imagine you are a character from a story; read or write a poem. There are so many ways of working creatively and each person will do this in their own way. No experience of the arts is necessary because Arts Therapy is about expressing who you are and not about making something 'perfect'. The way you express yourself is individual to you and I will support you to access that individuality. Although many people say they're not creative I firmly believe we are all creative in our different ways because even basic functioning in the world requires creative thinking. I am also able to support you to draw on your strengths through development of mindfulness practice which gives further tools to think around a problem and deepen your understanding of your self. There are common difficulties and symptoms that bring people to therapy, such as anxiety or depression, but it is how these are experienced by you, as someone with a unique history, that is key to how you can recover from them. You may have been given a label, such as Complex Trauma, or Generalised Anxiety Disorder, or a personality disorder, but again your own personal experience of these is what is important in order to work towards change.
There is a wealth of research evidence to show that Arts Therapies are effective in treating the full range of psychological issues and in particular it is indicated for work with trauma. All trauma has a story but it can be very difficult for those who have experienced a traumatic past to remember or piece together their own particular story. Some stories seem too painful to acknowledge so we hide them, guard them not only from others but from ourselves. These hidden stories, or parts of stories, 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 story, through metaphor and symbol, so that the stories that matter to you can be released from your unconscious and cease to control you. 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, utilising the non-rational, pre-verbal, limbic parts of the brain and what is sometimes called 'implicit memory', to find what the issues are. With ongoing developments in neuroscience we now know how important it is to access these parts of the brain in order to ensure long lasting healing. Alongside a collaborative, creative, intuitive and spontaneous approach I offer tried and tested safe structures to support you to fully engage in the process of examining your life, behaviour and feelings, so that you can live your life more fully.
Training, qualifications & experience
- After a long career in the arts I trained as a Dramatherapist at Roehampton University. Dramatherapy is one of the four Arts Therapies recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (drama, art, movement and music) and the required training is at the same level as other Masters level psychological therapy trainings.
I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as an Arts Therapist and abide by their codes of conduct for safe and appropriate practice. I am also registered with the Information Communications Office (ICO) to ensure data protection. In order to keep my skills and knowledge up to date I fully engage in ongoing professional development as well as monthly clinical supervision. I have presented papers and workshops at the conferences for the British Association of Dramatherapists and the Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains.
My training placements were in adolescent secure units and a large mental health forensic hospital for adults, and my postgraduate dissertation centred on the uses of role based interventions in the treatment of schizophrenia. I was employed for nine years as Lead Arts Psychotherapist at Weldmar Hospicecare, working with patients, family members and carers, both individually and in groups, as well as supporting staff through clinical supervision. I now freelance for a number of organisations, including the Foster Care Association, Chroma, and Southampton Adoption Services, working with children and young people. My private practice with young people and adults is based near the centre of Bournemouth.
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
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Photos & videos
£50 per one hour session
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Please email or phone for availability
Types of client