Deborah Aita, Arts Psychotherapist.

Deborah Aita, Arts Psychotherapist.



07989 920188

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About me

I am an Arts Psychotherapist.  Please read further if you would like to understand what this is, and particularly if you 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 sometimes 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, or a story, can be seen as metaphorical so it has lots of layers of meaning.  Think of traditional fairy stories and their layers of meaning.  Arts therapy involves exploring these meanings as they relate to your self and your way of being in the world.  There are many ways of working creatively and each person will do this is their own way.  We might use an object as a symbol or metaphor to think about a problem or 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.

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 can 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 bereavement, anxiety, depression, addictions and low self esteem, 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 diagnostic label, such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder, but it is your own personal experience that is important to understand so as 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 symptoms, such as dissociation and psychosis, 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.



If you have been bereaved for over six months but feel you are unable to move on with your life more fully, if you feel stuck and your grief is dominating your life, then you may find this group programme helpful.

I have run the programme twice a year for 8yrs and 100% of people who attended said they found it helpful.  The group will be small to facilitate trust and support so that people can share their experiences with other participants if they wish.  The programme works through a process of structured creative arts sessions that address the tasks or stages of grief.  No previous experience of the arts is necessary.

The cost to attend the programme is £320 which includes an initial one-to-one session with myself followed by six 2-hour group sessions spread over eight weeks.  If after the initial session you do not wish to proceed onto the programme the cost is £50.  All art materials are supplied.

The programme will run on Thursday afternoons in Branksome, Bournemouth.  This is a closed psychotherapeutic group which means that you must start at the first session and cannot join midway.  If you are interested, or know of someone else who could benefit from this programme, please contact me soon.

Training, qualifications & experience

After a long career in the arts I decided to train as a Dramatherapist at Roehampton University.  This training is a Master's qualification and involves being on training placements and in personal therapy, as well as writing papers and extended projects, and a final dissertation. Dramatherapy is one of the three Arts Therapies recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (drama, art and music) and the required training is at the same level as other MA 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 attend regular 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 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, pre- and post-bereavement, and supporting staff through clinical supervision.  I now work with children, young people and adults, freelancing for a number of organisations, including Chroma and the Foster Care Association, with a private practice based near the centre of Bournemouth.

Member organisations

Registered / Accredited


Other areas of counselling I deal with





Complex Trauma

Developmental Trauma

Photos & videos

  • Deborah Aita, Arts Psychotherapist. image 1
  • Deborah Aita, Arts Psychotherapist. image 2


£50 per one hour session

Maps & Directions

Bournemouth, BH5
Bournemouth, BH2

Type of session

Online counselling: No
Telephone counselling: No
Face to face counselling: Yes
Home visits: No

Practical details

Sign language: No
Other languages: None


Accessibility information
Wheelchair access: No


Please email or phone for availability

Types of client

Young people
Older adults