It’s not always easy or straightforward to choose a therapist. It’s important you’re comfortable and confident and you find someone who suits you.
An introductory meeting is a good way to find out whether you think I can offer the help you need and to decide how we work together. You can talk about what has been happening for you and what has led you to find a psychotherapist.
I have been working with people and their images for over thirty years and have been an art psychotherapist for over ten years.
Who I work with
I work with adults and young adults. Each person I work with is a unique individual with their own story. As such, my approach is tailored to suit each person.
Sometimes it’s hard to say exactly what’s amiss – things just don’t feel ‘right’. You may feel dissatisfied or unfulfillled. You might be struggling to break free from patterns of behaviour which are harmful or obstructive.
The people I work with can sometimes be struggling with depression or anxiety. They can be coping with illness, bereavement, difficult family or work situations. Sometimes they are struggling with the aftermath of trauma - sometimes as adults affected by trauma experienced in childhood.
You can take the time, in sessions, to think about what has been happening for you and about how to make changes.
Art Psychotherapy Sessions – what to expect
You can explore what is significant to you and how you have been affected. Art psychotherapy can help you understand yourself and help you take steps to make changes that are of benefit to you.
Art psychotherapy sessions last for an hour. In the session, there’s no pressure either to make images or, if you do, to talk about them. It’s in your hands. I’ll support you to make it therapeutically beneficial.
I have a wide variety of materials for you to use to make pictures, models, patterns, doodles, collages or combinations of all of them! They include craft materials, fabrics, cardboard, papers, paints, pens, modelling clay, pastel colours and crayons.
In art psychotherapy the images themselves, and the process of making them, can lead to insights which can help you make changes and develop personal strength and resilience
A colour, shape or texture can express things that are difficult to put into words. Experiencing them can help in working towards exploring thoughts, feelings and memories.Talking about this can create opportunities for new insights and potential for change.
Sessions are sometimes spent talking when that feels more appropriate.
Working with images in the presence of the therapist; making marks, using art materials like paint and clay and found objects, such as textiles and photographs, can make it possible to unlock and explore thoughts and feelings in ways that sometimes words can’t achieve.
Using photos in therapy
As part of my practice, I offer the option of phototherapy. Looking at photos can lead to responses and reflections which can stimulate conversation, leading to personal insights when explored safely, supported by a trained art psychotherapist. Photos can be ‘found’ from magazines, postcards or brochures; or be personal snapshots and family photos.
"Do I have to be good at art?"
You definitely don’t need to feel ‘good’ at art. Art skills aren’t needed for art therapy! And there’s no pressure to make images – it’s in your hands.
Using art materials can help you understand yourself and your feelings.
Where are sessions held?
Based in a safe, confidential space in Wirksworth, in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales, I offer individual, one to one sessions and also hold small group workshops.
This is a roomy, bright, safe space with lots of scope for making, talking and reflecting. There is nearby free, on street parking.
I also work in The Matlock Therapy Centre, 2 mins walk from the council car park
Working with organisations and groups, I devise and facilitate custom-made creative therapeutic workshops.
Training, qualifications & experience
Registered with Health and Care Professions Council
Licensed independent practitioner with British Association of Art Therapists
Associate of Phototherapy.org.uk
Member of British Association of Art Therapists Special Interest Group -
‘Art Therapy with Children, Adolescents and Families’
NHS Essential training in safeguarding children
Derbyshire County Council Safeguarding children and young people in schools
Member of university contemporary neurobiology and psychotherapy research group
MA Art Psychotherapy, University of Derby
Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Institute of Education, University of London
BA hons. Design, Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, London
Continuing Training Undertaken
Mindfulness art therapy for wellbeing and recovery
Multiple personality disorder
Working creatively with people living with dementia
Public school syndrome
Dyadic child and parent art therapy
Children and trauma
Working with children and families in the aftermath of trauma
Children in art therapy and the wrap around team
Drama & movement and music therapy
Short term psychodynamic psychotherapy
Compassion and fear of affiliative emotions
Attachment and the arts
Art psychotherapist - Children and Adolescents Mental Health Service Clinic
Art psychotherapist - Adult Acute Mental Health Hospital Day Care Unit
Art psychotherapist – Schools, with children and young people aged 5 – 18
Independent art psychotherapist working with adults, young people and children
Volunteer with REMCARE - reminiscence groups for people with dementia and their family caregivers.
Community artist working with adults and children
University Lecturer in School of Art and Design
Art teacher in secondary schools
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
For a private individual, an hour long one to one session - £50
For trainee therapists, an hour long one to one session - £45
For organisations, an hour long one to one session - £6
An introductory meeting is free of charge
9.00 - 6.30 Monday to Friday
Julia managed “ to help us–the survivors of this horrible illness– to relax, open up, access memories that were indeed troubling and more usually suppressed, but in an atmosphere of support, understanding, acceptance and laughter.”
“The activity of making images, even just manipulating media whilst mentally engaged with this difficult material, provides an unspoken means of processing, perhaps going some small way towards resolving, what were traumatic experiences and extreme emotions. There comes a point when words are simply not enough.”
“I for one returned home with a spring in my step and a new cautious optimism.”
Personal experience of attendee at residential therapeutic workshop
“ … she has worked with some of the most vulnerable and disaffected pupils, supporting them back into main stream learning”
Deputy headteacher of primary school
“..she has made a considerably positive impact on the lives of the young people that she has worked with.”
Vice principal of secondary school