I am trained in Person Centred Counselling with experiential training in Expressive Arts Therapy. This method, used alongside counselling is based on Natalie Rogers work. She believed that we all have the ability to create and that the creative process can be harnessed for change. In sessions I always offer art materials to assist in the process of self exploration and expression. This is often an enjoyable and revealing process bringing fresh creative insight to the work. I offer group therapy and one to one.
I believe that each person has the right to express their own story and uniqueness in a safe, non judgemental environment. My belief and experience over many years is that we all have the inner capacity for change, creativity and to find our own way towards a more fulfilling life. At times this is hard to see if we become overwhelmed with emotional pain or distress. My approach is to provide a space for you where we can work through this at your pace using mark making and images alongside counselling. We can also use art and collage to focus on desired changes and aspirations. I firmly believe that in this way we can work through difficulties and come to a place where you feel happier and more in control.
I bring my sensitivity and empathic perception to my work , alongside creative insight from over 20 years of using therapeutic art and collage for my self. I bring my passion for all things creative and therapeutic and my firm faith in this approach.
I hold individual sessions from Cornerstone in Lancaster which is located close to the city centre, with parking facilities near by. It is also wheelchair accessible.
Individual sessions are one hour and I offer art materials in the sessions, with guidance on how to use them if you are new to it all. We focus on mark making as a reference for exploration, expression and psychological healing. We can also use images created in between sessions if you would like to use them as a reference point.
I facilitate a small therapy group at the Friends Meeting House in Lancaster every Tuesday, where I encourage participants to use mark making and art as a form of self expression. I provide art materials and guidance on how to use them to explore issues that people would like to work with. Participants bring a variety of issues and experiences to the group and everyone has the chance to talk about these during the beginning check in. We then have a short relaxation which is a simple breathing exercise before focusing on how to translate inner feelings into a simple picture form. We take about 45 minutes for the creative exercise, reflecting on the images afterwards. People can say as much or as little about the images and their personal meaning to them. It is a safe supportive group where participants enjoy engaging with the process. We are currently taking new members.
If you would like to come along to the group we would meet or speak on the phone to discuss the boundaries and confidentiality before you join
Creative Expressive Therapy simply means expressing ourself through colour, line, shape and form using art or collage materials. If you struggle to describe your experiences in words it may be really useful for you to try this method of self expression. It gets us back in touch with our emotions and creativity and goes beyond the limits of verbal communication.
Sometimes we believe that we can't draw or paint because we didn't meet certain standards set at school or college. However creativity is not a restrictive or a precise process, it can open us up to finding new ways of speaking out and expressing even really difficult emotions. The images can be very simple or abstract and can still give us insight into ourselves. Feelings come through as shapes, symbols or colours which have individual personal meaning. There is no right or wrong in this process, you can experiment with different mediums, different colours and shapes exploring your own feeling states in a safe and often enjoyable way. In this process you are the author of your experience, to speak through this fascinating language without restriction or judgement. You won't need any previous experience or skill. I provide all materials (with the exception of art journals) and you're welcome to bring images you've created independently.
If you are someone who struggles to be assertive and speak up for yourself then you may benefit from using creative therapy to focus on communication with yourself and others. Through simple mark making and experimentation we can focus on what you feel and what you want to say in a safe supportive environment. It may sound strange to say that creative techniques can strengthen your voice but in my experience they can. The creative outlet reduces the pent up stress of feeling that you can't speak up and can help you identify areas of your life you'd like to work on. Creativity in this kind of environment is authentic and real and can bring about insight and awareness.
Training, qualifications & experience
I have a Diploma (H.E) in Person Centred Counselling from University of Cumbria 2010
I have over 100 hours training in Person Centred Expressive Arts Therapies Dinah Brown 2011 Kendal
50 hours Expressive Art Therapy training The Adult College Lancaster 2007-2011
I have facilitated over 50 workshops in organisations across Lancashire including Making Space, The Well, Willow Lane N.H.S Specialist Rehabilitation Unit, Peer Support House and several women's groups. I have also delivered workshops at Halton Mill and The Tara Centre. I continue to work with groups who want to work through emotional distress and improve psychological wellness using creativity.
My background is in Holistic Therapies, Educational Mentoring and Psychological support for mental health and long term illness. I have also trained in Domestic Violence Awareness (Women's Aid), Interpersonal Skills (OCNW), Vocational Mentoring (OCNW), Difference and Diversity (NCBI) and Mixed Media Design and crafts (City and Guilds)
Areas of expertise
Work Related Stress
I have several years experience working with professionals in teaching, N.H.S and Welfare Services experiencing depression and high anxiety due to work stress. Professional occupations have higher rates of work related stress, depression and anxiety, than all other occupation categories. If you're feeling like this, you're not alone.
In Great Britain 595,000 workers suffer from work related stress, depression and anxiety.
When we experience work and financial pressure it's difficult to balance this with family or social life, we can feel that our life is no longer in our own hands. It can be hard to deal with the power dynamics of a stressful job or profession and our health can be affected. Working through this with talking and mark making in a neutral, safe space can help to identify coping strategies, build inner resources and prioritise self care. When self esteem is raised we feel better, more in control and able to handle difficult situations.
I have worked with many young people from the age of 13 to 19 years of age both at Lancaster and Morecambe College and in private practice. Many young people feel isolated with identity and mental health struggles. The pressure of exams, relationships,sexuality and image can be extremely intense and young people face long waiting lists in order to access support. Relatives often feel extremely concerned and at a loss to help.
I feel that it is crucial that young persons can access support when it's needed to reduce distress. I offer individual or group support to help the person develop creative tools to express difficult feelings and explore their mental health issues in a a safe way. This can help build up coping strategies and self esteem.
I have an enhanced CRB to work with children and young people and have spent time since the birth of my own child facilitating children's groups in the local area.
I have worked with people from across the spectrum of gender and sexuality and am committed to supporting the LGBTQA+ community. I have worked on a long term basis with people at various stages of transition, accepting the person exactly as they are. I feel that as a society we have work to do in embracing a view that is broader than the one created by the binary system we live in today.
I have worked with clients of different genders who experience relationship difficulties and want to make change. I believe that as individuals we have the right to be who we are free from oppression, manipulation or abuse and to express our feelings and needs appropriately. Emotional change can be painful and I provide a safe and holding environment to support you through it.
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anorexia nervosa
- Binge-eating disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Body dysmorphic disorder
- Bulimia nervosa
- Domestic violence
- Eating disorders
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Gender dysphoria
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Health anxiety
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Panic attacks
- Physical abuse
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Postnatal depression
- Pregnancy and birth
- Relationship problems
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Separation and divorce
- Sexual abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
- Work-related stress
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Coercive control, gaslighting, oppression, separation where children are involved, historic abuse, LGBTQA+ issues.
Individual sessions cost £30-£35 depending on circumstances. All materials are provided.
The cost for the Tuesday therapy group is on a sliding scale depending on your circumstances, ranging from £10-30. We currently have places available for new members.
The cost for attending workshops is between £10 and £30 and for organisations I charge £35 per hour.
All materials for groups are provided and you're welcome to bring some of your own if you would like.
Appointments can be made to fit around work hours and family life and I have some weekend appointments available as well as some on Monday or Tuesday evenings. We would meet to agree our counselling contract, talk about Confidentiality and also about how the sessions would work before starting individual work.
If you would like to join a group or workshop then please email me and we can take it from there.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|