Michael Cousin / BAAT & HCPC Registered Art Psychotherapist
Prior to training as an Art Psychotherapist, I was a contemporary artist and curator with 20 years of experience. I have both a BA (Hons) and a Master’s Degree in Fine Art and a Master’s Degree in Art Psychotherapy
I am registered and licensed by the Health and Care Professions Council to legally practice under the title Art Psychotherapist. I am a registered member of the British Association of Art Therapists and adhere to their guidelines and ethics.
The majority of my experience has been with children and young people who have experienced multiple traumatic events (complex trauma) such as severe neglect, domestic or state violence, rape and sexual abuse. These clients are often struggling with the long-term impact of these experiences and may exhibit symptoms such as; increased aggression or anger, disturbed sleep, variation or loss of appetite, self-harm, suicidal thoughts or attempts, depression and anxiety, flashbacks and possible development of other psychiatric disorders. I also have experience of working with adults.
I also have experience of working with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Schizo-Affective Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), plus clients suffering from severe anxiety, the effects of bereavement and bullying (both physical and online).
Training, qualifications & experience
- 2013 – 2020 Full Member of the British Association of Art Therapists, London.
- 2016 – 2020 Enhanced DBS.
- 2016 – 2020 Registered with the Health & Care Professions Council, London.
Awards and Funding
- 2012 Creative Wales Ambassadors Award Winner, Arts Council of Wales.
- 2007 Major Creative Wales Award Winner, Arts Council of Wales.
- 2019 Solution Focused CBT. Two-day training course by Dr. Biba Rebolj / Ribalon Institute.
- 2019 Trauma Focussed CBT for Children & Young People with PTSD. Two-day training course with David Trickey at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.
- 2018 Dyadic Parent-Child Art Psychotherapy Training Level 1 by BAAT.
- 2018 Childhood Sexual Exploitation & Sexual Exploitation Risk Assessment Framework training by New Pathways.
- 2017 ASIST training (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) by New Pathways.
- 2015 10-week training programme with New Pathways in rape and sexual abuse counselling.
- 2013 – 2016 University of South Wales, Caerleon. Art Psychotherapy, Masters Degree (Merit)
- 1996 – 1998 University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. Fine Art, Masters Degree.
- 1993 – 1996 Southampton Institute of Art and Technology. Fine Art, BA (Hons), First Class.
2015 – 2016 Art Psychotherapist, New Pathways, Newport and Merthyr Tydfil. Placement as part of MA Art Psychotherapy course with the award-winning organisation specialising in rape and sexual abuse counselling. Attached to the children's unit working with clients aged 3 – 19. Current Enhanced DBS Certificate.
2014 – 2015 Art Psychotherapist, Newport Community Counselling Service (NCCS). Placement as part of MA Art Psychotherapy course working with asylum seekers and refugees suffering from PTSD in Newport City Centre.
2002 – 2003 Listening Volunteer, fully trained for listening duties with Samaritans in Cardiff.
2019 - 2020 Primary School Therapist with Torfaen Young People's Counselling Service.
2018 – 2020 Self-employed Art Psychotherapist in private practice.
2017 - 2019 Private Counsellor for Associated Community Training (ACT)
2016 – 2019 Art Psychotherapist for New Pathways, Newport. Working with children, young people and adults who have experienced sexual violence.
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
I believe that the therapeutic process should be available to as many people as possible so my fees will be reflected by a client's ability to pay. I offer an initial free consultation by telephone or online via Zoom where we can discuss what you would like to focus on and I can also signpost you to other sources of information or support if necessary.
My standard fee for waged clients is £50 for face to face sessions / £40 for sessions conducted through Zoom or WhatsApp with a further reduction for those on a low or reduced income. The lower rate of £40 is also the charge for those training to be Art Psychotherapists and I have over four years of full time experience as a therapist in accordance with current guidelines.
Block bookings are also available with an additional 10% reduction. I will reserve a proportion of my sessions for those that are unable to pay.
I operate a 24 hour cancellation policy.
Concessions offered for
I have a flexible schedule so please get in touch to see if I can offer you sessions to suit your availability.
A session of art therapy gives you the space and time to be creative in order to help you on your way to better mental health. Being creative can mean many things in art therapy; it can include the use of traditional art materials to draw, paint or sculpt, through writing and poetry or music. But it can also mean being creative through play, being creative with words, ideas, memories and dreams.
The act of creation is essentially re-defining or re-imagining what is already there to create a new perspective. When actively participated in it can be a powerful tool for healing. Some clients are understandably nervous about this, maybe thinking that they have to be 'good at drawing' for instance, but this isn't the case. Using creativity in the sessions is about the act and not the result. These acts can allow the release of negative emotions, they can resurrect parts of the self that were thought lost. Sometimes they can re-connect you with who you really are and reduce the effects of what has happened to you.
I don't direct my clients by telling them what I think they should use or do, I guide them to rediscover what they already possess within themselves. This is a healing process that allows the client to find their independence through creative methods of their own devising.
For some this has been achieved by reconnecting with old, beloved toys. For others it has been the recollection of times when they were in control, when they were empowered. It can also be the re-writing of dreams, the re-scripting of their own life stories, to see themselves in a new light. When a client finds their creative method it can help them regain control over themselves and increase their self-worth. These are valuable steps towards healing the damage caused by past traumas or improving their positive identity within an existing condition.
My role as a therapist is to hear and see you as you are now, then to guide you and support you in the discovery of who you might want to be.
"Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. Within this context, art is not used as diagnostic tool but as a medium to address emotional issues which may be confusing and distressing." The British Association of Art Therapists.