Expressive Arts Therapy

I offer individual expressive arts therapy for adults and young people.

Expressive arts therapy helps you work through personal and emotional difficulties through creativity, play and the therapeutic use of the imagination

What is expressive arts therapy?

Expressive arts therapy is an integrative, active and visual form of psychotherapy that encourages the creative expression of thoughts and feelings in a way that can lead to greater self awareness and help make problems more manageable. Expressive arts therapy offers alternative and creative ways of communicating and understanding what may feel difficult to put into words and overwhelming to deal with. It encourages the use of imagery and metaphors to enable the exploration and understanding of difficult issues at a safe distance. The engagement in an ‘as if’ reality opens possibilities for safe and contained ways of understanding, approaching and re-considering past and present personal difficulties, thoughts and emotions.

Expressive arts therapy mobilises the inner imaginative and creative resources of the individual, leading to new skills, greater confidence, resilience and an ability to deal more effectively with situations arising in life. It makes use of a variety of techniques and methods to help address and explore our deepest concerns. These may include the use of embodiment, projective play, creative writing, art making, music, masks, puppets, photography, animation, improvisation, performance, storytelling or storymaking. Expressive arts therapy enables the exploration of the roles one plays in life either explicitly or implicitly. It helps identify existing, latent and new roles in order to increase one’s ability to enjoy a fulfilled life.

What can expressive arts therapy help you with?

Expressive arts therapy helps address a large number of issues, psychological presentations and difficulties. I have more than 15 years of experience as an expressive arts therapist in the NHS, in the voluntary sector and in private practice. Over the years, I have specialised in the following areas:

  • low mood and depression
  • anxiety disorders
  • attachment disorders
  • traumatic life experiences and PTSD
  • loss and bereavement
  • anger and troublesome emotions
  • relationship difficulties
  • life transitions
  • the psychological, physical and occupational impact of health conditions, i.e. COVID-19

Do you need to be good at art?

Definitely not! Expressive arts therapy is accessible to all and does not require previous experience in the arts. It is a medium that helps develop self-awareness and the ability to work through personal difficulties. The engagement with the arts provides an opportunity to communicate and explore personal issues from a different perspective. Ultimately, the therapy aims at meeting your personal needs. This means that there is also space for talking and reflection.

Is a taster session possible?

You will be invited to attend an initial assessment session to discuss whether the therapy could meet your individual needs. You will then be able to make an informed decision as to whether you wish to carry on with the treatment. The initial assessment will also give you a better understanding of expressive arts therapy.

How long is the treatment for?

This will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. The initial assessment session will help clarify the length and focus of the therapy.

What do people say about my practice?

Below is a short podcast with the clinical director of a rehab unit who comments on the effectiveness of a dramatherapy treatment programme that I delivered.

Other feedback can be viewed on the testimonials page.

You might also like to read an article co-written by myself and one of my ex-clients about his experience of expressive arts therapy, and published in the 2019 April/May edition of Mental Health Nursing. This article is available here.

Can it be trusted?

Arts therapy (art, music and drama) is a recognised and protected profession in the UK that can only be practiced by those fully trained, qualified and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

I am fully qualified and registered as an arts therapist with HCPC. I practice in accordance with the HCPC standards of ethics and professional practice. I am certified group work practitioner with the Institute of Group Analysis, and certified in Trauma Treatments with the British Psychological Society. I am also a member of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association. I am fully insured and in possession of an enhanced DBS check.

I am listed in Psychology Today and the Counselling Directory.

How much will it cost?

See Fees.

What next?

For queries, to arrange an appointment or make a referral, please see my details on the contact page.