Therapy is a time for you to express yourself either verbally or by using art materials, in a non-judgmental space about the things that matter to you.
No issues are too big or too small.
Because we are all different and depending on what problem you are experiencing, I use a variety of psychodynamic therapeutic skills including, Talking therapy, Art therapy, Emotionally Focussed Couple Therapy, Couple therapy and EMDR therapy.
A wide range of people can benefit from these psychological treatments, but no one type of treatment works for everyone.
Different kinds of therapy work well for different people.
Psychotherapy can help us understand how we behave, what motivates us, and how past experiences can affect current behavior. By expressing whatever is uppermost in our mind, our experiences, our memories, dreams, feelings, thoughts, fears, and desires, within the safety of the therapeutic relationship, we can explore the relevance of life's experiences.
Therapy can help us manage and cope with difficult emotions, including anxiety, depression, and stress. Difficult experiences and mental health problems. Individuals who benefit from therapy include those who have felt depressed, anxious, overwhelmed or angry for a long time. Others may be trying to deal with adverse life events such as going through a divorce or feeling overwhelmed by an illness diagnosis that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. Some may be grieving a family member's death or a few may have experienced trauma either recently of during their childhood.
The aim of therapy is to enable us to live a more fulfilling life and help us reach our full potential in the face of life's limitations.
Reasons to use Art as Therapy
Art has the potential to transform lives, research informs us that art improves not only our quality of life, but also is effective in reducing pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, stress and increasing cognitive abilities and emotional well-being. When words are not enough, we use images and artwork to tell our stories. In telling our stories through art, we find pathways to wellness, recovery and transformation.
Art psychotherapy / Art therapy is a mental health treatment that combines the therapeutic relationship with the creative process of art making. Art therapy usually involves some talking however it also relies on non-verbal communication.
This treatment can be beneficial for clients of all ages from an array of different backgrounds and experiences. Clients may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illnesses.
Art therapy usually involves some talking however it also relies on non-verbal communication.
The creative process is an amazing way to communicate when words alone are not enough. By using art materials, we can express and release powerful feelings such as anger, frustration, anxiety and depression. These can be contained, transformed, or symbolically disposed of, through the artwork in a safe and non-destructive way.
Art therapy for adults is particularly useful for individuals who feel distanced from their emotions and feelings. Some people find it difficult to articulate their painful experiences, without becoming overwhelmed emotionally and would, therefore, find it difficult to benefit from talking therapies.
Adults experiencing the following disorders or problems can benefit from treatment:
anxiety, stress, low self-esteem, conflict resolution, interpersonal relationship or family problems, learning disabilities, bereavement, eating disorders, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, terminal or chronic diseases, such as cancer and chronic pain, alcohol or drug addiction, trauma, including sexual, physical, or emotional abuse.
No technical skills are necessary and you do not have to be good at art
to benefit from art therapy.
Some people feel this form of psychotherapy as less intimidating than Talking Therapy.
Art Therapy is particularly useful for children and young people, as it works with their natural sense of creativity and playfulness.
Art therapy can be used to help children who are struggling to make full use of school life and academic learning. This might be for a wide range of reasons such as a recent bereavement; changes in family circumstances; witnessing difficult things; learning or physical difficulties, or problems with peer relationships.
When pupils are experiencing emotional difficulties, they find learning very hard.
Children who cannot understand or name their feelings are more likely to 'act them out,' so art therapy can provide relief to a child whose only previous option was to dissolve into tears or have an angry outburst in response to overwhelming feelings. Art materials enable children to externalize troubling or confusing emotions, giving them form and enabling them to make links between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, perhaps for the first time (Brady,2016).
Trauma -informed Art therapy is widely used in the treatment of unresolved trauma for children, teenagers and adults.
Children experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties.
Children with social or communication difficulties.
Children who are Looked After Children.
Children who have suffered abuse, bullying or trauma.
Children who have witnessed domestic abuse or other traumatic incidents.
Children who are struggling with particular life events such as bereavement, parental separation, or illness.
Children who have experienced loss.
Children who are in danger of exclusion.
Children who have learning difficulties or physical difficulties
Children who have Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Children and young people who may benefit from Art Therapy include;
Exposure to traumatic events can become trapped within our memory network on a neurobiological level. These memories can become trapped and stay stored as sensory memories which are unavailable to our conscious mind. The memories are stored as sounds, tastes, smells, visual images, and feelings. Art therapy provides sensory experiences which are predominantly activities that are visual, tactile, olfactory and auditory.
As traumatic memories are stored in subconscious parts of our brain they are not easily assessable to our cognitive brain. Individuals who have experiences of trauma are unable to form a coherent memory of the event, their story is either disjointed of snippets. Trauma-informed art therapy takes into consideration how the mind and body respond to traumatic events; recognises that symptoms are adaptive coping strategies rather than pathology; and helps individuals move from being "survivors" to being "thrives" (Malchoidi,2012a)
The process of art making transcends words and triggers different parts of the brain and the subconscious. Which helps reconnect sensory memories to gain a new depth of understanding. The resulting artwork enables the child/adult tell their story.
The therapy is used to improve an individual's capacity to self-regulate affect and moderate the body's reactions to traumatic experiences to set the stage for eventual trauma integration and recovery. Trauma-informed art therapy can also address and enhance attachment, particularly in children who have experienced multiple traumas and losses (Malchoidi, 2014). In work with either a child or an adult, the goal is to help the individual recover the "creative life" (Cattanach,2008) and to gain or regain a sense of well-being in oneself and in relationship to others. For more information about the Impact of Trauma please click
For further information on Art therapy, please follow the link for British Association for Art Therapy (BAAT) http://www.baat.org/
For an overview of Art Therapy Techniques and Outcomes please visit Art Therapy Has Many Faces by Judith Aron Rubinhttps://www.psychotherapy.net/video/art-therapy
Art Therapies have been included in NICE guidelines as a treatment to consider for children and young people with psychosis and schizophrenia. http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/CG155
The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) will pay for therapeutic services that are not currently provided by local authorities including Art therapy, for Adopted children living in England.http://www.adoptionsupportfund.co.uk/
Neuroscientist Dr Lukasz Konopka, who also featured in ‘Art for Heroes’, has worked extensively with Vietnam Veterans who have PTSD and has done scientific research into the effects of Art Therapy. http://www.combatstress.org.uk/media/78069/combats... .
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing EMDR
For more information about EMDR http://www.emdrassociation.org.uk/home/about_EMDR_therapy.htm
For more information about the Impact of Trauma please click
EMDR is one of the treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Post-traumatic-stress-disorder/Pages/Treatment.aspx
EMDR is also increasingly used to help individuals with other issues and performance anxiety. EMDR has been found to be of benefit to children as well as adults. http://www.emdrassociation.org.uk/home/about_EMDR_therapy.htm
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychological therapy which is an extremely effective treatment for adults and children who have had traumatic experiences.
When we think about traumatic incidents, the obvious ones include life-threatening combat; crimes such as rape, kidnapping, and assault; natural disasters and a cancer diagnosis. The less obvious ones include the innocuous but upsetting experiences that daily life brings us. Examples would be ongoing emotional abuse or neglect, experiences of shame, humiliation, being left out, bullied or ridiculed and feeling not cared for(Shapiro, 1997).
The effects of trauma can be felt physically and/or psychologically. These symptoms include raw and intrusive thoughts, feelings, pictures, sounds, smells, tastes, and body sensations.
Exposure to traumatic events can become trapped within our memory network on a neurobiological level and are stored in subconscious parts of our brain. Trapped memories can stay stored as sensory memories, that are unavailable to our conscious mind. The memories are stored as sounds, tastes, smells, visual images, feelings and body sensations. EMDR therapy stimulates trapped information stored in the brain and starts unconscious information processing.Treatment involves alternating left-right stimulation of the brain with eye movements, tactile 'tapping' or sounds. Through treatment, traumatic events become less intense, less immediate, and more like ordinary memories. The traumatic memories are integrated and laid to rest with a sense of completion and control.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
Dr Susan Johnson.
"We are never so vulnerable as when we love”
Love can begin in thousands of ways – with a glance, a stare, a whisper or smile, compliment, or an insult. It continues with caresses and kisses, or maybe frowns and fights. It ends with silence and sadness, frustration and rage, tears and even, sometimes joy and laughter. It can last for hours or days or endure through years and beyond death. It is something we look for, or it finds us. It can be our salvation or our ruin. Its presence exalts us, and its loss or absence desolates us (Sue Johnson,2013).
When couples and families come to therapy, they are wanting to put an end to difficult recurring conflicts, to learn how to persuade their partner to cooperate with them, to deal with the depression and anxiety that arise when the relationships they count on becoming ambiguous or painful, or, even worse, begin to disintegrate.
Unhappy couples talk about the fights over money, the kids, or sex. They talk about how they have difficulty communicating and the solution is that their partner has to change.
EFT sees distress in relationships as centred in the loss of secure emotional connection, and that a negative cycle or “dance” is established when that loss of connection is experienced. These cycles are often characterized by anger, criticism, leaving, or appearing indifferent, to name a few. Once established, these cycles can crop up over the slightest issue, and over time be corrosive to the bonds of trust and security in the relationship.
EFT aims to help couples stop these negative cycles by first identifying and mapping out this cycle, then helping couples identify and articulate their needs and clarify their emotional signals in a way that helps their partner to have greater understanding, compassion, and responsiveness. In turn, a more secure, strong resilient bond is cultivated.
This process leaves room for couples to experience one another in new ways and can be powerfully transformative in relationships.
This is different from other types of couple’s therapy where you might be teaching skills, tools, and scripts to a couple to use to improve their communication. EFT folks are kind of under the impression that when our emotions are heightened during an argument, it’s too hard to remember those tools and they get tossed out the window. It’s really about restructuring and finding an understanding of why and how we get into those patterns in the first place so that we can interrupt them
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples is a short-term (8-20 sessions) structured approach that was originally developed in the 1980s by Dr. Leslie Greenberg and Dr. Sue Johnson in North America.
There is significant research on this approach and it has been found that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and that the gains are sustained for months to years following the end of treatment.
For more information about EFT, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQCg-jC25fo
Trauma focussed Couple therapy
Sustaining a fulfilling and stable relationship is never easy, especially if one member of the couple has experiences of childhood trauma and now, as an adult continues to be affected by their experience.
I provide a form of couple therapy that is particularly effective in helping people address severe trauma within a relatively short period. During therapy, the client's partner supports them through their treatment sessions. This treatment can bring a clearer understanding of the effects of the trauma has upon their partner. The couple becomes able to manage the anxiety, and their relationship strengthens, becomes closer, stable and their individual sense of well-being is strengthened.
For more information about the Impact of Trauma please click