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Art Psychotherapy

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Art psychotherapy is a gentle way of exploring your feelings through artmaking alongside a therapist. It can help you express yourself and communicate difficult feelings when words are not enough. 

It is not necessary to be 'good at art' to come to art psychotherapy. Unlike art classes the purpose is not to create a finished artwork which can be shown to others. It is about using the therapeutic process of artmaking to explore with materials and to see what emerges. Images are sometimes figurative, but often abstract. There is no right or wrong way to make art in sessions. Art Psychotherapy can be a valuable way to learn more about yourself, and your place in the world.

Typically a session will begin with a brief period of checking in with you about what you would like to explore in the session. We may talk for a while, before moving on to inviting you to chose some art materials to see what emerges for you in the process of artmaking. Art psychotherapy can be a process where unconscious thoughts and feeling can come to the surface, a bringing a a greater awareness and understanding.

 

It is not the art psychotherapists role to analyze any artwork you have made in sessions, rather to encourage you to explore the meaning that you find in the work, and the insight this brings.

The process of artmaking in itself can be a therapeutic way of processing emotions which feel unmanageable, such as anger or grief. There is a wide selections of materials available for artmaking including drawing, painting, clay work, collage and textiles.

The artmaking can also be a sensory process, making it easier for you to talk when you have an activity to do with your hands. It can feel calming, and eliminate the need for eye contact, as we work alongside each other.  

In an art psychotherapy session you have freedom and autonomy to decide how to use the session. You may sometimes talk for the whole session without making any artwork, at other times you may  just make art without speaking, or a combination of both. If you are non-speaking, or situationally non speaking when feeling overwhelmed, you can use the written word, movement, or music, to communicate and explore how you are feeling. All of these ways of using a session are welcome. 

We can also include some Psychoeducation around managing your mental health, DBT Skills and exercises to support you with nervous system regulation, if these are tools you would like to incorporate in your sessions.

Art psychotherapy sessions are 60 minutes in duration, and can be in-person in Hereford or online via Zoom. 

Please feel free to contact us for a free 30 minute initial assessment, where you can ask any questions to help you decide if this approach would suit you.

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