I am a HCPC, BACP and BAAT registered Art Psychotherapist with an MA in Art Psychotherapy. I am also a lecturer for the Open University covering modules in Counselling and Mental Health.
Prior to qualifying as an Art Psychotherapist, I was a Primary School Teacher for 12 years, a Piano Teacher and a Self-employed registered Childminder for 2 years.
As an Art Psychotherapist and Psychotherapist, I am self-employed and work with a wide range of clients. I work with adults, children and young people and I provide weekly 1:1 sessions. I am based at Magnolia - Centre for Health and Wellbeing in Neath, where I rent a room for my Art Psychotherapy and Psychotherapy sessions. I have worked with people struggling with depression, anxiety, bereavement, eating disorders, personality disorders, anger issues, relationship difficulties and isolation to name just a few.
As a Psychotherapist and Art Psychotherapist, I am psychodynamically trained and combine the theories and methods of this practice with mindfulness and person-centred therapies. My aim is to help you unravel, experience and understand your true feelings in order to be at peace with them.
Psychodynamic theories focus on how we learn to relate to the world, how we relate to ourselves and how the world relates back to us. Our first experiences of the world, within the primary relationships and the environment you first experienced when very young have a strong impact on how we continue to experience ourselves and others. We take these experiences with us, internalise beliefs
and coping strategies and evolve in the world with attachment styles and learnt ways of relating. Often, our unconscious can hold onto painful experiences causing us to develop various defences which can inhibit future relationships. Sometimes, through the effects of trauma later on in life, we can develop these unhealthy ways of relating for fear of being hurt again. For this reason, psychodynamic psychotherapy/art psychotherapy can work particularly well with people who have lost meaning to their lives, who are unsure of their identity or have difficulty forming or maintaining healthy relationships.
I am extremely passionate about Art Psychotherapy helping people with their difficulties because it allows you to explore the use of the art materials with no judgement. By just 'seeing what happens' as I often say, it enables the unconscious to come to the surface through your artwork whether or not you believe you are skilled at art. Your artwork then provides a platform to work from and through further exploration, artmaking and conversation, we can begin to discover the deep roots of your feelings and difficulties.
I also believe that we hold our emotions physically and that we can develop pain or discomfort in our bodies as a result of trauma or emotional upset. I often use mindfulness and focussing techniques to help you to become more self-aware, connecting mind, body and spirit as one whole.
Being open to self-reflection, self-exploration and a having a natural curiosity for your internal world can enable you to move forward in a healthier and happier direction. Using mindfulness, focussing, artmaking or reflective conversation, I can help you to explore your unconscious.
I have also provided sessions within Pupil Referral Units and schools, offering Art Therapy to pupils who struggle with anxiety, emotional regulation, anger difficulties, suppressed emotions, bereavement, body image and low self-esteem to name just a few of their difficulties. I have worked with parents from these schools too.
Previously, I have provided Art Therapy to organisations for 'Wellbeing Days' such as colleges, schools, charities etc. and weekly group sessions for adults within various charities.
In the past, as an Art Psychotherapist, I have worked within the NHS, Secondary Care in Adult Mental Health and offered Art Therapy to clients suffering from eating disorders, low self-esteem, bereavement, psychosis and abusive relationships. I have also worked within the NHS on a ward for older adults, offering Art Therapy to clients suffering from dementia, physical symptoms and illnesses, loneliness and memory loss.
I have found working with all of my clients a privilege and I have made it my aim to become attuned to each and every one of them in order to engage fully within the therapeutic relationship with them, enable them to feel heard and to authentically empathise with their individual stories through their art-making and verbal communication. I want to empower my clients to find a happier and healthier path and for them to strengthen their self-belief to move forward independently.
I use directive and non-directive techniques, combine mindfulness and focusing techniques with the psychodynamic theories and methods of Art Psychotherapy. Most importantly I place you, the client, at the centre, learning and understanding your individual needs.
I have Professional Indemnity Insurance and I have an up to date DBS certificate.
HCPC Registered Art Psychotherapist.
MA Art Psychotherapy
BA Honours History of Art