Arts Therapies

Arts therapies provide individual and group therapy by HPC registered arts therapists.

Reasons for having one of the arts therapies include:

  • To build self-esteem and confidence
  • To develop an increased sense of self-awareness
  • To enhance quality of life
  • To support emotional and psychological development
  • To develop social skills
  • To promote well-being and appropriate behaviour:
    • To reduce feelings of isolation
    • To express difficult feelings
    • To engage in communicative expression – both verbal and non-verbal
    • To provide a space for play, fun and imagination
    • To develop social relationships and relationship with the self.

Art Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on exploring thoughts and feelings through art-making.  The aim of the sessions is to help students to express themselves through creative approaches, working to build the student’s self-confidence and think about any problems or worries they may have.  Words are sometimes difficult to find for thoughts and emotions.  Art making can be a bridge, communicating the student’s inner world while creating an object in the outer world.

The therapist provides a safe, structured and confidential setting to encourage students in this process.  Therapy sessions are conducted both with individuals and groups and follow the individual processes of the students.

Music therapy is the use of music and words to treat people with medical, educational, social or psychological needs.  Music-making forms the basis for communication in this relationship.  When verbal communication is difficult or seems impossible, music therapy can help.  The ability to respond to music is innate in all of us and music can support the development of mental processes.

Generally, students and therapist all take an active role in playing, singing and listening in the sessions.  The therapist may take a person-centred approach to treatment or use a more directive approach and adapts different ways of working to meet each individual’s needs.  In some situations it may be useful to use musical games or familiar songs to elicit interaction or creativity in the sessions.  In others, it may be more helpful to improvise freely, allowing the student the opportunity for freer expression and to draw on the full resources of his / her personality.

There is no requirement for the student to have any musical experience or skill.  He or she is encouraged to explore the world of sound and create a language of his or her own.  The therapist responds musically to support and encourage this process.  The music played covers a wide range of styles to complement the individual needs of each student.

Music therapy takes place in the same room at the same time each week.  This helps provide reliability and stability for the students, which helps to foster trust in the relationship.

Dramatherapy is a form of psychotherapeutic intervention. It comes under the umbrella term of Arts Therapy within HCPC registration.

The British Association of Dramatherapists describes Dramatherapy as:

“…a form of psychological therapy in which all of the performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. Dramatherapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their training in theatre / drama and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes.”

It is a client-centred, non-confrontational therapy, working on the principle that difficulties are resolved indirectly through metaphor and using a less direct form of language, such as symbol or image language. Further expression is explored through the use of movement, drama, touch, story enactment, puppetry, improvisation and use of voice – all of which can be explored in a safe and playful environment.

It is important to note that Dramatherapy is not about performance, but about having a space for expression.