The Arts Therapies

The Psychological Arts Therapies Team provide individual and group therapy by HCPC 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 in the context of a therapeutic relationship. 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 that can be shared by the young person and the Art Therapist.

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. A young person does not need to have previous experiences of art making, the process of making is often just as important as any finished artworks. Sessions are often non-directive meaning they are at the pace and the direction that the young person wishes, helping them to experience autonomy and confidence in themselves and their abilities.

Music therapy is a psychological and clinical intervention that draws upon the innate qualities of music to form a therapeutic relationship. Generally, the young person and the Music Therapist both take an active role in playing improvised music and listening together. The sessions are client-led and take place in a safe and confidential space in which the students can express themselves creatively, without the need for words. For those students where verbal communication is difficult or seems impossible, music therapy can help.

There is no requirement for the young person to have any musical experience or skill. The therapist responds musically and verbally to support and encourage the therapeutic process from wherever the student is ready to begin the process.

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.