What is Art Therapy and Art & Wellbeing?
Art therapy (also known as art psychotherapy) is a form of psychotherapy where art-making is used to help you express feelings and thoughts which might be hard to put into words. Your art therapist is there to support you and help you reflect on your artwork and what it might mean to you.
You don't have to be 'good' at art. The art in art therapy can vary from a squiggle or a collection of leaves to sculpture or painting you have spent weeks making. Sometimes simply playing with art materials can provide a therapeutic experience. You can decide what you make or do in each session.
Art therapists are allied health professionals and are regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and registered with the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT).
Art therapy is:
safe – art therapy is a safe space just for you.
confidential – your art therapist will keep your artwork and conversation private (unless they are worried about you or someone else's safety). Art therapists are required to talk about their work with a registered therapy supervisor to ensure safety and best practice. This is also confidential.
non‐judgemental – your art therapist is there to understand things from your point of view and without judgment.
Art therapy can help with:
expressing and understanding feelings
processing current and past experiences
finding healthy ways of coping
relaxing and taking time for yourself
Outdoor art therapy
Redcatch Community Garden is a mostly outdoor space with some sheltered areas including the Canopy, a large safari tent. It is a friendly, welcoming and safe space. Being outdoors can make you feel more relaxed and calm. It can provide inspiration. You can use natural art materials such as leaves and sticks alongside art materials. It can be less intimidating than an indoor therapy room. There can be disadvantages, such as it not being as private as indoor art therapy, and it can be affected by the weather. Your art therapist will discuss this with you to make sure it is right for you.
Art therapy can be useful at any age. It can be for individuals, small groups, families, couples, or a parent and child together. Sessions take place weekly at a mutually agreed time and can be time-limited or ongoing. This is decided together with you. Your art therapist will provide art materials, clear up and store your artwork until you take it home, normally at the end of a block of sessions or at regular intervals.
For more information please email Jenny Clarke, Art Therapist and Wellbeing Lead, Redcatch Community Garden:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07769 013243.
Art & Wellbeing sessions
Art & Wellbeing sessions are group art sessions with a focus on wellbeing and mental health. At RCG they are run by one or more art therapists, so they are a safe, non-judgemental space. Confidentiality can be discussed and agreed at the start of the session.
The group size can be bigger than an art therapy group (up to around 15 people) and they can be one-off sessions. That means the focus will be on the art-making and what that can offer, and will not be as in-depth as an art therapy group.
Sessions can be used to learn new art techniques and explore materials, which can increase confidence and provide a relaxing experience through becoming absorbed in the art-making. Group members benefit from the social interaction and support from being part of a group. The art therapist will help group members reflect on their artwork in a safe way. Carers/support workers are welcome to join in.