Art therapy is a clinical treatment which aims to help clients explore personal issues within a safe and supportive framework, to resolve emotional, psychological and relationship difficulties.
The use of art materials is a form of non-verbal communication enabling people to express and explore feelings which are very difficult and in some cases impossible to convey through verbal language. Skills, talent or interest in the arts is not necessary to undertake treatment.
Art therapy is one of the arts therapies, the others being music and drama. All are a form of psychotherapy and work on psychodynamic principals. All arts therapists undergo post graduate training and must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), a legal requirement in order to practice in the UK.
Art therapy is provided in a variety of settings offering either individual or group work. Clients have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities and diagnoses and the arts therapists’ role is to work with the client in a way which respects his/her values, personal resources, dignity and capacity for self-determination.
We currently provide the following Arts Therapies in the Trust:
- Music therapy in the in-patient learning disability units in Gloucestershire
- Art therapy in both community and inpatient adult services in both Gloucestershire and Herefordshire
- The children and young person’s services in Gloucestershire
By Angela Burton, Trust Lead for Art Therapies