Since January we have hosted a placement student from the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education (IATE).20 May 2022
Anya Amrith is currently working on her Masters in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy Course and has been working with 2 of our clients to deliver art psychotherapy sessions. They have been very well received and another 2 clients have started this month!
What is integrative psychotherapy?
Anya has been offering free weekly 50 minute sessions in a private non-judgemental space. These one-to-one sessions enable the client to explore any challenges they may be facing, and together they can recognise and understand individual experiences.
Anya uses a creative approach, as it can be difficult to find the words to talk about our experiences. This could involve exploring art as image using a variety of materials, bodywork, sound, dreams in addition to words. Anya accommodates how the client wants to communicate as a person, and no artistic ability is required!
“I am deeply interested in creative communication and empowering people to reach their potential, improve their mental health and wellbeing. I have gained certification in Counselling Skills and Facilitation, which has taught me many valuable skills including empathic listening and responding, the presence I bring and being able to provide a safe container for a client. I have a Postgraduate Certificate in the Therapeutic Arts, which has been instrumental in developing the skills required to facilitate people in order to grow their own confidence and awareness using Creative Psychotherapy. I’ve spent over 17 years in the creative industry, 8 of these being self-employed. During this time, I was given the opportunity to employ and grow a team of people from a wide range of backgrounds. I developed and ran weekly sessions called ‘Value Added Human’ to support employees in their personal development and wellbeing. I worked with people who were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, Autism, anxiety and depression. The sessions I ran had a huge impact on the team members’ individual self-esteem and aided an improved drive in their work.”
A ceramic vessel – the process of a metaphor.
Here is an example of ceramic work made by a client going through therapy with Anya. This touching story shows the process of making a metaphor. This bowl represents the relationship between the client and her daughter. As she was making the bowl, cracks kept appearing and she tried to repair them. She placed a daisy inside the bowl to represent her daughter. She realised that although the bowl was broken, the bowl supported the flower, just as she was a supportive parent to her daughter. Also her daughter would love her no matter what her flaws may be.
A quote from one of the clients:
“This quote sums it up:” ‘Art speaks where words are unable to explain’ - artist Mathiole
“As for the Art materials I think the paint and clay have probably been the best for me (to express myself) as I feel a little less self conscious than using the characters or puppets.
I am truly grateful that my sessions have been extended as Anya is my only support, and without our sessions I am not sure how I would cope.”
These sessions can help people with a variety of life challenges:
People suffering with Stress, Anxiety, Depression, There’s something stopping them from living at the moment (e.g. fear of going outside), People on the autistic scale, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Struggling with OCD or compulsive tendencies, Family struggles, Struggling with something from their past (having nightmares, fear, etc.), Relationship issues, Medical trauma (for example they’ve been in the hospital, had a health issue and it’s really impacted them), People who have been sexually abused as children, Bereavement, Eating disorders, People who have come from domestic abuse/violence, People who are suffering with addiction and people feeling stuck, lost, unsure or trapped in their lives.
Where did the clients come from?
Our referral partners consist of health professionals working within GP practices, primary care trusts and mental health charities. Our referral partners responded to our Call Out for participants. We are looking to have another placement student next year. Should you have a client who is interested in taking part, please send their details to us by emailing email@example.com, clearly stating that they are interested in Art Therapy sessions.
Should you be interested in taking part in Art Therapy yourself next year, please register your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s Next for Anya?
From October Anya will be doing a placement at the Campbell Centre in Milton Keynes Hospital, which she is very excited about. She’ll be working alongside an Art Psychotherapist and a Psychologist. She will be co-running groups and working 1-to-1 with inpatients.
On 2nd July Anya will be exhibiting her artwork at the London Art House in Islington. It will be a display of all artwork created by Integrated Art Psychotherapist students who are embarking on their MA journey. It's work that she creates throughout the year, as she practices and learns.
Our other projects
Other projects that we are currently running in the community includes a 12 week Headstart Art course at The Bridge Primary Care Network in Newport Pagnell. We have 10 participants aged between 13 and 17 who are taking part. So far we have made creative collages and puppets!
We are also running a series of 4 week creative art courses in Wolverton called ‘Art Bubble’ to explore the themes surrounding the pandemic and the vaccine. Should you wish to take part, or know someone who would benefit, please email their details through to email@example.com.