What is Art Psychotherapy

Art Psychotherapy is a form of psychotherapy therapy that uses artmaterials within the context of a therapeutic relationship to support thinkingand processing of difficult and confusing feelings. Sometimes it can be hard to find words for experiences and emotions:making art work can be a helpful way to hold and contain some of what can bedifficult to understand.

LCAT artpsychotherapists work in a non-directive way, which means that the referredperson can engage in the session at a pace that suits them, and our work is ledby their voice and needs. Our clinical servicesare for children, adolescents, families and adults in the community andschools, they span from parent/carer and baby groups to older adult outreach forthose with dementia.

Art Psychotherapy in Schools

LCAT provide an Art Psychotherapy service or outreach for individual referrals to primary and secondary schools and nurseries across the Royal Borough ofKensington and Chelsea and neighbouring London boroughs. An LCAT ArtPsychotherapist is integrated within each of our schools and works with the school team to create a bespoke service meeting the needs of the children and families.

The work of LCAT in schools is innovative and creative in its approach and as such has been able to flexibly meet the needs of our school communities as they have evolved since 2017.

Our work in schools has included, intensive long-term support for individual and group referrals, whole class work, short-term groups around transition to secondary school, dyadic parent and child work, parent and infant groups in nursery and support for staff including individual and group support for teachers and teaching assistants, a recent example being a reflective space to process the work with Afghan evacuees in schools.

LatimerCommunity Art Therapy have a service in the following schools: Avondale ParkPrimary School, Bevington Primary School, Colville Primary School, St Clementsand St James CofE Primary School, St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School,St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, St Thomas’ CofE Primary School, St CharlesCatholic Primary School, Oxford Gardens Primary School, St Mary Abbots PrimarySchool, Fox Primary School,  MarlboroughPrimary School, Golborne and Maxilla Nursery, All Saints Catholic College,Kensington Aldridge Academy.  

In addition we outreach to individual referrals in Holland Park Secondary School,West London Free School, Chelsea Academy and Greenside Primary.  

‘The support that LCAT has provided for children and families at [our school] has been invaluable… Now, more than ever, we need LCAT in our schools. It is my belief that therapeutic support should be available in all schools – always’ Headteacher

‘LCAT has been central to the ongoing work with a family. Not only did the art therapy space provide a safe environment for the child but the art therapist has been invaluable in supporting the child and the school throughout. The holistic approach of the LCAT art psychotherapist has meant an open and honest relationship between the professionals and all involved have been able to protect these children and the contribution of the art therapist has been paramount to this’ SenCo.

Art Psychotherapy in the Community

Latimer Community Art Therapy is developed from the community and understands the value of working from the grassroots. LCAT has embedded therapy within community spaces in North Kensington, beginning in 2017, developing provisions to meet the needs across generations. Accessible alternative places for therapy are essential and are an integral part of our community led approach. LCAT offer therapy in in familiar and comfortable spaces that are key parts of the local community including Henry Dickens Community Centre, Venture CommunityAssociation and The Clement James Centre. 

Our community therapy services recognises that not all children feel comfortable in a therapy provision based in school. We can offer individual and group support in our therapy rooms in Henry Dickens Community Centre, one room on the estate was transformed from a disused Laundry into a purpose made art therapy room destigmatising therapy and making this something truly on your doorstep. Made possible by Wates corporate responsibility in2018.  

Within our adult work we offer a wraparound therapy provision which enables parents of children seen by LCAT art psychotherapists to have support alongside the work with their child if needed and where dyadic work is not the recommendation.

We also offer therapy with adults with long term mental health needs and older adults with dementia in partnership with Age UK.  

“Susan and LCAT have been an exemplar of CommunityResilience and Community Assets, when local people are listened to and supported.  At a time of crisis and great need it was truly humbling to witness the power of leadership from a local resident to develop a service so well used by the local population.  (Clinical Deputy Director NHS GHWB).

Open Groups

LCAT has developed a unique open group model for children and adolescents. These open access art therapy groups form a major part of our symbiotic multi disciplinary working at Henry Dickens Community Centre and have restarted at Venture Centre in 2021.

These open groups allow accessible therapeutic support and expression that is entirely child led, empowering their voice and an ownership of the space and capacity to work through complex social, political and emotional issues pertinent to the children in the here and now moments of the art making and peer to peer relationships.

Art Therapy for Parents/Carers, Babies and Toddlers

Origins of the Painting Together Group

The painting together group is a therapeutic art group for parents/carers and infants from birth to three and a half years old.

The Group came about after an identified need to provide a therapeutic service for parents /carers and babies and toddlers. There are several universal services in the area providing play and supportive spaces for parents, carers and the under fives (stay and plays, toddler groups). The Painting Together Group offers a different space; it is a referred into service where the relationship between the adult and the young child is seen as the client (the therapeutic intervention is aimed at strengthening this relationship).

The Group is facilitated by Ros Taylor and Dean Reddick, both Art Therapists with many years experience working, lecturing and publishing in the Early Years.

Art Therapy for Adults

LCAT’s adult art psychotherapy service offers individual and group art psychotherapy for adults of all ages, based at theHenry Dickens Community Centre.

"When I first came here, I felt incredibly depressed.I don’t feel like that now. Having accessed 3 sessions from XXXX Counselling, Ifeel able to compare and I know now art therapy is more suited to my needs. It feels less intense and is enabling me to express in a difference way”.

“I am beginning a process that will help me to understanding my condition. Before nowI was suffering in silence.  CBT is not going to change it. Art Therapy is about expressing myself in a different way.  I feel better afterwards.  I do not have to talk.  It is not always possible to talk.  The pressure of not having to talk is really helpful for me. Because of the nature and complexity of the trauma that I have experienceI cannot always trust other people.  It’s about the systems and how they work.  I can trust my own art. I can choose the colours I use and it is helping me to feel in control.”

Art Therapy for Adults with Dementia

In partnership with Age UK Kensington and Chelsea, LCAT runs a specialist, outreach art psychotherapy service for older adults. This aims to reach those who are more isolated in our community and may have difficulties accessing existing talking therapy provisions. It is also a dementia specialist service, working with people at every stage of dementia; as well as the families, carers and professionals involved in their care, on request.

Depending on the needs of the individual, art psychotherapy can take place within the persons own home, day centre, sheltered housing or within other community spaces. 

Information for Professionals

Art psychotherapy is suitable for all ages and our therapists are fully qualified to Masters level and registered with the HCPC.  Referrals can be made fora range of mental health and emotional issues requiring  therapeutic support, such as depression, anxiety, bereavement, complex loss, trauma (including early childhood trauma), domestic abuse, attachment issues.

We receive referrals from CAMHS, social services, health visitors, GPs and other primary care workers. To make a referral please download this form and return to referral@lcat.org.uk for any further information please contact susan.rudnik@lcat.org.uk

[LCAT]have gone above and beyond during this time [Covid-19] and are also really good at reaching out to us in family services to liaise and advocate on families’ behalf. They offer an important and powerful voice. (Head of early help, social work and  Youth offending RBKC)