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  • Writer's pictureChloe Sparrow

November: Art Psychotherapy in the Spotlight

This month I had the pleasure of being featured on the Counselling Directory’s website for part of their Therapist Spotlight series. You can read the full interview here (its fairly short).

Participating in this interview provided opportunity to reflect upon my path into art psychotherapy as a career choice. I also found that responding to the interview questions, without the added pressure of trying to secure work, meant it was a far more relaxing and contemplative experience than previous interview scenarios.

This month I was also invited to share some insight into NHS careers by the University of South Wales. This was for their online careers page with the aim of highlighting the varied career opportunities within the NHS. You can find my short video clip for the page here (though you do have to scroll quite far down the page!). I welcomed both these opportunities to share thoughts around the profession of art psychotherapy in both a medicalised setting (NHS work) and at the Treehouse Art Studio (private practice). And I wondered whether this recent interest in the arts therapies as a whole was connected to a growing awareness around alternative approaches to mental health and wellbeing, alongside the recognised need for support services which have been in high demand this year.

In light of this growing interest, I have found new opportunities to network with other therapists and continue to share ideas and be inspired by the work of others. It seems there are a great deal of therapists out there who are keen to collaborate and explore new ways of working in response to the needs of others. This has been so encouraging, especially during the second national lockdown, when it would be easy to feel rather more limited in terms of offering therapy.

Now the second national lockdown for England is nearly over, and the doors to the Treehouse Art Studio will open once again, here are some images of artwork completed in the interim as I made the most of having the studio to myself...

Portrait progression

Experimenting with colour and water-soluble oils

There were also plenty of jobs needing attention outside and around the Treehouse Art Studio during the lockdown period. This included shifting masses of fallen oak, beech, sweet chestnut and horse chestnut leaves off more vulnerable patches of grass to allow the younger grass to survive the winter. I’ve also been slowly adding sticks and fallen branches to the twiggy wigwam style den, though this is very much work in progress!

Spot the twiggy wigwam 👀

And finally, inspired by the collection of autumnal leaves, and admittedly - alphabet cereal, I took time to prepare for the month ahead with a little help from the toddler. It seems many others are keen to get in the festive spirit too as I observe local households already lighting up their Christmas trees, adorned with decorations. Perhaps we are all craving a little festive cheer.


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