My background and qualifications
I am a qualified Art Psychotherapist and have a master’s degree (with distinction) in Art Therapy from the University of Derby. I am registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council, and I am a member of the British Association of Art Therapists.
What is art therapy?
My practice combines the therapeutic benefits of art making with traditional psychotherapy to help people find ways to express themselves in a way that feels safe and secure.
Art therapy can benefit people of all ages from young children to mature adults and offers creative, hands-on experiences that do not require any trained art skills. These experiences can be playful and exploratory and offer an alternative way of processing feelings that may be too difficult to describe in talking therapies, which makes it particularly effective for children.
Art therapy can help individuals who may be experiencing many different aspects of emotional distress including depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, loss, and bereavement. For young people especially, the familiarity of using art materials offers an accessible way to develop emotional awareness and build confidence.
A typical session
You will be supported to select from the wide range of different art materials on offer and start an activity, led by your own interests and creative instincts. If it’s helpful, I can offer themes or simple exercises to help you relax into the process.
In your sessions there will be opportunities for you to explore different media and materials including paints, pastels, colouring pens and pencils, craft materials and modelling clay. You may choose to create a collage using pictures and images from magazines.
You can choose to work in silence, or you may find it helpful to chat as your artwork takes shape. With the support of your therapist, ‘art making’ can be experimental and energetic or calming and focused. Towards the end of a session, you will be invited to talk about your ideas and any feelings you have about your images or the process of making them.
All conversations and the images you make during the session will remain confidential. It’s important that you feel comfortable so you can begin to find your own voice to express the things that can be so difficult to put into words. The therapy studio will offer you a safe space where you can start to explore your ideas and find creative ways to express your thoughts and feelings.
Simon Hallion MA
Art Psychotherapist, HCPC, BAAT