So what is Creative Psychotherapy?
It is a form of talking therapy that allows you to express yourself creatively. Some people see it as a language to communicate with. It can be very useful when working with Neurodivergent Autism ADHD clients. You can use symbols, colour, form, movement, sound, clay, creative writing, poetry, musical instruments, miniatures, drama, or whatever you are drawn to. The process is more important than the final product or how creative you are. You don’t need to be an artist or be «good» at anything. What is more important is your curiosity and engagement with the creative journey.
You can explore the feelings by pouring them into a creative expression. You might get spontaneous insights or not, and both are perfectly fine. The purpose of the sessions is to explore in a relaxed environment what wants to be expressed, heard, and seen, being open to what comes up. Metaphors, images, and movements go beyond words, taking us deeper into the emotional experience. They compress and distill the essence of what is being communicated. They act as messengers from which the client and I can learn something.
10 Benefits of creativity in psychotherapy
- assisting in opening up
- explaining concepts for which words are not available
- accessing deeper emotions and processing them
- identifying unmet needs
- symbolically making steps towards having needs met
- having a piece of art from a previous session can transport us back to the last moment of processing to deepen self-inquiry
- getting in touch with sensations in the body that may have been numb or deadened before
- meaning-making by transformational emotional experience rather than detached intellectualising.
- shining a torch on the interactions, attitudes and behaviours that might be out of awareness
- having insights and making connections
How do I work?
I do not use art to diagnose or interpret and do not medicalise distress. Instead, I hold clients with the two hands of the Person-Centred approach. On the one hand, is my radical faith in the client’s actualising tendency. On the other hand, is the commitment to consistently offering a climate of sufficient support. In contrast to colluding with the pathologising medical model, I facilitate liberation from a self-blame mindset. I view my clients as people, not as illnesses or labels.
My philosophy is to avoid discounting any aspects of the clients’ experience. Everything is valid. I accept any emotion or insight that surfaces to support your self-discovery without any judgment. Offering a safe space to bring different elements of yourself without me taking any sides facilitates the process of clients thinking for themselves, letting go of the need to impress, and becoming less dependent on external approval.
As a Person-Centred Psychotherapist, I relinquish the directive expert stance and hand over the reins to my clients to lead the way. This sets the tone of mutual trust and a safe space for the nurturance of client autonomy. By trusting the inner wisdom of the healing process unfolding, I offer no agenda or expectation. As we connect here and now, the freshness of current concerns and priorities stays in the forefront. By leaning into this moment-to-moment dwelling, I bring my whole authentic self to be fully present and transparent. Offering the corrective emotional experience of empathy is a therapeutic antidote to distress. My clients learn to trust that my acceptance of their uniqueness is genuine. This gives them a feeling of safety to bring more of themselves into the therapy room. I believe in the human irrepressible unfolding of potentiality. However, it is equally important for me to offer a supporting presence so that clients do not feel abandoned. Clients ultimately find their way by getting in touch with their internal voice, self-advocating, and following their path to well-being. Whether you are in Manchester or further afield Creative Psychotherapy can help you both face to face and online.
This is the right approach for you
If you are drawn to be self-reflexive and deepen your self-understanding by being willing to look within yourself.
You are not expecting someone to rescue, save, or fix you. You are not waiting to be told what to do.