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information for parents, carers, children and young people

Art therapy is a chance to think about and make sense of what is happening in your life. The art room has many different art materials which you can use to explore ideas and feelings that cannot always be put into words. Drawing, painting and making things are often a less threatening way of showing people how you feel, and can be particularly helpful to young people who may find it difficult to talk about problems.

The art therapist can help you find your own way of using the art materials, so you don’t have to be good at art. Usually teenagers take a while to begin to trust and feel comfortable with the therapist, which means you can take time to try things out at your own pace.

Why Art Therapy? Although young people often come to art therapy with difficult and confused feelings, the sessions can be playful and fun. Art therapy can help you to feel more comfortable about who you are, and it can be a place where you can think about making changes in your life. Sometimes, changes that are unpredictable cause stress and worry. Young people can feel let down by changes which they cannot control, so an important part of art therapy is to agree to meet regularly.

How long wil it take? The art therapist will first want to meet with you and your family or carers to hear about the things you are finding difficult. If we decide to begin art therapy a short number of sessions, usually between 4 and 6 will be arranged as an assessment. This means time for you and the therapist to find out whether art therapy is helpful and to decide whether to continue with more sessions. Usually a session lasts 50 minutes. Some teenagers will attend every week, sometimes every 2 weeks. Regular meetings with parents/carers can be arranged to give feedback.

Confidentiality The things you say in art therapy will remain private unless the therapist has serious concerns about risk to yourself or someone else. When information is shared with other people (parents, school staff or your GP) the therapist will always try to talk this over with you first.

Artwork made during the therapy is stored safely and is only shown to other people with your permission. You will be encouraged to leave your art work with the therapist so that you can both look back and review it from time to time. At the end of therapy you can choose what you want to do with your artwork.

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Therapists are registered with the Healthcare and Care Professions Council which allows practice as an Art Psychotherapist and our therapists have been subject to an enhanced DBS check.

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