THERAPEUTIC ARTS COUNSELLOR
"I am drawn to the palette, patterns and textures in the natural world and how the healing potential of fractals links to one's own physiology.
I am moved by forms and gestures within the natural world and the enlivening qualities of specific forms to enhance mood, and support wellbeing in some of the simplest ways."
Prior to any vocation as an artist, designer, art counsellor or tutor, I am foremost a creative observer and explorer.
In 2021, I left the United Kingdom to embark on a new life in Bansko, a mountain resort in Bulgaria, where I currently work remotely whilst also offering creative workshops for adults and children to the local, nomadic and world school community. Living in the mountain provides spectacular inspiration.
In 2022, I was able to complete and self-publish my book, Ageing Creatively, which is available via Amazon and Blurb and serves as a useful textbook to anyone working with older adults with varying abilities.
Journeying Creatively emerged from a desire to provide online art counselling to nomads — for people who are wanting to explore themselves while working and travelling. I wanted to facilitate a different kind of adventure — a deeper self-discovery.
Sessions are normally an hour, but the schedule is flexible — taster or themed sessions, weekly, bi-monthly or monthly virtual sessions via zoom.
Creating a safe virtual space — The pandemic required many people to connect virtually which presented both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge was to ensure a person still felt held within a virtual space and the opportunity presented the potential of connecting with anyone - anywhere - anytime.
EARLIER ON THE ROAD
I've worked in Art & Design for more than 30 years and travelled extensively around the world in various roles within the events industry for the corporate sector. I continue to freelance as a graphic designer, but these days prefer my role as design counsellor supporting people and new businesses to develop or refresh their identity.
In an artist role, I was fortunate to exhibit in London with a small group of artists when exploring mixed media and 3D painting for sight-impairment observers. Later I developed a passion for hand stone carving, working with soapstone, alabaster and opal.
2015 — to date: Visiting Tutor at Tobias School of Art & Therapy, teaching a number of modules.
After qualifying as a Transpersonal Arts Counsellor (City and Guilds Level 7 Award - MCGI) I registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). During my training clinical placement, I was fortunate to gain experience working with young children, adults with special needs, adults with mental health challenges and older adults with varying chronic physical and cognitive conditions.
In 2016, I established a private practice as Creative Counselling, working mainly with adults of varying abilities using the creative arts as a means to facilitate individuals in their person-centred healing and self-development as a form of artistic psychotherapy.
Apart from private practice and facilitating groups in care organisations, I established a number of community projects to continue group work and facilitate the benefits of social creative prescription. From time to time, I'd arrange Art & Music events for adults with special needs — Music & Mandalas.
Apart from children's arty-parties, I started Creative Kids that ran as a monthly after school group and school holiday programme for children, focussing on creative play and incorporating Art in STEM activities.
In 2016, I established the Creative Cafe for adults living with mental health challenges and handed over the project in 2020. During this time I co-managed and facilitated sessions at Creative Expressions (EGDAMH). Both these creative groups focussed on creative wellbeing and inclusivity.
In June 2018, I founded the Dandelion Project, a monthly creative and social meeting place for older adults.
Aside from my design and therapeutic roles, I've been a visiting tutor at Tobias School of Art & Therapy, East Grinstead since 2015. Courses include - 'Working with Older People, 'Working with Special Needs', 'Workshop Practicalities', 'Branding &Marketing Yourself' and co-facilitated a Summer course 'I-Kandinsky' Exploring the word of synesthesia (2016).