How can I access art therapy?

Community and public access to art therapy

To access art therapy provided by your local NHS Community mental health team, first of all you’ll need to talk to your doctor (GP). Your GP can introduce you to the available mental health services in your area. This process is known as a GP referral. In most cases, you have the legal right to choose which service provider and clinical team you’re referred to for your first appointment. 

Private access to art therapy

Some people also choose to work with a private art therapist (i.e. one not provided through the NHS). If you’re interested in finding a private art therapist, we have over 2,000 art therapists in the UK who can help you.

Support for children and young people

If you’re a child or young person, your school or college might be able to refer you directly to a specialist mental health service that provides art therapy. 

Certain social services, education providers (in primary, secondary, further and special education), prisons and charities also provide art therapy. 


It’s had a profound impact. I consider art therapy to be the most successful thing that has happened in my mental health history. I have taken away what I did there and used it.

Service user, Creative Therapies Service, Exeter