Stories and experiences

"I’ve tried a lot of different therapy. I think I’ve tried six different types of therapy other than art therapy. But art gives me a way to visualise what’s going on and makes sense of it, because I find it quite hard to make sense of my head, so it helped me to visualise what was going on."

Meet Claire, who accessed art therapy when she was 17 years old, which helped her to express herself through the artwork she created.

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"In art therapy, it’s completely different. You almost feel like you own part of the space, parts of you that shut down, the bits of you that maybe clam up, and the bits of you that think, ‘Oh I shouldn’t say this, shouldn’t say that.’"

C shares her experience of group and individual art therapy for adults.

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"Getting things out in the open and allowing it to be talked about. Instead of me bringing it up, the picture sort of did it for me. And it felt better that the picture was there first and then talking about it afterwards."

A young person reflects on how art therapy helped her to explore and express how having an eating disorder affected her life.

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"With gentle encouragement, even if they spent thirty seconds on their artwork, it delivered a huge amount to discuss and tapped in to where they were emotionally."

S talks about her experience with disassociation and how art therapy helped her express what she was feeling.

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"It gave me a kind of light bulb moment to go, “Okay, this might be how I’m feeling, but actually I am feeling it. It is valid, but it’s not always going to be there.”"

N describes how anxiety made her feel trapped in her own mind, and that it made it difficult for her to be open with other people.

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"I wanted to be believed and I just feel like a big weight has been lifted and I don’t have to be frightened to talk about it anymore."

A reflects on dissociation and how she used art therapy to recover.

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"It's going to sound really corny, but I’m actually at peace with myself.I have changed. But for the most part I’m more relaxed, and more, I suppose, open to the idea of being engaged in this world as opposed to trying to live outside of it."

Jacquie explains that the therapeutic process helped her to “feel at peace” and realise there is strength in being open with people in her life.

Read Jacquie's story