I initially studied as a fine artist, specialising first in painting and printmaking, and then in photography. After college I was an artist-in-residence in a number of schools in London, before doing more training in public art and socially engaged art practice. I’ve worked with children and neurodivergent people and differently-abled people, both in the UK and in schools in India, and also with the staff who support them (who are often in need of support themselves).
My central interest is in helping people find their unique, natural creativity, which could be expressed in a number of ways: perhaps writing or performance or talking or singing. The opportunity and ability to express oneself creatively is therapeutic and cathartic. Outlets for creativity and self-expression are essential for the health and wellbeing of individuals and their communities.
It was after spending time with people with dementia and their carers, and especially working creatively one-to-one with people affected by dementia in their own homes, that I knew I wanted to train as an art therapist. It felt important that I could better understand what was happening in those complicated interactions.
My art therapy training was at Goldsmiths, University of London. I passed the MA with Distinction, and was also awarded the Corinne Burton Memorial Studentship. The award allowed me to spend two years after qualifying working as part of Cancer Psychological Services at Barts Hospital – click here for some more detail about my work at Barts and related projects and publications. I also worked with adults diagnosed with schizo-affective disorders as part of my training.
These experiences taught me the value of being flexible in the way I work with different people, and having a ‘tool-kit’ of approaches I can draw on, while also maintaining strong professional boundaries. As an Arts Therapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, I meet its standards of proficiency, which you can read about here.
Alongside my private therapy practice I maintain a fine art practice. This can be a way for me to process some of the experiences I’ve had with clients. It’s also important that I stay in touch with what it feels like to make art, since that is what I ask my clients to do.