My name is Kate Henriques and I am an Art Therapist. I deliver services to Grafham Grange School one day a week. I have worked in a variety of settings with adults, young people and children and have worked with young people with social, emotional and mental health issues for over 20 years. I am registered with the British Association of Art Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council. A Professional Code of Ethics is adhered to and clinical work is regularly supervised.
What is Art Therapy?
Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on art-making as its primary mode of expression and communication. The artwork created in the presence of the art therapist can provide a focus for discussion, helping the client (in this case the young person) to reflect on and make sense of thoughts and emotions that may feel confusing or upsetting and difficult to put into words. It is not an art class and being good at art isn’t a requirement as the aim is not to produce an aesthetic piece of work.
My role is to provide a safe, containing environment where a young person can begin to trust the process and the relationship. I have a designated place in the school which lends itself to this and offers a variety of materials for a young person to explore and experiment with. The process of Art Therapy is not dependent on spoken language and can therefore be helpful to anyone who finds it difficult to express themselves verbally.
Art Therapy is a form of intervention that can assist with an individual’s psychological, emotional, social and physical development. It can help to increase self-awareness and self-esteem, raise achievement, improve behaviour and help a student to take part more fully in school life.
Students can be referred to therapy by members of the staff or it may be required in an EHCP. Having completed an introductory/ assessment period, the student and I agree to meet at a set time, usually once a week for approximately 45 minutes. Ideally therapy sessions are reviewed with the young person and endings are planned for. I work as a member of the school therapy team and liaise with other professionals within the school as appropriate. Communication with parents, carers and family members is usually encouraged and written progress reports are provided as requested by the school.
The art therapy sessions are confidential, and the art therapist adheres to the school’s Child Protection policy. However, safeguarding concerns take precedence over confidentiality and are always handled sensitively in line with school policy.
Click on the images to see the full sized artwork which has been shared with the consent of the students.