I am a registered Clinical Arts Therapist based in the multicultural community of West Auckland. In an authentic client-centred approach, I work with children, adolescents, adults, and families, by providing individual and whanau sessions. I specialize in services for those who have experienced trauma, family and domestic violence, and sexual abuse. I also have an interest in early childhood, family work and palliative care.
Arts therapy permits the releasing of feelings and thoughts in a way that may be less threatening than verbal means; providing a level of comfort and a sense of safety sometimes not found through traditional therapy. Art expression allows both the client and the therapist to obtain a new perspective together. Helps people communicate relevant issues and difficulties, try new roles and play with new, more flexible, life patterns. Unlike traditional art, arts therapy focuses on the process of creative art making rather than the final product, so no previous experience is needed.
It is rewarding to experience first-hand the benefits that art provides to clients. I am passionate about using creative processes to help clients explore unconscious emotions, which are often difficult to articulate. I believe looking together at the artwork is of importance for healing along with the process of art-making. Art Psychotherapy helps create a triangular relationship/dynamic facilitating the relationship between client, image, and therapist, where art is a means of kinaesthetic and symbolic communication.
I am also interested in the study of Psychoneuroimmunology –the science of the interactions between psychological processes of the mind and physical health, particularly how the psyche profoundly interacts with the body’s nervous system. I believe trauma is held in the body, and that art-making can kindly help tune into that trauma to heal it. I also believe nobody can treat another’s trauma. We can, however, listen attentively to the wounds and restore them.
I studied Art Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths University, London; successfully completing year 2 of 3, then my final year in Auckland at Whitecliffe College, graduating as a clinical arts therapist with second class honours.
My post-graduate career started in the fashion and textile industry, including children’s and women’s wear design. I simultaneously volunteered at Starship Hospital, supporting families whose children were in intensive care. Subsequently, my attention turned toward working with vulnerable young people, where art and play became a healing communication. I then worked with young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD) and special educational needs (SEN) in schools. I also supported vulnerable young people’s creative expression, in their homes, and in singing, dance, and drama groups, and programs for families and siblings of children with disabilities.