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Creative art therapy



Available in:

Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey, Islington

What we do

Art therapy supports children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and improved engagement in school.

We offer individual or group art therapy for a range of needs and issues for pupils at the stakeholder schools. Art therapy groups can also be facilitated to support children’s peer relationships.

Therapists will be based at the school for the day so children do not need to leave school to attend therapy. Referrals will then be considered in line with our referral criteria, by the panel made up of the ISS manager and lead art therapist. The therapists, with the support of the lead, will then work with the school’s senior leadership team (SLT) and teaching staff to find the best times for children to attend therapy with minimal disruption to their education.

The service may be particularly suitable for schools who have young people who do not meet CAMHS thresholds and/or have neurodiversity and find talking therapies less accessible.

What to expect

Art therapy is a form of psychological therapy that uses physical art materials and art making as its primary means of communication.

The art therapist supports the child to reflect on their art making as a way to help the child understand themselves. Art therapists have statutory regulation under the Health & Care Professionals Council.

Art therapy aims to:

  • Support the young person to tolerate failure and uncertainty through the act of reflective art making.
  • Gently increase the young person’s capacity for reflection by thinking with the therapist about the artwork the child has made.
  • In doing so, this can Improve the young person’s emotional resilience and self–awareness more broadly throughout their life.
  • Art therapy is a physical and sensory activity working on multiple communicative levels, e.g., visual, tactile, kinaesthetic and more. Sensory engagement can be effective in regulation of emotions.
  • There is a growing evidence base that art therapy supports children to through their education, helping with emotional regulation, concentration and relationships with staff and peers.

How to access this service

CATS can be purchased by the school directly and operates with school term times. Referrals for individual children in a school cannot be made, but the school can purchase a day (or more) of art therapy so the trainee will be onsite.

The service itself needs to be sold rather than having a pre-existing block contract giving open access to young people in North Central London.