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  • About Art Therapy....

    Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art-making with various media as its primary mode of expression and communication. During therapy sessions, art is not used as a diagnostic tool but as a medium.

    Art therapists work with children, young people, adults and the elderly. Any age of client and those with a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses can find Art Therapy helpful.

    These include emotional, behavioural or mental health problems. Learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illnesses.

    Clients of any age can experience issues arising from Anxiety, Self-Esteem, Anger, Grief and Loss. Past or current Relational and/or Developmental Trauma, Domestic Violence, Abuse of all kinds. Symptoms around the Autistic Spectrum.

    Children in school may struggle with paying attention in class, Dyslexia and symptoms of ADHD- such as being disruptive, frustrated, resentful, insecure, anxious, very physically active. They could be trying to deal with unsettling changes or be experiencing bullying or feeling isolated. Some may be living in a family unit that is breaking up.

    Adolescents are going through so many profound changes and processes of discovering themselves and wanting - or fearing - more independence. They can face overwhelming frustrations and fears, low-mood and disaffection, body dysmorphia, difficulties relating to and communicating with adult figures and/or peers. Self-harming and eating disorders, society/social media and peer-pressure.

    Art therapy, for whichever client group, offers a safe, contained and confidential space in which to be met and accepted just where they are. To work through all that comes up in a non-judgemental way.


    Art therapy is provided in groups or individually, depending on clients' needs. It is not a recreational actvity or an art lesson, although the sessions can often be enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.

    Along with being influenced by psychoanalysis, art therapists have been inspired by theories such as attachment-based psychotherapy and have developed a broad range of client-centred approaches such as psycho-educational, mindfulness and mentalisation-based treatments, compassion-focussed and cognitive analytic therapies, and socially engaged practice.


     What Clients say:-


    "I had so much benefit... real lasting benefits that I' ve been able to carry on with on my own, like a new way of doing things and different methods of coping. I think I got more from it than I ever thought possible."


    "I really feel that it has given me a lot more tools to deal with the things I need to deal with."


    "It's had a profound impact. I consider this to be the most successful thing that has happened in my mental health history. I have taken away what I did there and used it."


    "I don't feel a prisoner of my depression any more. I can't tell you how much that means. I'd rather die than go through another dark time like the last one. But this has given me a new way of being shown a different way of coping with being me."


    "There have been enormous changes in how I cope now. I don't think realistically I could have hoped for much more from it."


    "I've had profound and lasting benefits from this work."

  • About Me....

    Hello, I am an artist and MA educated Art Psychotherapist and Clay Therapist living in Kings Langley, Herts and now with a private practice in my garden studio.

    Before training I worked for thirty years with children as an NNEB Nursery Nurse in many varied settings, including in NHS, education, social care, private and charity sector for almost thirty years. I then brought up my own children and became a Birth and Postnatal Doula.


    My experience working as an Art Therapist includes:-

    - with children individually in primary school for three years. Including working with child and parent together.

    - Mother/Infant setting within a Children’s centre co-facilitating a mother/baby group addressing the mother/baby attachment. Also working with children aged from toddlers to four years- both alone and dyadically with parent(s)

    - in a Pupil Referral Unit with adolescents (in groups and individually) who were excluded from or unable to attend mainstream school due to emotional and behavioural problems.

    - in an NHS mental health day-care unit with elderly adults whose diagnoses included dementia; bi-polar disorder; psychosis and neurological conditions.

    Within my practice, I believe that through art-making, clay-work and imaginary play, children- and indeed any age of client- can find a space to metabolize and work through their experiences.


    Art therapy does not necessarily need to be vocal and therefore is effective when words cannot or will not be found.

    My practice is led by the individual needs of each client and is mostly non-directive. It is orientated around various approaches including psychodynamic; attachment based; person-centred and influenced by Jung and Winnicott amongst several others.

    I passionately believe in the importance of offering a safe, confidential and contained therapeutic space within which any aged client can feel met and accepted however and wherever they are.

    All that comes up is worked through together in a non-judgemental way.

    I include various therapeutic creative approaches beyond art-making and clay-work which include drawing from environmental therapy; play therapy; using music; puppets; Sand-Tray Therapy and so on….


    Art Therapy is most effective when clients have regular weekly sessions. Therefore when at all possible, I aim to continue client sessions during long school holidays.

    I am a member of BAAT ( British Association of Art Therapists), am registered with the HCPC (Health Care Professions Council)

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  • Clay Therapy

    Clay Therapy is a form of gentle but active psychotherapy where unidentified and unexpressed feelings and emotions can become visible through physical manipulation of clay.

    This therapy is potentially both powerful and profound whilst also being calming.

    Fears and worries that have previously caused inner concern or upset are given shape and form in the outer world.

    When problems can be seen it is easier to share difficulties by talking them through with a qualified practitioner in a safe environment.

    Clay Therapy enables communication when problems are hard to put into words and can be adapted and used with all age groups from potentially 4-104.



  • A poem about Clay Work....

    A poem about the client’s and therapist’s respective thoughts, conscious and unconscious- and some processes going on as the client touches and connects with the clay…..


    Suspend thinking….. be an attentive witness.

    Unsure about this- what will appear? Something lovely or ugly?

    Watch! The midwife/doula waiting to see what will be birthed. Being NOT Doing.

    Clay, so smooth and cool and firm at first….it’s getting warmer and more yielding.


    On her face I glimpse reactions to known and unknown processes happening deep within her psyche/internal world.

    Her breathing changing... slow, quick-quick, slow.

    I am in the clay, the clay is in me, I am grounded and safe. Her shoulders drop.


    Responses fast-tracked. Emotions and fears triggered

    Masses of signals flooding my brain.

    Left and right hemispheres being bridged.

    Slowly and continually spiraling.

    Forward steps, taking in my life experiences, integrating new realisations.

    Backward steps, de-integrating, not getting it enough to embed, needing to take stock.


    She voices a light-bulb moment. I encourage her and silently marvel at this circum-ambulation

    I am witnessed. Feeling strongly connected with my therapist.

    Deep emotional attunement: An intimacy between us.

    Clay working as the conduit.


    Somehow in two worlds at once…….a psychic borderland

    Moving back and forth between familiar daily reality without - and hazy glimpses and imaginings within.


    Preverbal needs are being attended to.

    The clay (and me) are meeting her where she needs to be known.


  • Feedback.....

    "Tessa has looked after my two children over the past nine years and is regarded by them, even after all this time, to be their best ever child-carer. I'm always in trouble if I haven't asked her first!

    She is warm, funny, caring and I have witnessed her many times totally disarm my (tricky) son and diffuse a situation. I trust her absolutely with my precious children and would consider anyone fortunate enough to work with her in her capacity as an Art Therapist to be incredibly lucky.

    She has truly found her vocation. My only concern with recommending her so highly is that it may mean she has less time to look after my children!' - Debbie S.


    “Attending Tessa’s Creative Workshops are like arriving at an Oasis - a place to rest and one that feeds the soul. Her studio is beautiful and she creates a warm and safe space to freely express oneself through artistic activities.

    Tessa supported me in developing my own ideas and gave me lots of pointers when needed and much encouragement along the way. I leave her Workshops feeling relaxed and invigorated and would highly recommend them.” A.F


    “My daughter has had numerous Art Therapy sessions with Tessa and their work together has given her a wonderful creative outlet and enabled her to express herself in ways she hasn’t before.

    Tessa treats my daughter as a unique individual and works with her accordingly. Her approach is thoughtful and nurturing. She is thoroughly professional and has a fantastic, well- resourced studio set up.

    Tessa is simply wonderful with children - both my girls adore her.” S.W.



  • Wellness Through Creativity Workshops....a reflective and relaxing pause in the often frenetic lives we lead.

    I offer these half-day sessions using various media, activites and techniques. They will involve hands on calming, healing and uplifting creative activities to experience for yourself, or as a resource to use with others you work with.

    No art skills are necessary – just a willingness to engage with the art materials.


    For small groups of 4-6 people - adults, adolescents, children or parent/child(ren).

    2020 dates to be announced....

  • Contact Me...

    Please call 07396 240318 and if necessary do leave a message.

    Or you can email me on findingyourwayarttherapy@gmail.com or just use this contact form. Thank you.