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90 Minute Workshop Series

Art Therapy - finding another language


Finding ways of communicating when you are living with the aftermath of severe trauma can feel fraught with complexity. This workshop will look at clinical material, showing how Art Therapy can hold some of this complexity, to help both client and therapist find other ways to express and witness the indescribable and unbearable. Art therapy can underpin all stages of trauma therapy - stabilisation and building safety; starting to explore resources, trust and attachments; being alongside a client, their experiences and pain; collaborative working with encounters in the client’s internal system and external relationships. Art Therapy can access and externalise many layers, from body based and nonverbal experiences to the more conscious. The trauma can then be carefully explored and processed from alternative perspectives, helping recovery and making sense of how dissociating enabled survival.

The art work could be anything, a pencilled stick figure or an enormous sculpture made of found objects. The art work produced by clients is unique and powerful. Some images and case material may be triggering.

Presenter: Andrea Aldridge

Working as an Art Therapist in Mental Health Services in the NHS for over 30 years, and in private practice, Andrea has worked continually with adults who have experienced severe trauma and mind control. With the emerging understanding in Mental Health Services of the impact of trauma and of Dissociative Disorders, Andrea has been able to work alongside many different professions, to deliver DID awareness training and to undertake further training, to offer trauma informed therapy for adults and supervision for professionals drawing particularly on Art Therapy, EMDR and MBT.

Andrea is a member of First Person Plural’s training group and currently facilitates a training day on Attachments, Relationships and Supportive Environments. Member of BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists], ESTD UK and HCPC