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Art Therapy: Helping to Break the Cycle of Re-offending and Substance Misuse

05 August 2016

In this week’s Blenheim Blog, Kristina Terefe writes about art therapy and its power to enable people to bring about change on a personal level.

Kristina is an Art Therapist at Latch House and Coordinator of the special interest group for art therapists working with people with addictions (ADDSIG) here at the British Association of Art Therapists.

Service User, 'Peter' and his Art Therapist, Kristina tell us about art therapy at Latch House...

Latch House gives adult males involved with or at risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system the best possible chance of succeeding in Lambeth and becoming valuable members of the community. The service includes the Blenheim substance misuse programme partnered with Nacro, a hostel and housing service. These two complimentary services are designed to support people wanting to break the cycle of re-offending and substance misuse following their release from prison.

Peter (not his real name) is a member who joined the art therapy group at Latch House quite recently. Peter described his experience of art therapy so far:

'The first time I came to the group I didn’t think it was for me. I was tense and I didn’t feel confident with the art materials as I’m not good with art. The first two sessions I only made a folder, everything else I tried to do was rubbish and I screwed it up and threw it in the bin. In the third session I started over again, this time I didn’t throw it away even though it wasn’t perfect. I like coming here now. It makes me feel good. I walk away feeling like I’ve had a haircut'.

To read about the art therapy group please click here