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The Ecology Of Attachment... Gary Nash, Vanessa Jones & Lydia Boon at Attachment & Arts Conference (2020)

21 February 2020

Gary Nash, Vanessa Jones & Lydia Boon presenting 'The Ecology Of Attachment: Awakening And Embodying Our Sense Of Self And Belonging Within Nature' at the 2020 Attachment & the Arts conference on 14th November...



The BAAT series of ‘Attachment and the Arts’ conferences aims to explore art therapy through the lens of attachment theory and related research. The10th ‘Attachment and the Arts’ conference will focus on research developments in understanding the ‘bio’ element in the psycho-bio-social framework applied to Attachment Theories with a keynote presentation by Dr Rodney Adeniyi-Jones on the relational human body.

There is growing evidence around the many benefits being outdoors in nature can have on our physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Gary Nash, Vanessa Jones and Lydia Boon will make this joint presentation focusing upon the ‘ecology of attachment’ with examples from their therapy work both indoors and outside using natural materials. Gary, Vanessa and Lydia are registered art therapists who have been co-facilitating environmental arts therapy groups in different settings for many years.

Lydia will explore themes of attachment, physiology and the effects of Nature-deficit-disorder upon child development, play and the natural world. Vanessa will explore issues of elderhood, transition, loss and transformation focusing on the centrality of landscape, our relationship with place and the natural world within her work with individuals and groups. Together they will map the theoretical terrain of ecotherapy, environmental arts therapy and nature based therapies as field of practice before drawing together themes within their own lived and professional experience which highlight the opportunity and challenges of working with nature and direct embodied experience. Gary will compile a series of digital images which can be shown as a sequence during the break – the focus will be on the environmental arts therapy exhibition planned form October 2020. 

Vanessa Jones is employed by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and has over 20 years’ experience as a registered art therapist working in Adult mental health and private practice. She was been working outdoors in and with nature as an art therapist for 10 years in private and NHS settings. Vanessa 4 teaches at the University of Hertfordshire, MA art therapy & Foundation Certificate in arts therapies and wellbeing, and The London Art Therapy Centre, running environmental arts therapy courses with Gary Nash. She recently completed her masters in the use of art and nature in working with loss at the University of Derby and is published in “Ecotherapy, research and practice” Jordan, M., & Hinds, J., Palgrave, 2016 and in “Environmental arts therapy: Wild frontiers of the heart” Siddons Heginworth, I., & Nash, G., Routledge, 2020.

Gary Nash is an art psychotherapist with over twenty years’ experience in adult mental health, social care, education and private practice. Gary has been working with art and drama therapists in developing training and professional development in the art of environmental arts therapy over the past 8 years. He runs a fortnightly environmental arts therapy group in London and is co-editor of Environmental Arts Therapy: Wild frontiers of the heart, Routledge, 2020. Gary is co-founder of the London Art Therapy Centre where he is a practitioner-researcher providing art therapy and leading on two research projects, one in the use of Audio Image Recordings and the second is in developing the use of ‘response art’ in clinical practice.

Lydia Boon is a HCPC registered art psychotherapist working with children and adolescents in schools. She completed her initial degree in Creative Expressive Therapies in 2007, having focused her research on a synthesis of ecopsychological and creative expressive therapy. She completed her art psychotherapy MA in 2014, which included research into the use of clay in art psychotherapy for those having experiences early relational trauma, and subsequently went on to complete the training in environmental arts therapy at the London art Therapy Centre. Lydia is currently developing her practice running therapy groups outdoors. A deep familiarity with her own art practice, extensive experience providing group and 1:1 therapy, combining elements of art, creative expression and engagement with outer and inner nature, continues to enrich her therapeutic approach. Lydia is published in “Environmental arts therapy: Wild frontiers of the heart” Siddons Heginworth, I., & Nash, G., Routledge, 2020.

The 2020 Attachment & the Arts conference will be held on Friday 14th November online as a zoom event. A film of the conference will also be accessible afterwards (A fee will also be charged for accessing the conference film as as BAAT relies on proceedings from this event to continue to provide its services to members).   

For more information and conference booking please click here

You can see highlights from previous Attachment & the Arts conferences on Facebook here and on Twitter here

You can also follow the conference live on 14th November 2020 on Twitter using #AttachmentArts