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Inside Out and Bottom-Up... Nili Sigal at Attachment & the Arts Conference (2020)

06 November 2020

Nili Sigal presenting 'Inside out and bottom-up: Using embodied approaches, physical sensations and interoceptive imagery in trauma-focused art therapy' at the 2020 Attachment & the Arts conference on 14th November...

Nili Sagal

As neuroscience and therapeutic approaches increasingly focus on the role of the body in trauma processing, what aspects of mind/body integration can art therapists apply to their practice without losing their professional identity? Nili Sigal, a trauma-informed art therapist, will argue that embodied approaches can be easily and naturally incorporated into art therapy due to the centrality of symbolism, sensory processes, expression of messy feelings and being “present” during an art therapy session. However, a move towards embodiment in art therapy would require the introduction of a focus on the client’s relationship with his/her body and physiological experiences alongside the more traditional focus on the therapeutic relationship, as well as willingness by practitioners to be more grounded and connected to their own bodies. Nili will discuss the use of “interoceptive imagery” as a way to express and externalise internal body sensations. She will also consider recent survey results of art therapists in the UK working with trauma, and the way practitioners incorporate embodied approaches and thinking into theirwork. 


Nili Sigal has a background in fine art and psychology. She qualified as an art therapist in 2009 and has worked in a variety of mental health services, private practice and the voluntary and education sectors, including with marginalised and hard-to-reach communities. Nili was the founder and coordinator of the Complex Trauma, PTSD and Dissociation Special Interest Group for BAAT. She currently works for the NHS, where she specialises in trauma-focused art therapy with adults who have severe and complex mental health difficulties. She is a supervisor and an approved EMDR therapist, who has written about combining art therapy with EMDR. She has a particular interest in the body-mind connection and advocates for incorporating embodied thinking into art therapy practices, especially when working with traumatised clients.

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