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2gether NHS Foundation Trust @ Gloucestershire’s Museums

05 March 2016

Celebrating Art Therapy in Museums & Galleries: Art Psychotherapy for people experiencing mental health issues.

For the first ever National Museums and Wellbeing Week (29 February - 6 March 2016) BAAT are celebrating Art Therapy in Museums and Galleries... 

Victorian Schoolroom, Gloucester Folk Museum

2gether NHS Foundation Trust has been working in Gloucestershire’s museums to provide a different environment for art psychotherapy sessions for people experiencing mental health issues.

The groups have been run by Art Psychotherapists from the trust’s Complex Psychological Interventions teams, and are an innovative approach to art psychotherapy for adults with severe and enduring mental illness. 

One group, catering for 18-25-year-olds, has recently finished running at Gloucester City Museums, while another, for adults of all ages, has got underway at The Museum in the Park, Stroud. Gloucestershire CCG helped fund the Gloucester group through their Cultural Commissioning programme.

A box of museum objects for handling, Gloucester Folk 

Art Psychotherapist Ali Coles explained what happens during the sessions: “By holding these sessions in the community, we are increasing social inclusion. We work with the exhibits and objects within the museum, as well as art-making, using them as a stimulus for self-exploration, to enable people to reflect on their feelings and experiences.“This is a growing area of interest for Art Psychotherapists, so we’re really pleased the groups have had such positive feedback from those attending.”

Gloucester City Museum

Overall, participants in the Gloucester City Museums group felt a significant decrease in the severity of problems they experienced and an increase in their self-esteem.

One group member said: “Holding the group in a museum was so much better and not so clinical. I could be a person, not a patient.”

Other feedback included: “The museum objects make you think more and surprise yourself.”
“The objects are like a springboard.”
“The group helped me to find new interests; I hated museums before and now I love them.”

The Museum in the Park, Stroud

2gether NHS Foundation Trust:
Contact: Wenna Tudor, Communications Officer, on 01452 894393 or email:

Art Therapy in Museums & Galleries:

British Association of Art Therapists: