This site makes use of cookies to help improve our understanding of how you use the site.

Art Therapy Group for Young People in Gloucester Museums Represents 'Innovation' in NHS

10 June 2016

Art Therapist, Ali Coles and Service User, Steph Davis tell us about an Art Therapy Group for young people in Gloucester Folk and City Museums which has been chosen to represent 'innovation' in the NHS...

Art Therapist, Ali Coles and Service User, Steph Davis tell us about an Art Therapy Group for young people in Gloucester Folk and City Museums which has been chosen to represent 'innovation' in the NHS...

The museum-based Art Therapy group (run by Art Psychotherapists Ali Coles and Fiona Harrison) was chosen to represent ‘innovation’ at a launch event for the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust ‘Allied Health and Psychological Professions Practice Development Strategy 2016-2020’. 

Guest speaker at the launch event at Gloucester Cathedral was Shelagh Morris, Deputy Chief Allied Health Professions Officer with NHS England. 

Ali Coles, Art Psychotherapist, and Steph Davies, Expert by Experience, were included in a film which was shown on the day - rather than 140 Twitter characters, each had 140 words on the theme of ‘#innovation’:

Ali Coles (Art Psychotherapist):

‘As creative people, Arts Therapists in the Trust are always exploring innovative ways of working.  When we were planning an Art Psychotherapy Group for 18 to 25 year olds, we thought it would be great to hold it in an inspiring community space like a museum.  We wanted the participants to feel valued, and connected with the world outside mental health services.  We also thought that we could use the museum objects to help Group members to reflect on their feelings and experiences, and we hoped that the setting would encourage people to express themselves creatively through art-making.  So, we ran an 18 week Group in Gloucester Folk and City Museums at the end of 2015.  We were really encouraged by the response from service users, and are now running another Group for adults of all ages in Stroud museum.’

Steph Davis (Expert by Experience):

‘Doing art therapy in a museum is different from normal art therapy. It is in a public space so it feels less clinical, more relaxed and you feel like you are a real person working on your own personal goals rather than just a patient going through treatment. Being in a museum, it helps bring out your creative side. You get a chance to look at a wide variety of different exhibitions both historic and modern which brings a bit of excitement and helps stimulate your creative side. It allows you to think outside the box, which in turn enables you to see things from a different perspective. You get the chance to see things that you wouldn't normally consider relating back to your own life, and this gives you a new insight into your experiences and thoughts and feelings.’

Steph reflected on her experience of attending the launch:

‘It was really good to have the opportunity to get an insight into how the NHS works and to see what is happening and how they are trying to help people to the best of their ability. I had the opportunity to speak to professionals about my own experiences within mental health services and they really took on board what I said. I had a chance to put forward my own ideas about how the service can help support people in terms of different types of treatments and also early intervention. Overall, a day well spent!’