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Challenging dominant narratives from an LGBTQIA+ perspective: how to better serve art therapy service users

This course is for anyone who would like to expand their self-reflection and challenge their limits in order to open up the therapeutic space. Specifically, the course is about how to better serve our LGBTQIA+ service users, but most importantly, we will see how reaching this goal helps us better serve all of our users.

Saturday, 8th July 2023

10:00am - 16:00pm


Delivered via Zoom, information for the day & invite to join will be sent once booking has closed

Book Online Now

**Open to all Trainee and Qualified professionals from the UK and Internationally**



Many creative art therapists have called for a greater awareness in our profession of social injustice and have cautioned against the invisibility of social privilege, be it by race, gender, sexual orientation or any other means.


They have called for institutions to be more vigilant in including awareness of the unconscious nature of such prejudices in their art therapy training programmes and they have called on individual therapists to be more self-reflective in their practices. This training aims to respond to this call and help therapists self-reflect on their practice from a LGBTQIA+ perspective.


When we as therapists create a space in our minds that challenges socio-cultural norms, we expand the therapeutic field. This process increases the possible choices available to our service user in terms of understanding and collocating their artwork's meaning.


This course has a strong practical content because it aims to help us identify that space between ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ and strengthen the connection between the two. Which words and which topics trigger a fear response inside my body? How can I work with my body to increase mine and my service user’s sense of safety as we work outside our comfort zones? This course will look at a selection of literature and theoretical frameworks surrounding LGBTQIA+ issues in art therapy as well as drawing on theories that challenge traditional power dynamics within the therapeutic setting.


We will look at specific needs connected with the LGBTQIA+ community and experiment with tools for exploring identity and re-writing subjugated narratives. Interactive discussion between participants, art-making and contacting our ‘felt sense’ will be key tools for the learning experience.


On completion of this course you will be able to:

• self-reflect on the diversity of power dynamics implicitly active within the therapy setting and understand the significance of an intersectional approach


• feel more confident discussing LGBTQIA+ issues and use appropriate terminology


• be aware of important differences within the LGBTQIA+ umbrella, and their implications in terms of identity and coming out


• be more aware of how your body responds to situations outside of your comfort zone.



Rivkah (Rebecca) Hetherington is an HCPC (UK) registered art psychotherapist who trained at Art Therapy Italiana in Bologna (Italy) where she lives and works. She also practices as an artist, having a BA in Fine Art (Winchester School of Art) and MA (Wimbledon School of Art) in the UK where she grew up. In her private practice, she works with both children and adults, individually and in groups and has expanded on-line both locally and internationally since the outbreak of covid-19. She has a special interest in treating trauma that has led her to specialize in the Clayfield at the Institute for Sensorimotor Art Therapy (Australia) and to take up training in Somatic Experiencing. She is involved in bringing ‘The Changing Room 11’ trauma-oriented project from USA to Italy. Her interest in social justice has led her to work in Bologna’s women’s prison as well as in projects with unaccompanied foreign minors and other vulnerable teenagers. In collaboration with Bologna’s LGBTQI centre, she set up the first art therapy group in Italy dedicated specifically to LGBTQI service users and has published her research in this field (The Arts in Psychotherapy and IJAT). Her international identity also finds her working with Third Culture Kids. She is a member of research groups in the fields of Adoption & Foster Care and Prison Work.


Additional Information:

Please Note:

Booking closes 1-week prior to start date. Information and link to join the day will be sent once booking has closed.


Trainee BAAT Member: £100.00


x3 Reduced Rate for Trainees or Unemployed Members: £75.00

Please Note: We can not reserve reduced rate places.


Full Unemployed or Retired Member: £100.00


Full Underemployed Member: £110.00


Full Member (Self Funded): £120.00


Associate Member: £120.00


Employer Funded BAAT Members: £165.00


Non-BAAT Member (Self or Employer Funded): £195.00


Please create a Free Booking Account if you don't have one or are not a member, here:


Employer Funded places for members or non-members, please download a course booking form here: Invoice Request Form - Course Booking Form.docx

Completed Booking Forms (with purchase order number and BAAT booking account number), please email to:


Please Note: We do not accept employer funded bookings without an employer purchase order.


Convenors: Rebecca Rivkah Hetherington-Tadolini

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