The Arts in Psychotherapy: personal and professional flourishing for one’s self, clients, and communities – a weekend of workshops, reflections and growth

1st Jun 2019, 11:00am - 2nd Jun 2019, 5:00pm

Performing Arts Centre

How might we flourish as individuals, who nurture ourselves and others? What supports flourishing, wellbeing and development for clients, professionals and communities?  In this workshop we will explore experientially the arts in psychotherapy as a means for nurturing of ourselves, our clients and the communities we live in.

This experiential weekend will draw on our experiences of working as arts therapists and psychotherapists using artistic and creative media; and will be an opportunity for those interested in ways that the arts can be used for non-verbal expression in psychotherapy to engage, experience, and hopefully enjoy paying soft and careful attention to their own non-verbal capacity for self-expression.

We will draw upon current research from the Arts for the Blues project and discussion of the emerging findings on ‘helpful factors’.  We will experientially explore some of these factors: active engagement with the arts and the body, learning skills, developing relational skills, experiencing and expressing emotions, getting to the root of the problem, experimenting with different ways of being and integrating useful material back to one’s life.

The focus of the work will be personal: drawing on participants’ experiences. Experiences will be used for self and professional development but will not be therapy or training.  It provides a taste of how training in this area ‘looks and feels’ and what engaging in the arts in psychotherapy offers to clients, professionals and their communities.  For this reason, the weekend will provide a taste of content within the MSc in Psychotherapy and Counselling: Contemporary Creative approaches that is currently offered at the University.

This weekend will be of interest to artists, psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals and educators interested in the use of the arts for wellbeing, development and growth.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students and those with interest in the area of arts and wellbeing will also be very welcome.

Dr Irene Dudley-Swarbrick, Senior Lecturer in Psychotherapy and Counselling at Edge Hill University, has a background in women’s studies, medical physics and physiological measurement, sociology, and person-centred expressive art, as well as being a Chartered Biologist. Her journey to Edge Hill has included working in the NHS, the Third Sector, and Lancaster University. She trained with Dinah Brown, a pupil of Natalie Rogers, and developed, with Vicky, the new MSc in Psychotherapy and Counselling: Contemporary Creative Approaches.  Her research interests are in applying new-materialist approaches to issues of  eating ‘dis-orders’, coupled to arts-based methodologies.

Professor Vicky Karkou leads the Arts and Wellbeing research group at Edge Hill University. She is a teacher, researcher, psychotherapist and supervisor with active clinical and academic engagement.  As a clinician she offers supervision and consultancy work to local organisations and psychotherapists working in schools, charities and care homes.  As an academic, she offers PhD supervision to a range of arts psychotherapists and artists and travels for teaching and research purposes nationally and internationally.  Her main research area is around arts psychotherapies and the use of the arts for health and wellbeing which she explores through a range of qualitative, quantitative and arts-based methodologies. She is the co-editor of the international journal Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy published by Taylor and Francis, and an author and editor of four books and numerous articles.


Day 1

  • The creative connection theory and other relevant theoretical underpinnings
  • Your inner work: setting your intention and personal goal
  • Invitation to the arts and helpful factors

Day 2

  • Placing experiences in context: models of the arts in psychotherapy
  • Models in practice: flexing your awareness and enjoyment
  • In the end: connection, creativity, and consciousness.

£120 – fully waged
£60 – others
Free – EHU students

Places are limited to 20, and participants will be issued with a CPD certificate for 10 hours of CPD.

The weekend will provide a taste of content within the MSc in Psychotherapy and Counselling: Contemporary Creative approaches that is currently offered at the University. Additional information about the course can be found here