Since qualifying as as art therapist in 2006, I have worked as a sessional art therapist in special needs and mainstream schools in Milton keynes, Wellingborough and Northamptonshire. I have worked with children on the autistic spectrum, children who present with behavioural challenges, and those who are experiencing emotional difficulties of some kind. I believe Art Therapy gives children a voice in which they can be heard. The process of Art Therapy is gentle and non-intrusive, and children respond positively to the 'play' aspect of their sessions. As a practitioner,I have a special interest in Attachment disorders, Autism and mutism, all of which greatly benefit from the creative use of Art Therapy.
Gemma Lovell is a art therapist in mainstream and special needs schools, specialising in autism, behavioural and emotional difficulties
I provide children with a safe and supportive space, in which we can work in partnership to identify need and developing the vocabulary of the personal story. I provide written as well as verbal reports, and art therapy questionnaires to help demonstrate the effectiveness of therapy. Children rarely dislike or do not want to come to Art Therapy! It supports the child on many levels, building self-esteem and fostering a sense of personal identity.
I think it's important for Art Therapists to continue to develop their creativity, and I am generally always creating something if I'm not at work - I feel inspired to paint and write, and carry a notebook almost everywhere I go! I think children appreciate adults having a creative life, something they can aspire to for themselves.
- children on the autistic spectrum
- children with behavioural challenges
- children with emotional difficulties•
"I love Art Therapy. I'm sad it has come to an end. I feel much happier at school."
"I didn't realise I got angry like that ( towards my brother). I think a lot more about things now. Thanks for being kind."