A confidential service for survivors of childhood abuse

A confidential service for survivors of childhood abuse


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Counselling and Support

Offering a safe place for you to talk about things that may be affecting your life.  It is your choice what to discuss and we will go at your pace.  You will have a first appointment to decide which service would suit you best and then you will be offered as many sessions as you need.

Art Therapy

Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media and the creative process as its primary mode of communication. The relationship between the therapist and the client is of central importance, but art therapy is different from other psychotherapies in that it is a three way process between the client, the therapist and the image or object created in the art therapy session. This way art therapy offers an opportunity for expression and communication and can be particularly helpful to people who find it hard to express their thoughts and feelings verbally.

Clients who are referred to art therapy do not need to have previous experience or skill in art, the focus in art therapy is not in the artistic abilities or the end product.

Although art therapists have developed many specific definitions of art therapy, most of them fall into one of two general categories. The first involves a belief in the innate healing power of the creative process of art making. Art making is seen as an opportunity to express oneself spontaneously, creatively and authentically, an experience that, in time, can lead to personal fulfillment, emotional healing, and change.

The second definition of art therapy is based on the idea that art is a way of symbolic communication. From this aspect, the art products are seen as helpful in communicating issues, emotions, and conflicts. The art image becomes significant in enhancing verbal exchange between the person and the therapist and in achieving insight, developing new perceptions and increasing self awareness, which in turn can lead to positive changes, growth and healing.

In other words, both the idea that art making can be a healing process and that art products communicate information relevant to therapy are important. >

The overall aim of art therapy is to enable a client to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe and facilitating environment.

Art therapy can be particularly helpful for clients who have experienced trauma. Certain aspects of traumatic memories do not fade over time, particularly sensations, emotions and images related to trauma may become deeply imprinted on peoples' minds and the traumatic imprints re-experienced.  

Art therapy offers a way to work through these non-verbal memories of the traumatic experience. Traumatic memories appear to be more easily recorded in memory that bypasses thought and language. In order to treat trauma effectively art therapy moves beyond words and language to integrate the cognitive, emotional and affective memory and therefore serves to integrate the manifold experiences of trauma and further the healing from the traumatic experiences.


Would you like to work with us?  

Open Secret employs people in a diverse range of careers.  Click on "Recruitment" on the bottom menu bar for more information.

Contact us

Open Secret

98 Thornhill Road

01324 630 100