I was kindly invited by a parent to address the parents about my work as a Therapeutic Arts Practitioner and Counsellor. I have been working with some of the Imhoff children over the last year and would like to make my work a bit more visible and accessible for others. Below is a brief introduction of myself and my work.
I grew up in Kenya, UK and the Western Cape and after a 13 year background of working within various Camphill Communities internationally, I chose to study Art Therapy in the UK at Hibernia College. I later added a post graduate diploma in Counselling for Children and Adolescents. My intention had always been to return to Cape Town, however at the time I had no idea it would take me 14 years.
Within those 14 years I was blessed to find exciting and humbling work in the following situations, Cotswold Chine School, William Morris House Camphill Community, Inishfree Drug Rehabilitation House, Coventry Refugee Centre, Ruskin Mill Trust, both at the Glass House College in Stourbridge and Brantwood Specialist School in Sheffield and Kids Company Bristol.
I am often asked the question,” What is Art Therapy and how does it work? Do people just draw and then do I interpret their drawings?” The quick answer is, “no not at all”. Having been trained initially as an Anthroposophical Art Therapist , I am working with the whole person and with the art materials as medicine. I invite my clients, through the use of art materials such as paints, painting techniques, clay, crayons, pastels, charcoal or collage, to build a safe therapeutic relationship with me wherein, together we explore their own unique life storey or situation that has brought them into the studio space.
Anyone can benefit from working therapeutically with art and no previous art experience is needed. Conditions and situations that I have had experience of working with are, children, adolescents and adults with challenging life situations, post traumatic stress disorders, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders, displacement and grief resulting from severe loss or trauma and end of life transition. I have also been blessed to work a lot with young people on the Autistic/Asperger Spectrum and this work holds a very special place in my heart.
I have a small private practice in Fish Hoek and am seeing clients in my home studio I work both with groups and one to one. I am also happy to run workshops within conference or corporate settings.
Last year I ran a voluntary project working with juvenile offenders in Pollsmoor Prison, this was both very exciting and rewarding work.
If anyone is interested in finding out more you can contact me on 0793932588.
By Loraine O’Hagan