During my Art Psychotherapy masters we were asked to creatively respond to our clinical work. I found abstract painting so therapeutic, it was the reason why 'Lilly Mai Designs' evolved. Now my own art making and commissions harmonise with my Art Therapy private practice and my clinical work at St Christopher's Hospice.
I specialise in working with children, young people, parents and carers. As a bereavement and mental health specialist the range of issues I work with is extensive – problems of mood, behaviour, and self-image; with those on the autistic spectrum or with subtle neuro-developmental difficulties; with historical traumas, transitions and changes in life circumstances.
Struggling with worries, concerns, or very strong emotions like sadness and anger is not uncommon in children or adults. Usually our first response to stress, is to experience sensations in our body. These sensations can be so distressing or uncomfortable that we try to ignore them, or dampen them down, or we act on the feelings. What we struggle with, is putting into words what is troubling us.
There is a lot more attention paid to stress these days. However, changes in behaviour or personality leading to challenges in family life, school or socialising are often warning signs that we are struggling under pressure.
In Art Therapy, I focus on your experiences, your feelings, your thoughts. Art making within a consistent therapeutic relationship offers a safe space to start to make sense of these, together.
If you are looking for improvements in how you feel, how you behave, and to increase your focus, attention, concentration and reduce anxiety and depression, then why not try Art Therapy. Coming to Art Therapy sessions allows changes to happen within the individual, as well as within their relationships. Difficulties at work, school or within social circles reduce and our ability to do well increases. If you are a parent or carer, I offer a space to reflect on your child’s emotional world and to make sense of their behaviour. As a result, parents find new ways of responding and being with their child. Family’s also find that their stress levels reduce.
I can offer Art Therapy sessions online, at my Art Studio in Checkendon or visiting you at your home.
"Lilly’s studio provides my son a nourishing and safe space to play and explore through art making. He is always lit up after working with Lilly and has created some incredible paintings on canvas. After our family experienced great change Lilly was a safe and creative beacon for him that helped him return to self expression. Lilly’s work made a profound difference in our lives through her gentle and fun approach. I cannot thank her enough for holding space for his needs and emotions" -Helen
Frequently asked questions
What Sort Of Person Goes To Art Therapy?
All sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds have attended art therapy and have found it beneficial. A person who is struggling with difficult feelings, thoughts and behaviours and wants to resolve some of the difficulties they are experiencing could benefit from art therapy. No problem is too big or too small, Lilly is able to work with children, young people, adults, parents, families and groups.
Do I Have To Be Good At Art?
No! Children, young people or adults who are referred to an art therapist do not need to have creative skill or flare. The art therapist is not primarily concerned with making an aesthetic or diagnostic assessment of the art work. The process of making art within the three-way relationship of client, image and art therapist is paramount.
How Will I Know If Lilly Is The Right Therapist For Me?
Choosing an art therapist is a very individual decision. It takes time and consideration. You need to feel that the therapist is someone that you can connect with and that you can feel comfortable being with. I welcome the opportunity to initially speak with you on the telephone without obligation. If following our brief telephone discussion you would like to meet, we can arrange an initial consultation to discuss further treatment options.
Can I Be Present During Lilly's Individual Sessions With My Child/Partner/Friend?
In order to provide a safe therapeutic environment the individual sessions are confidential, unless your child wants something specific shared with you. In that case we would discuss this at a review meeting with parents. If you would prefer to think about having joint sessions with your partner or a friend we could discuss this when we meet.
How Long Should I Expect To Attend Art Therapy Sessions For?
At an initial consultation meeting we would explore in detail the difficulties you or your child is having, then we can decide the best way forward. Treatments are tailored to your individual needs. Some people require brief support over a few weeks while others may benefit from longer term treatment over months. We would think together about your overall progress and decide together when it is the right time to cease art therapy.
What Happens To The Images That I Make During Art Therapy Sessions?
All of the images made during sessions are safely stored in a confidential manner by Lilly. When the sessions draw to a close, having agreed a planned ending. You will have an opportunity to review your images and make choices about what you would like to do with them. Some people want to take their images with them or leave them with the art therapist, or have a ritual around the images. Every person’s decision is unique.
Does My GP Or Employer Need To Know That I Am Attending Art Therapy Sessions?
Lilly will not share information about your attendance with your employer unless you specifically request this and you give your consent to share information. Lilly will ask for details of your GP and for your consent to share brief details of your attendance; however, the details of the sessions remain confidential.
How Confidential Are Art Therapy Sessions?
All information shared will be treated respectfully and in a confidential manner. Although if any information is disclosed which may be harmful to a child vulnerable person, I have a duty to share these concerns with other relevant professionals.
How Are Art Therapists Regulated?
Art therapists have a post graduate, MA or MSC qualification in Art Therapy. They are expected to have a first degree in order to undertake post graduate training. Art Therapy is a profession regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Registration with HCPC is required by law in order to be able to practice as an Art Therapist or Art Psychotherapist in the UK. This ensures that national standards are met. You can check if an art therapist is registered at: www.hpcheck.org Any person working with children and young people is required to have enhanced DBS* clearance. For further information on Art Therapy, training and standards of practice visit the website of the British Association of Art Therapists.