Art Psychotherapy

Art Psychotherapist – Mark Nelson

Who can use Art Therapy

An art therapist can offer a therapeutic space where greater self-awareness can be developed and where the difficulties you want to bring can be expressed and explored safely and at a pace that suits you. The availability of art materials offers an additional and or alternative means of self-expression and exploration in art therapy sessions. Those who come to art therapy do not need to have trained in art or need to be technically proficient. What matters is that you have an urge to explore your concerns and a willingness to explore how art materials might help you in that process. It can be a playful experience. It isn’t always easy but it can be very helpful.

What is Art Therapy

Art therapy is also known as Art Psychotherapy under protected title with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Art Therapists are trained at Masters Level in psychotherapeutic skills. HCPC Registered art therapists are regulated for the protection of the public.

There are many and various reasons why you might seek out an art therapist. You may have been experiencing a sense of loss, having had a recent bereavement or a long-term or profound sense of loneliness.

Is your self-esteem low? Do you find it difficult to assert yourself? Does life feel meaningless or empty? Would you like to be able to develop a greater sense of depth or intimacy in relationships? These are questions or matters that can be addressed helpfully in art psychotherapy.

An urge to change our lives, to end a situation or to start anew may bring us to art psychotherapy, where we will find the conditions that support making that change. The art psychotherapist will provide impartiality, confidentiality and the conditions in which you will be professionally supported to engage with your desire for change and to learn how to achieve it.

Expressing concerns and difficulties through images and or words can relieve the strong emotions attached to these concerns or difficulties and will support your urge to live life authentically.

Work experience as an art therapist

I qualified as an Art psychotherapist in 1990 and since then I have worked in the NHS with people whose needs vary widely across a spectrum of conditions, including severe and long-term anxiety and depression, psychotic states of mind, dependency, relationship difficulties, learning disabilities, Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and behavioural challenges.

Since 2000 I have worked in the private practice with individuals and groups in short and long-term art therapy for independent organisations, charities and with individuals.

I am experienced in and work with a wide range of issues including:

Anxiety and stress                           Panic attacks

Conflict and anger                           Eating Disorders

Relationship issues                         Self-esteem and confidence

Sexual abuse                                    Trauma & abuse

Depression                                        Work-life balance

Sexuality                                            gender issues

Domestic violence


Art Therapeutic Approach

My practice is based on having worked for over twenty-six years with many people, who have brought a diverse variety of experience and concerns to therapy. Training experience, continuing professional development (CPD), personal therapy and ongoing clinical supervision all contribute to my approach. I respond to each prospective client’s questions and concerns or difficulties specifically and agree an approach accordingly.

A psycho-dynamic understanding of psyche and relationships informs my approach. I employ also mentalization and mindfulness techniques and psycho-education where helpful and conducive to the desired change. I have a particular interest in dream and myth.

Each individual comes to art psychotherapy not only with their own concerns and questions but with differing motivation and a unique capacity for change and authenticity. Experience has taught me that a safe, confidential, robust and supportive therapeutic environment is crucial in facilitating the working alliance between therapist and client, which in turn enables the expression and exploration of the painful and difficult matters that are brought to my practice.

I am state registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) and am a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) with whom I am a recognised Clinical Supervisor, Private Practitioner and Training Therapist with extensive experience of working with individuals and groups in the NHS and independently.

I have professional indemnity insurance and operate subject to UK law and have an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check for my work with adults and children and have undertaken appropriate training in safeguarding.


I am available on Tuesdays (daytime and evenings) at The Sunflower Centre and may be able to arrange alternative appointments for people who are interested in meeting at different times.

Please call me on 07896 869319 or email me at to arrange an initial appointment, when we will be able to answer any questions you have. Towards the end of the session, we will be able to discuss whether we think we can work effectively together and if so, then we can book further sessions. If you are at all uncertain we can talk through your thoughts and concerns.


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