People affected by long term conditions now offered art therapy at Altnagelvin

The Macmillan Health and Well Being Campus, based on the Altnagelvin Hospital site, is now offering art therapy for people affected by cancer and long term conditions. This service is delivered by an Art Therapist trainee under the supervision of the Western Trust Art Therapist, Brendan O’Neill and the Clinical Psychology Team.

Brendan O’Neill, Western Trust Art Therapist said: “Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art as its means of communication, giving expression to those who have difficulty in talking about their thoughts, feelings and issues. It differs from other psychological therapies as is a three way process between the client, the therapist and the artwork.

“Clients who are referred to Art Therapy do not need to possess any previous experience in art making. Aesthetics and diagnostic assessment are not the primary concerns of the Art Therapist, but rather the aim of the practitioner is to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials.

Speaking about her experience of art therapy, Shirley-Ann Brown said “Art therapy gave me an escapism during treatment. It inspired me to express my emotions creatively. I found it fun, stimulating, relaxing and enjoyed every session.”

10 year old Adam Connolly has been having art therapy for the past 10 weeks at the Macmillan Support Centre following his treatment. Adam said “Art therapy is amazing and brilliant. It really is helping me with my confidence and it has been so much fun.”

Each Art Therapy session normally lasts for 50 minutes, with clients committing to an agreed contract of a minimum of six sessions.

To learn more about art therapy at the Macmillan Health and Well Being Campus contact 028 7161 1272.