Emma Cullen - Art Therapist for adults and children
Art and Psychotherapy are two passions in my life, therefore marrying both by completing an MA in Art Therapy in 2017 was very much a dream come true. I have been privileged to work with children and adolescents in schools since graduation and I also worked with adults during my placements in Mental Health settings.
I have 20 years of experience working with adults in the field of Intellectual Disability. This has served me well in acutely honing my observational skills. Some of our service users have limited verbal communication skills and sometimes have no choice but to 'act out' to communicate something they are deeply unhappy about. My job has been to search for the messages behind the 'acting out' behaviour in order to address what is upsetting the person; to create and ensure a safe environment for the person and to discover and pursue what is meaningful for them in their lives.
Art therapy is similar in that it is a space where we can look together at coping skills that were effective in childhood but may no longer be serving you in adulthood. We can look at what your repeated patterns in life might be communicating and discover what may be blocking you from reaching your full potential. It is a safe and confidential space. Communication through the medium of art may feel less intimidating for some people than face-to-face talking therapy. Often the art will do the talking for you, perhaps without you even consciously knowing. However, only you have the key to the meaning of your artwork. I do not interpret; I just help you arrive at your own meaning.
You don't need to be good at art at all to benefit from art therapy. You only need to be open to exploring the materials you are drawn to. I am very interested in the sensory aspect of the materials used in art therapy and in their potential to help regulate the nervous system and to heal trauma. It has been my experience that clay and messy play (slime/oobleck and potion-making) has helped many of my younger clients to regulate their emotions, helped them negotiate trauma and give them a greater sense of autonomy in their world among a myriad of many other benefits.
Please feel free to email me with any of your queries - I look forward to hearing from you!
Available to clients in Wicklow and Dublin