Nicky was inspired to train as an Art Therapist after working voluntarily in Sri Lanka before and after the Tsunami, where she facilitated groups to help people use images to capture and communicate their own personal trauma and that of the collective psyche. She continued to run therapeutic art groups for children in the aftermath of the Tsunami before returning to the UK to commence her training. Nicky’s early interest in trauma has its origins in her experience in Sri Lanka where she was struck by the way such a tragedy galvanized the collective mind into restorative action as a means of dealing with their pain and loss.
Nicky has worked as an Art Therapist with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings over the last fifteen years. She has worked in schools with children and their parents using art as the primary therapeutic tool for communicating distressing and painful feelings. She set up and facilitated ‘The Art Factor’ a therapeutic art group at Chalkhill working with children who have learning disabilities alongside their parents and carers. In her NHS posts, Nicky has worked with children who had experienced significant trauma and suffered multiple losses. She has a special interest in working with children who are in the care of the local authority or have been adopted.
Alongside this, she has always endeavoured to contribute to the community and ran therapeutic art groups for children with learning disabilities. She believes in the healing power of image making and that images communicate the hidden meaning of our experience, which is often beyond words. She provides a supportive container to enable this expression. This includes supporting individuals who don’t feel they are artistic.
She has a particular interest in the integration of mindfulness into art therapy. Her approach to therapeutic artwork is psycho-dynamic and integrative and informed by object relations, attachment theories and mindfulness approaches. The core values embedded in her approach include inviting kindness and care, encouragement of non-judgemental responses, patience in allowing change to occur and appreciation of our ‘being-ness’ in the present moment. More recently, Nicky has undertaken additional training in Mindfulness-based Art Therapy (MBAT) at Bangor University and has also completed training to become a Mindfulness Teacher.
Nicky is a fully accredited Art Therapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a full member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT).