Hi everyone! I’m Rachael, the new Art Therapist at Alder Hey Children Hospital in Liverpool.  My new role is funded by the Teapot Trust.

I was welcomed into the Clinical Health Psychology Department at Alder Hey in January and this is my first NHS post. I am working in a team of 42 clinicians, including Psychologists and Psychiatrists.  Part of my induction has been to shadow other colleagues across the hospital on different wards, meeting with patients and their families.  It's been wonderful to find out how the Clinical Health Psychology team support children and their families, who are often facing challenging times.

Art and music therapy play such a vital role in the department. Myself and a full-time Music Therapist are able to offer a creative approach to therapy for patients and families who might be finding it hard to put into words some of the difficulties they face, due to their overarching health problems. 

Art Therapy is such an accessible therapy and can provide an opportunity to support people in expressing feelings which are sometimes too difficult to put into words.  It provides a safe space for creative expression. Creativity is therapeutic in itself and adding psychotherapy to the process amplifies people’s ability to find meaning within their art making, to access unconscious processes. What I love about Art Therapy is that every patient uses it in their own individual way, and I am very appreciative of being able to go on those individual journeys with patients. 

I’m so grateful to the Teapot Trust for funding the post at Alder Hey and look forward to being part of both the Teapot Trust and Alder Hey family.

Rachael trained at Chester University and qualified as an Art Therapist in March 2018 after three years of study. Since qualifying she has been working as an Art Therapist at a SEMH secondary school, supporting young people with social and emotional difficulties. She has a degree in Contemporary Textile Practice, and has always enjoyed being creative and promoting the therapeutic benefits of creativity on wellbeing.