Alexandra Symons is a qualified Applied Artist and Art Psychotherapist (HCPC registered) with a private practice based in North Wales on the English border, near the beautiful and historic town of Chester. In her work as an Art Therapist, Alexandra uses a person-centred and holistic approach, adapting her art therapy sessions to suit the individual's or group's unique needs and abilities. Alex works using a humanistic perspective that integrates various psychodynamic theories.
Art Therapy is a Holistic treatment but is also a form of psychotherapy that uses artmaking as its main focus for expression and communication. Art therapy is not used as a diagnostic tool but instead to help address emotional, mental or physical health issues which can be confusing and distressing to a person.
Just as a painting or a piece of music can say something in ways that almost defy description, art therapy provides individuals facing physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges with new pathways toward understanding themselves, helping them to express their feelings and be heard.
People do not have to be artists or even good at art to benefit from art therapy. This form of treatment is more than an art class or just something to keep people occupied, it uses the power of the arts and different modes of communication to get people to open up and engage with their therapy in new ways, enabling healing on many levels.
This type of therapy can be used for children, young people, adults and older people for a range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These can include emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions, substance abuse and physical illnesses.
Art Therapy can be accessed within a group or in an individual setting depending on the client’s needs. The therapy combines traditional psychotherapeutic theories and techniques with an understanding of the psychological aspects of the creative process.
Alexandra endeavours to create a safe, confidential and holding environment in her home studio, or within a group session, which encourages trusting and therapeutic relationships with her clients. This relationship enables clients to be open to any symbolic or underlying messages or themes brought to their attention by Alex, which may be unconsciously communicated through their artworks.
In a typical session, Alex offers her clients a choice of art materials and guides them in the making of arts or craft images and projects. This process is a proven way to help individuals to relax and can enable better communication of their thoughts and feelings (which may not be easy to share in traditional talking therapies). Through this evidence-based practice individuals can gain insight into the causes of their problems, a better sense of self, raised self-esteem, more confidence, improved social and communication skills and a better sense of wellbeing.