This organisation provides therapeutic support to survivors of domestic abuse, through a range of creative activities such and art-making and singing. They also offer women one to one art therapy and the general public expressive art sessions. They were awarded a grant to run a series of art-based therapy sessions to support vulnerable women presenting in a range of ways from mental illness, trauma, loss and those who have experienced domestic abuse.

KG, 32, began attending art therapy to support feelings of despair associated with her children being taken into care. KG has bipolar, learning difficulties, a history of alcohol addiction and self-harm. Initially, she felt victimised by social services and felt disempowered by the process. Her Core OM rated highly on negative emotion: feeling overwhelmed by her problems, distressed by unwanted images and memories and as a result finding it difficult to sleep.

Over the course of therapy, we were able to recognise that her current experience was an enactment of her own childhood with feelings she had held about her mother resurfacing as her own qualities. This realisation enabled us to work more deeply on the symbolic nature of her experience.

Before long KG was describing herself through her feelings instead of anecdotal summaries of day to day experience. She began to reflect on her experience more, recognising that her situation had come about due to poor behaviour and this time away from her children was opportunity to explore and improve herself for her and her children’s sake. She also began to realise the support system she had around her and spoke of this as a reflection of her own self value. KG’s evaluation of her time in art therapy spoke of feelings of heaviness at the outset which were now replaced by feelings of optimism and an awareness of her own self-worth and power.