Individual Work...

Therapeutic work with children/young people must be carefully considered, and grounded in good preparation and structure. To serve the best interests of the child, and almost all adolescents, close communication with Parent(s)/Guardians is seen as valuable and necessary.

Initial Consultation
It is usually Parent(s)/Guardians that initiate contact, and upon doing so they will be invited to an Initial Consultation. The Initial Consultation is a fairly informal meeting (free of charge), in the Artroom. It gives Parent(s)/Guardians the opportunity to get a sense of Marianne and how she works, as well as providing a forum for airing relevant issues. From this, it can be collectively decided whether Art Therapy, now, seems like the right choice. If not, alternative courses of action can be considered. The child/young person would not normally be involved until this groundwork is done. Marianne would rather establish the strong likelihood of Art Therapy being appropriate, before beginning the process of engaging them personally.

Children/adolescents can also initiate contact, in which case the preparation and structure of the work will be explained, negotiated and agreed with them. When referrals are initiated by third parties (GPs, Teachers, Social Workers etc) a prior consultation will be arranged with the third party, and Marianne, to establish the suitability of the above process.

Primary Relationship
Following the Initial Consultation, the next step would usually be to meet with the Parent(s)/Guardian together with the child/adolescent. Marianne's primary relationship will always be with the child/young person, so part of this meeting would be (in an age appropriate manner) to share what had been discussed in the Initial Consultation. Indeed, transparency regarding any future conversations with Parent(s)/Guardians or third parties would also apply, unless Marianne felt it was against the best interests of the child/adolescent.

First Sessions
This second consultation gives the child/young person space to gain their own sense of whether or not they want to embark upon a series of 1:1 Art Therapy sessions. Marianne usually recommends a trial batch of 6 individual sessions which will then be followed by a Review, attended by everyone once more.

What is shared in individual sessions, both in terms of artwork and conversation, is confidential. Confidentiality will only be broken in cases of actual or potential risk. In any such case the child/adolescent will be clearly informed of what information Marianne will be sharing, who she will be sharing it with, and why. This procedure will be made clear to all parties. In approaching the Review, the child/young person and Marianne will discuss which pieces of artwork and which themes he/she wants to share (if any). The Review then is the chance to selectively share what has emerged in individual sessions with the Parent(s)/Guardians, and for the Parent(s)/Guardians to share their perspective of relevant issues outside of therapy. At this point everyone will also consider whether work should be ongoing.

Rhythm and Ending
If work is to be ongoing, it will follow the format of approximately 7 sessions followed by a Review. When at all possible, sessions are on the same day of the week and at the same time. This rhythm and consistency is an important ingredient in building trust. Once a child/adolescent is engaged in this manner it is important that the ending of therapy be planned well in advance collectively, and worked clearly towards.

‘Creativity and choice permeates all aspects of the work from preparation to parting’