About CAT Corner
Why CAT Corner?
CAT Corner was created by four creative arts therapists who work together as a team of external therapists serving the Gipsy Hill Federation in South London. During the coronavirus epidemic of 2020, they came together (virtually!) to make some online resources for the children they were working with, children at home in lockdown, and those attending the school hubs for key-workers.
Due to the extraordinary nature of the circumstances with young people and their families finding themselves separated from others, the majority of the activities were designed to be completed alone in one sitting. Occasionally, they call for one other person. Group work has been avoided, but many of the activities can be easily adapted.
Creative Arts Therapy
Creative arts therapies use art forms, such as music, art, drama, or dance to support children who have experienced trauma, and to reach their potential in their relationships, emotional wellbeing, communication, attention, and play.
In sessions, therapists use a mixture of structured and child-led creative and expressive activities. The sessions occur in a safe, boundaried and confidential space at a regular time every week.
The child does not need to have any experience of drama, art, dance, or playing an instrument to attend creative arts therapy. Within sessions, the children will not learn how to act, draw, dance, or play an instrument. The focus is on the process, rather than the end product, finding a way to express and explore feelings, concerns and ways of relating all within a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship.
Music, art, and drama therapists are regulated in the UK by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and by their professional bodies, the BAMT, BAAT, BADth. Dance movement therapists are still involved in the registration process with the HCPC. Their professional body is the ADMP.
This website and the activities posted here do not constitute creative arts therapy. They are a collection of creative activities using different art forms focusing on the exploration of a psycho-social-emotional area. Any one or combination of these might form part of a creative arts therapy session, but not necessarily. Generally, the therapist's perspective within the session is very much focused on meeting the needs of the individual child, usually in a more child-led way.
All the activity posts in the Blog are structured in a similar way which resonates with the way a regular creative arts therapy session is structured:
Reflection & emotional check-out
To get the maximum benefit from these activities, it would be useful for certain children to have some support from an emotionally available and sensitive adult, or older sibling, especially to help with reflecting on and consolidating the psycho-social-emotional aspects of the activities. However, even if they are merely used as prompts for creative activity, they will still hopefully be a fun and interesting way to pass the time.
About the Authors
Ian Grundy is a music therapist working as an external therapist to the Gipsy Hill Federation, and Normand Croft Community School, both in London. He is also a Fellow of the Association of Music and Imagery, qualified in music and imagery, neurologic music therapy, and also has a small private practice.He has presented at conferences and elsewhere mostly on inclusive, non-discriminatory practice in therapy. He regularly conducts training on mental health and other psycho-social themes to school professionals.
Sarah Kong is a music therapist working as an external therapist to the Gipsy Hill Federation, Rutherford School and Haymerle School. She is also qualified in neurologic music therapy. Making connections, building resilience and enabling every individual to flourish and reach their full potential is key to the approach and work that she provides in all her school settings.
Heather Dingle is a music therapist working as an external therapist to the Gipsy Hill Federation. She is also on bank staff with an NHS music therapy service and works with private clients. Heather developed and delivers Journeys Through Play, a series of workshops to support parents and carers with thinking about how to use play and creative arts to support child mental health and wellbeing.
Vanessa Reid is a drama and movement therapist working as an external therapist to the Gipsy Hill Federation. Vanessa is the co-author of the trauma informed weapons programmed which is underpinned by psychological and holistic approaches. She is also trained in Development Transformation a method of drama therapy that emphasises immersive approaches, communication, and emotions.
Millie Edwards is an art therapist working as an external therapist to the Gipsy Hill Federation since September 2021. She also works in education for World's Largest Lesson, Project Everyone, a not-for-profit organisation campaigning for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In her clinical practice with children, Millie uses both art-based and nature-based interventions to help young people explore and connect with their emotions, communicate, nurture trusting relationships and build resilience.
Kamala Roberts is an art therapist working as an external therapist to the Gipsy Hill Federation since September 2021. She is a person of mixed heritage, born in Jamaica and grew up in London. She has always enjoyed Art Making and being creative and has always had a growing understanding of the transformative powers of art. Kamala is very passionate about the intersections of mental health and social justice. She is the founder of a social media initiative that brings together her knowledge and experiences of culture, diversity and mental health.
Karolina Koman worked as an external therapist to the Gipsy Hill Federation. She also worked in a healthcare sector providing complex care for vulnerable adults and children and has recently qualified in holistic massage therapy. In her clinical practice with children, Karolina’s primary goal is to nurture the therapeutic relationship that is built on trust, communication and acceptance whilst building resilience and promoting emotional wellbeing. Karolina is currently giving therapy in Qatar.
This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe.
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