Arts psychotherapies

Art, music, drama and dance movement psychotherapies are psychological treatments that include working with non-verbal expression.

They aim to support and develop communication, improve mood, treat negative symptoms and assist people who are experiencing difficulties with expressing themselves. The arts psychotherapies assist in the development of meaningful relationships, independence, wellbeing and social inclusion.

Who might benefit from arts psychotherapies?

Arts psychotherapists within CNWL work with people with complex needs and a wide range of mental health problems including depression, psychosis, self-harming behaviour, suicidal ideation, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, post traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD), personality disorders, severe anxiety, challenging behaviour, dual diagnosis and difficulties communicating and forming relationships with others.

Treatment is user-focused and for a time-limited period depending on the severity and intensity of the individual’s needs. The length of treatment is discussed with the service user during assessment. Referrals for outpatient treatment require a completed arts psychotherapies referral form stating the reason for treatment with a recent report and risk assessment.

There is no expectation that people need special abilities/experience in the arts to benefit from any of the arts psychotherapies.

Arts psychotherapies are provided in individual and group formats and clinicians are specialised in evidence-based treatments for specific disorders.

Service areas

CNWL adult arts psychotherapy services are available both to inpatients and outpatients. Within acute settings they can often be the first psychological assessment and treatment a service user encounters and chooses to engage in. There is access to arts psychotherapies in all CNWL triage wards. The service aims to help provide a smooth transition between services: assessment & brief treatment teams, community recovery, rehabilitation and acute.

We also provide services in child and adolescent mental health services (Hillingdon, Kensington & Chelsea, Brent Early Intervention adolescent services), Coombe Wood Mother & Baby Unit, older people and healthy ageing services (across the Trust), eating disorders (inpatient & acute) and offender care units (HMP Holloway and Park Royal Mental Health Centre).

All arts psychotherapists are state registered by the Health Professions Council (HPC).

Arts psychotherapy services are committed to ongoing evaluation and research to ensure provision of an excellent and successful service. They also provide evidenced-based training to clinicians through the International Centre for Arts Psychotherapies Training (ICAPT).

In line with CNWL's vision and values we work in partnership to provide responsive and dependable mental health services for the communities we serve, encouraging recovery, well-being and social inclusion, individual choice and independent living through high quality care.


Central Arts Psychotherapy Service (Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster)
Lead Arts Psychotherapists:

Annemarie Trainor
Tel: 07834 418425

Laura Knight - interim
Tel: 020 7658 6000

North West Arts Psychotherapy Service (Brent, Harrow and Hillingdon)
Brent Lead Arts Psychotherapist: Paula Hedderly
Tel: 020 8438 1740

Head of Profession
Claire Grant
Tel: 07764 966949

Consultant in Arts Psychotherapies and Head of ICAPT
Mario Eugster
Tel: 07894 802538

  • arts_in_health_400x400-2image
    CNWL Arts in Health is a rapidly expanding service that is community based and runs parallel to mainstream psychiatric services.
    Find out more about the service