Welcome to my website. I'm so glad you are here. My name is Elle and I combine my specialist training in Art Psychotherapy, with embodied and sensory interventions to support individuals improve their wellbeing and feel better emotionally.
For twelve years I've been walking my own personal healing journey, discovering the impact of the modalities I deliver to support my own physical and emotional health.
In my professional capacity as art therapist I have helped adults and children with concerns such as grief, stress, anxiety, trauma, and to deal with the impact of chronic illness.
Let me tell you a little bit about my story . . . I was born on the West Coast of Scotland and spent my childhood outdoors on the beach, climbing, playing and drawing. I discovered from a young age that becoming fully absorbed in an activity I was passionate about, i.e. entering a 'Flow' state, helped my mental health, happiness and resilience.
As I grew older, I was finding less and less opportunity to nourish myself with rest, creative play and mindful movement. Although I loved teaching Art and Design at Secondary level, and found daily inspiration in the way art making and creativity could bring calm and focus to my pupils, I decided I needed change.
I delved into my counselling training first, in 2014 and then after my own powerful personal experience of Art Psychotherapy, I was accepted to train as an Art Psychotherapist myself in 2015, completing my masters with distinction in 2017.
It is in my role as Art Psychotherapist that I have been able to apply what I had always known about the positive impact of creativity on mental and physical wellbeing to therapeutic work with young people and adults in the NHS and education sector.
A true mind and body intervention, Art Psychotherapy, also called art therapy, is a form of psychotherapy which uses the arts and creativity, as well as talking, to support mental health.
The art therapy process allows handling and play with materials, alongside the holding of space to explore experiences and make meaning from events and feelings in our lives.
The sensory impact of the physical touch of materials such as paint, pencil, clay or pastel can help individuals to rewire old ways of being, gain insight and self-regulate. The best part is there is no requirement to be good at art, even though some do find the practice of making inspiring and continue to make beyond the therapy room.
Art therapy takes place within a boundaried and supportive therapeutic relationship through which stories can be told and wounds healed. It can be an excellent modality to work with a variety of concerns such anxiety, grief, trauma, and stress. I consider the therapeutic relationship to be of central importance in therapy, and aim to make the experience collaborative and tailored to the needs of each individual who attends, adult or child.
The emotional and physical self benefits enormously from mind and body practices involving movement. I have practiced Hatha yoga for 12 years and in 2017 completed a 200 hour intensive teacher training immersion course. I have also completed training on using embodied practices like yoga safely within the therapeutic relationship. These experiences have deepened my knowledge of meditation, the physical postures, also known as asanas, and enhanced my understanding of how to use the body to calm the mind. I often call on yoga, in addition to mindful movement and breathing practices throughout my day, and where suitable I integrate this into my therapeutic work to promote positive change in my clients.
Working with the nervous system using artwork, embodied approaches like yoga and touch can have a profound effect on how we feel and this is integral to my own practices and my work with others to create a felt sense of safety and facilitate emotional recovery.
With 8 years of experience in mental health, and in my rich and creatively fulfilling role of art therapist and wellbeing guide, I have had the honour of hosting classes, facilitating groups and providing one to one personal therapy sessions. I am HCPC registered, a full member of BAAT, and an associate member of ACTO.
To apply for 1:1 art therapy and join the wait list, please complete a referral form here.
Elle Gilbertson is committed to inclusivity and welcomes people of all ethnicities, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, and people of all ages.
The information on this website is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace medical or psychological assessment and treatment.
Please note that I do not offer a crisis or emergency service. In such situations, if you are living in the UK I would recommend that you contact your GP during clinic hours, attend your local Accident & Emergency department, or dial 999 in an emergency. If you are from outside the UK please have a look on the befrienders website for crisis support in your country. www.samaritans.org. and www.befrienders.org
All images and content on this site are ©Elle Gilbertson 2020 -23 and may not be copied, published or used without permission.