Art therapy returns in the new year, adding to the range of support on offer for bereaved people at Trinity.

Many on-site face-to-face activities, including art therapy, were paused during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, one-to-one sessions will restart on Friday mornings thanks to Bereavement Service volunteer, Valerie, offering her skills to Trinity after recently qualifying as an Art Therapist.

Lady standing smiling in front of art supplies

With her support, friends and family members of people who have died under Trinity’s care will now be able to explore their feelings and emotions through creativity including painting, drawing, clay work, poetry, and sand play.

The sessions will be an alternative way for people to consider their feelings, as an addition to the existing talking therapies and bereavement services already offered by Trinity’s team of experts.

Valerie explains how artmaking can help to communicate feelings and emotions that might be difficult to verbalise or sit outside of awareness:

“It’s not about completing a piece of art, or being an artist of any kind, it’s about the process of making art and being supported to reflect on thoughts and feelings that arise during the session. Art can surprise us; it can help us to look at our difficulties from new or different perspectives and can often be quite illuminating for the maker.”

Valerie will be running the sessions on a voluntary basis as one of our 300 volunteers, having previously volunteered for the hospice five years ago as an Arts Assistant and with a singing group for outpatients living with dementia.

After working with an Art Therapist at Trinity, Valerie was inspired to re-train and has since completed a Masters in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy, and has been awarded a Distinction by the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education (IATE) in Islington.

Although Valerie is offering her professional skills to Trinity in a voluntary capacity, time spent volunteering here will support her continued professional development, gaining valuable clinical time required to register with the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

Valerie is looking forward to supporting people in their bereavement here at Trinity. Individuals can attend up to eight one-hour sessions at Trinity, in a private, dedicated art therapy space.

Find out more about bereavement support See all our volunteering opportunities