Arts therapies

Explains what arts therapies are, what they are for, what happens during therapy and how to find a therapist.

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How can I find an arts therapist?

What services are available often depends on where you live. You may be able to access an art therapy through:


In some areas, you may be able to access an arts therapy through the NHS as part of a mental health service, either in the community or as part of the treatment provided if you have to spend time in hospital. However, this varies from area to area.

Your GP or community mental health team (CMHT) should be able to tell you what’s available in your area and may be able to refer you to a local service.

For more information about speaking to your GP, see our page on seeking help for a mental health problem.

Voluntary organisations

Voluntary organisations, such as a local Minds, may offer arts therapies. You may also be able to access an arts therapy through a charity, such as the Roundabout Dramatherapy charity.

To find out what is available in your area, you could:

  • contact the Mind Infoline
  • ask at your local library
  • search your council's website

Private sector

You can also access arts therapies privately, although this can be expensive. Private therapists may offer one-to-one or group sessions — group therapy may be more affordable as everyone shares the cost.

You can find details of accredited therapists in your area by searching the register of the relevant professional organisation:

You could also search the counselling directory website to find accredited arts therapists near you.

For more information generally on accessing therapies privately, see our page on seeking help through the private sector.

What should I do if I'm not happy with my treatment?

Like other treatments, arts therapies can be challenging. It can be difficult expressing your emotions and building a relationship with your therapist.

If you're unhappy with your therapist or the type of arts therapies you're receiving, take a look at our information on what to do if you're not happy with your treatment.

This information was published in 2016. We will revise it in 2019.


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