June 2013: Art therapy services at Epilepsy Society

The artwork currently on display in our Ian Johnson Suite has been produced by clients of the art therapy centre at the Epilepsy Society in Buckinghamshire. Here's a bit more about each of the different services available and their benefits.


Art Therapy services at the Sir William Gowers Assessment Unit
The Sir William Gowers Assessment Centre is a ward of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and is part of the University College London Hospitals Trust. The Centre is situated at Epilepsy Society’s Chalfont St Peter site in Buckinghamshire and is renowned for its treatment of epilepsy.

Inpatient Open Group Art Therapy Service
The group session is theme based and allows patients to modify negative perceptions of living with seizures and the effects of the condition. The group provides a forum where people can influence the way they view living with epilepsy, explore how having epilepsy effects them and encourages a realistic and enabling attitude, modifying the perception of control the condition has in their life. Patients on admission have an opportunity to attend sessions between medical appointments on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. This offers each patient the opportunity to express and explore strategies to modify any real or perceived intrusive influences when living with the condition.

Closed Group Sessions
Art Therapy groups are particularly helpful to individuals who would benefit in expressing their situation in the presence of other members. Sharing and communicating their concerns helps them when mentally and physically processing negative perceptions of an illness or condition which can be challenging alone. When we think of this, it is more likely that through a non-verbal task, such as art, that an improved understanding of these feelings can be revealed collectively in a group instead of communicating in words alone.

Individual Art Therapy Session
The Art Therapist, art materials and the art studio provide an expressive, action orientated medium, enhanced by a developing intimate therapeutic environment. The session provides a physical, mental space to think and reflect in. This is where the service user can communicate, discuss and personally rehearse their need for change. The Therapists approach aims to develop a secure therapeutic relationship where personal conflicts and psychological suffering can be understood.