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Art Therapy


Our free, confidential and non-judgemental Art Therapy service is for young people (aged 12 to 18) in Midlothian.

Art Therapy gives you a chance to try out art materials with an art therapist.

It’s a way of helping you come to terms with difficult thoughts, feelings and ideas by:

  • drawing
  • painting
  • making a collage
  • building things using clay or other materials

It’s a bit like playing, and can help you express your emotions.

Everyone has a creative part of themselves (dreaming’s a good example of how this part of ourselves can help us mull over what’s going on in our lives).

Art Therapy helps you to use this part of yourself to help you to relax and express yourself through the images or objects you make.

How Art Therapy helps you feel and cope better

Art Therapy can help by allowing you to open up and share things.

It gives you the chance to let out any feelings you might have been bottling up by making art about them. Using art materials can be a safe way of doing this that means you’re not hurting yourself or others.

It can also help you to see what your feelings might look like.

You don’t have to be good at art to do Art Therapy

There’s no need to be good at art, or to have done loads of it before, to do Art Therapy. It’s more about letting yourself experiment without having to worry about what you come up with.

Sometimes it can be difficult to put feelings into words and it can be easier to use art instead. Even a scribble or a doodle can express how you feel.

Art Therapy is confidential

Your art therapist won’t pass on your name, details or any information about you without your permission.

But if they have serious concerns about you, or about another young person’s safety, they would have to tell others.

If your art therapist does need to break confidentiality, they will always do their best to explain their reasons beforehand, and let you know what’s going on.

Your art work is confidential too. Your art therapist will keep all of the art work you make in a safe place until the end of your sessions. This means you can look back at the work you’ve made.

Your art therapist will set time aside for you to do this.

Art therapists can’t read your mind by looking at your art work

Your art therapist won’t judge or analyse anything you make or say. And there’s no pressure to talk about what you make.

But, if you want to, you can chat about the meanings of your images with your art therapist. It can be fun and interesting and sometimes you can learn a lot about yourself.

How many sessions you’ll have and how long they’ll last

Art Therapy lasts for an hour a week, and you and your art therapist will decide the best time and place.

Your sessions can be at our base in Dalkeith, at your school or at a local health centre.

Your art therapist can offer up to 14 sessions and there’s room to have more, or less, sessions.

Waiting times

How long you’ll wait to see an art therapist depends on how many other people have been referred to the service.

If you’ve been waiting longer than you expected, give us a call to double check where you are on the list and how much longer it will be.

Other places you can get information and support

Phone lines like Childline – 0800 1111 and the Samaritans – 116 123, offer free and confidential support.

The Young Minds website provides information on a range of mental health issues. If you are a parent needing help, you can call the Young Minds Parents hotline on 0808 802 5544.