Alison Cloud

Art Psychotherapist

My name is Alison Cloud and I’m an Art Psychotherapist in the therapy team at Channels and Choices. I see individual children/ young people for weekly art therapy, run an art therapy group for Sallygate school and facilitate the monthly Therapeutic Thinking Times ( TTTs ) in the residential houses. I support foster carers and also deliver attachment training and NVR Training.

Art therapy is a non-verbal as well as verbal form of therapy. It works through developing a relationship of trust, in the containing space of the art room where the child/ YP can explore, play and experiment with all sorts of art materials. They might make actual things that have a symbolic value, or they might explore in a formless sensory way, which also allows the child to communicate things about themselves symbolically. I might notice things to reflect back, to encourage self-awareness of feelings.

The developing therapy relationship is essential to allowing an exploration of the child’s relational patterns and support the child/YP to integrate the painful parts of their histories and move into new and developed ways of relating healthily.  It is a confidential space, but I work closely with the other adults in the child’s network, to ensure that supportive themes in therapy are shared and thought about.

I hold a Masters in Art Psychotherapy and a Post Graduate Diploma in Art therapy. I am state registered to practice. My work with children and YP’s includes 13 years in mainstream NHS CYPMHS and in the learning disability and autism team in CYPMHS, prior to coming to Channels and Choices.

I am also trained in NVR – Non-Violent Resistance. This model supports carers of children with challenging behaviours, including risk behaviours. It is a way of thinking about, separating out and resisting the behaviours, so that the attachment relationship can be consistently maintained, built upon and repaired.