Tayside Council on Alcohol

Project Title: Creative Therapies

The Creative Therapy service at Tayside Council on Alcohol offers children & young people the space to express their thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a safe, non-judgemental environment and receive therapeutic support and guidance. Those supported have experienced trauma, mental health difficulties or/and who have been affected by their own or another’s substance use.

The creative process allows clients to express that which may be too confusing, difficult or painful to express verbally. By utilising play, dance, music, drama or art-making within the therapeutic relationship, clients can begin to process trauma and regain a sense of safety and security.    

The children and young people I work with will often present with highly disrupted and insecure attachment. They struggle to trust new people and are expecting to be rejected or criticised. The work therefore is first and foremost to help the child feel safe and accepted. I do this by really being with the child, exactly where they are at, whether this is loud and destructive or quiet and withdrawing. Through creativity and play I communicate acceptance of the child just as they are and offer them autonomy and choice within the space to help them to begin to feel safe and held. Once that sense of holding is established, the child can then utilise creative expression to begin to understand their own experiences. My role is to witness, empathise, support and help the child to see alternate perspectives. I do not lead or instruct, but allow the child to find their own transformative meaning through creativity and movement”.

Fiona McFarlane – Dance Movement Psychotherapist.


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