Melissa MacGillycuddy

B.A hons. ANCAD. PGDip. M.A. IACAT Reg.

Art therapy is a mental health practice applying creative interventions using art materials to reflect upon inner conflicts within a therapeutic relationship. You do not have to be good at art to benefit.

Offering Individual and group sessions

Art therapy can help with:

  • Developing self-awareness and personal insight
  • Improving sense of self and self-identity
  • Encouraging self-expression
  • Improving confidence and self-esteem
  • Resolving inner conflicts
  • Assisting with gaining a sense of control over difficult emotions and life situations.
  • Aiding emotional regulation
  • Improving and maintain healthy psychosocial functioning
  • Promoting resilience and improving coping skills
  • Supporting neuropsychological growth

Referrals via client self-referrals, GPs, psychiatrists, teachers, social workers or other professional colleagues.

About Melissa

Melissa has been a practicing artist for 30 years and has a deep understanding of the creative process and its importance in supporting emotional well-being.

As an art psychotherapist/art therapist, she has witnessed art to be a non-verbal form of communication for children, adolescents  and adults with verbal difficulties, who have problems putting into words traumatic experiences, can do so through art.

Melissa  also works with individuals and groups with intellectual disabilities and those diagnosed with dyslexia, autism/Asperger’s syndrome. Recognizing that many individuals who ‘think in pictures’ (Temple Grandin, 2006) due to differing brain connections, can express and communicate inner conflicts by making images. This has been the foundation of her practice, in particular with issues coping in school and as a college student.

She believes that all change and healing begins with creating a new understanding of oneself, which in turn  creates new possibilities going forward. To engage in psychotherapy through art enables this creative life process. It is now known that when a person is creating art or is healing, this person will emit the same brain wave patterns.

 Art psychotherapy/ art therapy with children

The simplicity of children’s art expressions as well as imaginative play makes art therapy a natural platform for their self expression. Children can create images and objects which express metaphor through art expression. They can feel safe drawing about situations they are afraid to talk about. Story telling about the images may not be literal but can give a therapist an insight as to how the child is coping with their presenting issues. Artistic development can be assessed which can help towards an understanding  about a child’s emotional experiences, cognition  and sensory integration. Traumatised children are unable to express themselves verbally but can through art materials and play.

Picking The Right Therapist

It is advisable to meet with Melissa , so as to feel comfortable with the relationship and therapy that is to be embarked on.

This consultation is a meeting, in the therapeutic art studio. Melissa can then explain how art psychotherapy works and what can be expected from the sessions.  To benefit from art psychotherapy it is recommended that six sessions are agreed upon, with a review which will determine the outcome of the therapy going forward.