Working with Art Therapists: What is museum-based Art Therapy? What can Art Therapists bring to museum health and wellbeing projects?

This week (12 – 16/03/2018) is Museums and Wellbeing Week. To celebrate watch the  webinar presented by Ali Coles here. The theme will be Working with Art Therapists: What is museum-based Art Therapy?  What can Art Therapists bring to museum health and wellbeing projects? Ali is a Lecturer in Art Psychotherapy, University of South Wales and Art Psychotherapist, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance

An alliance of cultural organisations from across England launches a new national body to develop and promote the role of arts and culture in supporting the country’s health and wellbeing (launched 13 March 2018).

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance is a new national organisation for all who believe in the value of cultural engagement and participation for health and wellbeing. It will advocate for the work, provide training, resources and events, and develop understanding of how participating in cultural activities can help individual and community health and wellbeing.

To find out more and to join the new Alliance, please visit:

Between Spaces – Museum and cultural interventions for young people in adolescent mental health care inpatient settings

Working with researchers at the UCL Institute of Education, UCL Museums and Collections are carrying out scoping exercise on museum interventions with young in adolescent mental health care inpatient settings. The aim of this small scale research exercise is to better understand young people’s experiences, the potential impact these interventions have as well as the experiences of museum practitioners.

For further information click here


The third Museums and Wellbeing Week will take place between 12-18 March 2018. The National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing will co-ordinate the week, which will showcase the inspiring work museums across the UK are either already doing in the field or would like to pilot.

How to get involved

Visit their website here to download the form and send them your event details

All events will be added to their website

Creative Heritage in Mind

‘Creative Heritage in Mind’ was an 18 month art, museums and wellbeing project, formed from a partnership which has developed over several years in Suffolk. This was generated between Maggie Batchelar, an art therapist working in acute inpatient mental health services, a community arts charity and local museums services. The museum collections provided narrative which inspired imaginative creative responses for participants experiencing mental health problems, supported in small groups meeting in the museums.

‘Art Therapy in Museums and Galleries’, A call for chapter proposals for a new book from Jessica Kingsley, Publishers (to be published in 2019), Editors: Ali Coles and Helen Jury

This new book will inform practitioners about innovative practice and relevant theoretical perspectives in museum and gallery work. In the twelve chapters it will examine different client groups, the particular space of museum and gallery locations, and the singular skills Art Therapists bring to contemporary work in this field. Please click here for expressions of interest to contribute a chapter. (Deadline: 30 June 2017)

AT and MG call for proposals

Spring Meeting: March 11th, 2017


Time: 11:00 – 16:00

Alison Hawtin and Ali Coles will report back on the response to their presentation at the Museums Association conference and will lead a discussion on what museums are looking for from Art Psychotherapists, and how we can communicate what we can offer.

Drinks and refreshments are provided. Please bring a packed lunch.

This counts as 5 hours towards Continuing Professional Development.


To confirm attendance, please email:

Museums & Psychotherapy Session at the MA Conference, Glasgow 2016

Alison Hawtin and Ali Coles presented a session on Museums and Psychotherapy at the Museums Association conference in Glasgow.  They talked about using museums objects and settings within Art Psychotherapy, and about the particular skills which Art Therapists can bring to museums/galleries.  They gave out a  handout which you can find in the front page of the website.

The room was full – over 90 people – and people were really interested in what they had to say.  Some told them afterwards that they are thinking again about the kind of work they expect arts in health practitioners to do, and several said they wanted to get in touch with Art Therapists locally.  The idea of a training day for museum staff about working with Art Therapists was also discussed.

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