A was referred to the psychological therapies service in April 2012 by Consultant Psychiatrist. Following an initial assessment by Consultant Clinical Psychologist a psychological formulation was developed by the team, nine different action plans identified as contributory to A's on-going care plan.
A commenced art psychotherapy assessment sessions as directed by the formulation on 30th August 2012 weekly until discharge in August 2013. One of the most outstanding features of her general presentation is the reduction in recorded incidents from the inception of her therapy input; from March 2012 to August 2012 (six months) there were fourteen incidents which reduced to three from October 2012 to August 2013 (eleven months).
A was a young person in her early twenties. She was a mother herself and has poor family attachment narratives repetitive in her life including losses related to her siblings. This left her angry and confused with no sense of appropriate attachment or self-expression leading to her becoming vulnerable with her peer group in relation to drugs and sexual activity. A has a history of abuse from others, emotionally, sexually and physically. She often used physical aggression herself to have her needs met. She was a self-harmer and reported a history of neglect at home. A sought staff attention through negative behaviour patterns.
Through the provision of art psychotherapy, A was able to make an attachment relationship through communications with her artwork and explore some of the more unconscious responses to her anxieties. Exploration of these images in session became a realisation for her of her ability to master some control, gain some self-esteem and confidence to manage her life events and gain a more controlled sense of self. She explored her history, had opportunity to foster a close relationship outside the containment and boundary and nurture the ward provided and had opportunity to test out some of her new learning.
She developed a positive attitude to her difficulties resolving to change aspects of her behaviour and manage her responsibilities as an adult. A was discharged on August 2013 to community placement where much of this work is recommended to be ongoing to further enhance and develop her life skills.