Overcoming Organisational Challenges Together: Art Psychotherapy within Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Mental Health Services.

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Dominik Havsteen-Franklin


As the largest community facing NHS organisation Central and North West London Foundation Trust (CNWL) is perhaps unique in its aspirations to place art psychotherapy as one of the core psychological therapies for patients diagnosed with severe mental health disorders. CNWL is the largest NHS employer of arts therapists and currently employs 43 arts therapists across the trust of which 25 are art psychotherapists. We work with some of the most transient and deprived populations within London. Of the 1.2 million members of the population that we serve, approximately 17% will have a severe mental health issue at some point in their life. There is high cultural diversity and mental health services are accessed by people of all cultural backgrounds. Our motto is ”˜Wellbeing for life’.

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Panel 1. In what ways does the context shape the practice of art therapy?