Mildmay’s Art Therapy classes supported by Mary Kinross Charitable Trust enhances patient rehabilitation for people with complex HIV.

Mildmay are deeply grateful to the Mary Kinross Charitable Trust for supporting our in-house art therapy classes for the next three years. Our Art Therapy enhances our work rehabilitating patients back to independent living. Without the wonderful support of the Mary Kinross Charitable Trust, we would not have been able to deliver such a comprehensive art therapy programme which reaches patients on our ward as well as those attending our Day Care Services.

The benefits of Art Therapy are enormous. It helps patients address issues that may otherwise be difficult to talk about, giving them to opportunity express their feelings and thoughts. Through Art Therapy we have found that patients are able to connect with their feelings in a new way, respond to their diagnosis and cope with feelings of isolation and depression. Creative sessions aid rehabilitation by simply empowering patients to connect with themselves, which can have profound and far reaching results.

Our art therapist describes one patient who on first entering the art therapy class was very quiet. He began his work by drawing in the corner of the page using only black and white. As his confidence grew over time he began to use colour and his work began to fill the paper. “Through his artistic journey, we caught glimpses of a whole spectrum of emotions that he was feeling. In getting in touch with his feelings and letting go of negative emotions, he now seems much happier and more engaged. … I have had the privilege of working with up to 240 patients in group sessions. Demand continues to be strong and many clients have been able to return home to an improved life” Mildmay’s Art Therapist goes on to explain “ Many (patients) have now started to explain the personal meaning of the images in their art which helps them deepen their own understanding of the images they createI have also started to increase my 1-2-1 work with bed-bound patients. The most rewarding part is when I catch glimpses of their personal breakthroughs along the way. This is very rewarding, no matter how big or small their victory.”