Child Arts Psychotherapy

Level 5C, Outpatients Department

  • Telephone: 01273 696955 Extension 2446
  • Art Psychotherapist: Charlotte Savins

The Arts Psychotherapy Department is open 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Wednesday. The service is open to any child receiving treatment through the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

The service is dedicated to supporting the emotional well being and improving the quality of life for patients seen at The Children’s Hospital.Our work frequently includes:

  • exploring and helping to improve quality of life for children and their families living with life limiting or chronic conditions
  • helping children and young people express their emotions
  • interventions with low mood or anxiety
  • exploring the impact of a young person’s illness or disability on their self-esteem, confidence or body image
  • supporting young people through invasive procedure anxiety
  • helping children adhere to treatment
  • obtaining informed consent for elective procedures
  • enhancing psychosocial rehabilitation
  • pain management
  • The Arts Psychotherapy Department can help through consultation with parents, family work, individual psychotherapy, support groups for siblings, staff consultation and training.

The Arts Psychotherapist uses both talking and art and play materials such as paint, clay, drawing and puppets. You do not have to be good at art to benefit from arts psychotherapy and you do not have to use art if you do not want to. 

    The therapist is part of the multidisciplinary team and helps colleagues provide a comprehensive treatment and support package to the child and family. 

    How can you contact the Arts Psychotherapy Service?

    You can ask your child’s doctor, nurse or any other health professional involved in your child’s care at The Children’s Hospital to make a referral on your behalf. There is currently a waiting list and your child’s name will be placed on this and you will be written to once a vacancy becomes available.

    Sometimes you or your child may find it helpful to speak to someone outside the family. With your permission, your child can also ask any of the healthcare staff involved in his or her care to arrange a meeting with an Arts Psychotherapist. Older teenagers may not need your permission to set up a meeting.

    If a professional from The Children’s Hospital thinks that an Arts Psychotherapy referral may be required for you or your child, they will discuss this with you first.

    What will happen when you attend for assessment with an Arts Psychotherapist?

    The length of the initial meeting may vary. The therapist will talk with you about any concerns you may have and make an assessment of your family’s needs. By the end of this meeting, we hope to agree on a plan with you, about how best to help you and your child.
    What will the plan involve?

    We may suggest further meetings with you, other members of your family or your child alone. We would discuss with you what these meetings would entail. We may sometimes involve other team members if we think they may be helpful.

    With your permission, it may also be helpful for us to contact the people who care for your child locally, for example, your child’s school, their community nursing team, social worker, GP or health visitor.