Harvey is now studying to become an art psychotherapist

Harvey Gardner, Creative and Therapeutic Arts graduate, now studying MA Arts Psychotherapy

Harvey Gardner, from Nutbourne in Chichester, went to South Downes College before coming to USW to study Creative and Therapeutic Arts. He is now studying the part time Art Psychotherapy course.

"In school, I knew my main attributes were my art and people skills. While researching my options, I came across art therapy and knew this was what I wanted to do.

University of South Wales’ Creative and Therapeutic Arts course was recommended to me as it was one of the few universities to offer this course at undergraduate level, with an option to progress towards a MA in Art Psychotherapy.

The Creative and Therapeutic Arts course was very inspiring to my artistic journey. The placements I had each year in different settings allowed me to apply the theories of therapeutic arts which led to me being confident in using a variety of art materials with others in care environments.

The assignments would always challenge my perceptions on art and inspire me to branch out into new areas. From making sensory chairs to show how art can be made more empathetically for people to engage with to doing more process-led units involving time to look at art playfully, I left with a range of experiences to take with me into the working world.

Since graduating, I have had my own exhibition – an installation which explored the impacts of Dementia on the person living with the condition and their partner-carer. It was a very thought provoking time in my art and it spoke to many in the community.

Wanting to become an art psychotherapist, this course was paramount for grounding me in the theory of therapeutic arts whilst giving me an understanding of arts’ ability to aid people’s wellbeing. It allowed me to use my art to connect with people on an emotional level whilst still keeping my own style and passions. It was both enjoyable and liberating.

I would recommend the course to anyone wanting to explore art interpersonally whilst also seeing the benefit of therapeutic arts to the community. I found it a useful stepping stone on my career path to becoming an arts psychotherapist."