Setting up two art psychotherapy services was challenging yet rewarding, and now I work as a psychotherapist for the NHS

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MA Art Psychotherapy graduate, Yuko Micus, set up two art psychotherapy services during her final year of study at USW as part of her clinical placement and now works as as a psychotherapist for Devon Partnership Trust. She says;

"The positive feedback from service users led managers to create two paid art psychotherapy posts, one of which I was employed for. So, I am now working as an art psychotherapist for Devon Partnership Trust (NHS), based within three older adult inpatient units, where I run art therapy groups, and within the community, offering assessments and individual art therapy. I have also set up a group for the Community Mental Health Team staff to support their well-being.

As well as my NHS work, I secured funding to set up a supportive group for people living with dementia and their carers. In addition, I volunteer in the homeless sector and have been applying for funding for art therapy work. I am co-coordinator of the British Association of Art Therapists (Region 1) and work with the Complex Trauma Institute, an organisation that offers support, training, membership and research opportunities to professionals working in the field of complex trauma.

My working week is quite busy as I am in a different place each day. I work within the NHS for three days and have two days to run my other art therapy projects and find space for my own art making. I find calmness when practicing yoga and I am about to begin a Foundation Course as a yoga instructor, with the hope that I can integrate it into my Art Psychotherapy work. One of my interests is in how trauma affects the body and so I want to learn more about how our bodies function and how to improve physical well-being - beginning with my own body!

I am constantly motivated by learning, not just by studying and reading but by meeting other people and listening to what they have to say. In this job, I learn something new or meet a new person every day, and it fascinates me. Finding a profession that I am passionate about is also very motivating and gives me a great sense of belonging.

The three years I spent studying the MA Art Psychotherapy course at USW were challenging; it felt like having to rewire the perception I previously had of my brain, body and sense of self. However, I know that it was a necessary journey and process to be where I am now. The best thing about it is that I made that journey with some wonderful colleagues who will now be friends for life!"