Bereaved adults who attended a newly-formed counselling and art therapy group, Steps Together, have described their experience as ‘invaluable’ and have been inspired to expand the group into local communities.
Hospice Counsellor Christina Stephenson explains: “Steps Together combines counselling and art therapy, so we fuse talking therapy with various non-verbal, creative expressive therapies.
“It works really well and is the model we used for our Children’s Group before the pandemic. Some interventions, such as Drumming for Wellbeing, have been new to us but are going really well.
“The beauty of this new group is that, as professionals, we are also taking ‘Steps Together’ by seeing how this can work and be so therapeutically helpful.”
It’s such a privilege to see these women pushing through their comfort zones, trying it and feeling good as a result.” – Christina
Talking about all the creative therapies used in the group, Art Psychotherapist, Caron Smith says: “Each week has a different theme that relates to grief, self-expression and self-care. We use art therapy in the form of creating a collage to explore each person’s grief and environmental art therapy, which uses nature in a therapeutic way to explore thoughts, feelings and memories.
“We also use drumming to express and balance feelings, as well as mindfulness in nature to be present in the moment which is a really useful self-care tool. Everyone in the first group found this helpful and we are already thinking of other groups for our clients.”
It was great to meet new people, it helped me not feel so alone.” – Adult A
Christina adds: “One of the loveliest outcomes we had not expected, but had really hoped for, was that the group would take the Steps Together concept outside of the hospice and into the community to keep growing it.
“We have had feedback already that the group is doing this and continuing to meet up. Longer term we hope that others will join them and grow our compassionate Steps Together community. We had not realised we were sowing the seeds of something bigger and are totally thrilled about it.”
It has pushed me out of my comfort zone, doing things I never thought I would.” – Adult C