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Arts therapies are therapeutic interventions similar to counselling or psychotherapy that aim to improve mental health and wellbeing. They use music, drama or dance as the means of communication. They can be particularly beneficial for adolescents, young children with communication difficulties, people on the autistic spectrum, people with dementia and in whole-family therapy.
We run one of the largest teams of music and drama therapists in the country working with children and adults across Cambridgeshire in special and mainstream schools, specialist units, children’s centres and our own clinics in Huntingdon and Cambridge. We provide specialist programmes to support transition and change, into and between school, college, home, hospital and class.
Our therapists work with individuals or groups. Sessions are provided weekly for between 30 and 45 minutes with additional time for the therapist to keep clinical notes and liaise with other professionals and family as required. Therapists assess need, design the programme and provide parent and staff support and liaison. They contribute to professional consultation and report writing for assessment and review processes and manage discharge processes at the end of the therapy.
We work with parents, carers and professionals to share skills and support consistency and follow-up outside sessions. We also provide consultations and support for school engagement and mental health issues in schools, including models of attachment and systemic work.
Music therapy sessions focus on communication using sound created with instruments and voice. Using non-linguistic methods to communicate is often helpful for those with limited verbal expression, mental health issues or behavioural problems.
Drama therapy enables an approach to developing communication and interaction using storytelling, role play, games and improvisation.
Arts therapies support any, or all, of the following:
Education Health & Care Plans have replaced the statements of SEN and learning difficulties assessments. This has resulted in a number of questions in relation to arts therapies, particularly in transition from early years to primary education and for existing provision which may be reassessed.
All arts therapies can be considered for inclusion in an EHC Plan. (If you hear otherwise please tell us!) However the assessment process will look closely at the most appropriate interventions to achieve the EHC needs that are identified. Therefore it is important that families who wish to consider arts therapies or already have them and would like them to continue following review ensure that good evidence of the impact and benefits to the child are communicated clearly through reports and at meetings. The best evidence will be a mixture of those showing communication, behaviour or education outcomes through "hard" data alongside qualitative measurement of impact through reflection and review of interactions.
Existing therapists working with a child should be contacted when there is a needs assessment meeting being planned.
£48 per hour (increasing to £49/hour from 16/4/18) which includes:
Funding may be available to support music therapy from the following sources - if you need help to source funding for a project or programme, please do talk to us:
Mary, music therapist working with dementia patient, Edward
Orla Casey, Head of Music Therapy, Cambridgeshire Music