Hello and welcome to my website.
My name is Catarina Vasconcelos and I am a qualified Art Psychotherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council in the U.K.. I am a member of the British Association of Art Therapists, the British Psychological Society and the Portuguese Council of Psychologists.
With a MA in Clinical Psychology, I came to the U.K. to specialize in Art Psychotherapy and I have gained significant experience working therapeutically with children, families and adults, aiming to provide them with a supportive space where they can create meaning, find relief and empower themselves.
I believe that as life happens there are moments of ups and downs. I believe that everyone deserves a holding hand, a smile and a caring gesture. I believe in feeling, reflecting, thinking, expressing and transforming.
As a psychology clinician and art psychotherapist, I do not see my work as one of fixing people's problems and instead I focus on facilitating your journey and development through a joint creative process. I believe every person is the best expert of their own life and holds the clues to guide them in their journey towards their full potential.
If you are curious about working with me, please continue reading below about my professional background and qualifications. I hope you find the information useful and I would be happy to answer any questions that you have.
My first steps into the world of Counselling Psychology were done in 2008, as part of my MA in Psychology, and they involved working at a community-based service offering individual cognitive-behavioural counselling sessions to adult women who suffered from depression and anxiety.
Soon after, I decided I needed to include creativity in my work, and subsequently undertook a postgraduate degree in Expressive Methodologies in Education. Alongside this training I developed psychoeducational expressive workshops for children and families and I managed an obesity prevention program for children. I also worked as a carer of an elderly person, which included visiting museums, art and theatre shows, as a way of promoting their cognitive and physical stimulation, mental health and well-being.
Whilst training as an Art Psychotherapist I began offering creative therapy to vulnerable children and young people in primary schools, from various ethnic and social backgrounds. This work also involved the ongoing support of parents, families and school staff, mainly centered around the emotional needs of the young person and positive parenting strategies.
Additionally, I have worked with adult women affected by breast cancer in a hospital setting, supporting them in group and individual art therapy. Furthermore, I have worked in the charity sector, offering counselling and art therapy to mothers and carers of children under 5, who experienced difficulties in their lives as parents and individuals.
Fueled by a continued passion for my job and opportunities to learn from incredible people, I have gained a significant amount of experience working with a number of psychological issues and life-changing circumstances, including: bereavement and loss, depression and anxiety, low self-esteem, work related stress, parenting difficulties, postnatal depression, divorce, childhood and adult trauma, abuse (sexual, emotional, physical), neglect, domestic violence, homelessness, substance misuse, learning disabilities, ASD and ADHD diagnoses.
In addition to my clinical work, I have also worked in the academic world, tutoring, supervising and advising students who are pursuing a therapeutic training.
My areas of interest include attachment and trauma; the nonverbal and body experience in the process of healing; gender roles and their relation to well-being.
At the moment and in parallel to my private practice, I collaborate as a Child Therapist with Solace Women's Aid organization, dedicated to preventing violence and abuse towards women and girls.
QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING
- MA in Art Psychotherapy, University of Roehampton, London, U.K. (2013)
- PgDip in Expressive Techniques and Methodologies in Education, Instituto Superior de Linguas e Administracao, Lisbon, Portugal (2011)
- MA in Psychology (Clinical and Health Psychology - Nucleus of Cognitive-Behavioural and Integrative Psychotherapies), Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon, Portugal (2009)
- Contemporary Dance Course, Cascais Cultural Centre, Cascais, Portugal (2011)
- Clay Sculpture, NextArt, Lisbon, Portugal (2010)
- Certificate of Pedagogical Ability (CAP), CDRH, Associated Consulters Lda., Lisbon, Portugal (2009)
Art Psychotherapist registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) (AS14728)
Full-member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) (31554)
Graduate member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) (334372)
Graduate member of the Portuguese Psychologists Council (OPP) (7540)