How we support schools

Art therapy works particularly well with children and young adults for they are often more comfortable expressing themselves through art materials than through words. If a pupil has a limited vocabulary, art therapy can be an essential form of communication to facilitate talking.

Behaviours that disrupt classrooms often stem from individuals with greater emotional needs. Unless the root cause of these behavioural symptoms are addressed, this can become unmanageable for child and school. Art therapy is recognised to be a useful tool for schools as it provides a space in which the issues can be safely addressed.

Parental consent is required from the outset of any therapeutic intervention. Following the initial assessment and then every six weeks until the end of therapy, the art therapist provides a clinical report for the school, parents and any relevant agencies.

Education Health Care Planning

Having an art therapist to work with ‘at risk’ pupils directly supports their Education and Health Care Plans (EHCP) by focusing work on key areas of their ‘Social, Emotional and Mental Health’ development.


Artling provides an assessment and referral service for schools to enable them to provide valuable additional information to help facilitate a Tier 1 referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the NHS (CAMHS). This service can help reduce waiting times for a diagnosis of ADHD, ASD and improve relationships between schools and CAMHS.

So what might it look like?

  • The recommended duration of therapy can be as short as 10 weeks or as long as required.
  • The support provided can be individual/group or a combination of the two. Sessions are timetabled by the school to ensure the minimum disruption to the curriculum and can occur before and after school hours.
  • Directive and non-directive approaches can be used depending on needs of child.
  • Parental involvement is encouraged from the outset, and the therapists are available to see parents/guardians.
  • Artling structures the work to complement teaching and specialist support such as behaviour management and learning support. Additional training can be provided to schools to help develop their understanding of mental health and to create schools that are more resilient.


Artling offers informative and interactive art therapy workshops, to raise awareness about the benefits of art therapy. The workshops include the following components:

• A brief history of art therapy and its benefits.

• Experiential opportunities where staff teams are encouraged to use art materials as a form of non-verbal expression.

• Case study presentations

• Informative handouts

• Q&A session

In addition to these ‘taster’ workshops, Artling likes to build resilient schools. This can be facilitated through a series of workshops for staff to increase their understanding of mental health issues. By creating an ethos that embraces positive emotional health and resilience, issues can be addressed quickly before they escalate. Early intervention requires a ‘whole school approach’.