Workshops at psychART18

SYNCHRONY Group Songwriting Workshop:

The SYNCHRONY study explored songwriting in group music therapy for chronic depression. We will give a brief background to the study and songwriting approach, and then lead participants in an experiential group songwriting workshop. There is space for up to 10 active participants, and up to 20 observers for this session.

Donald is a music therapist at East London NHS Foundation Trust and was involved in running the SYNCHRONY groups.

Catherine led on the SYNCHRONY study. She is an HEE/NIHR Clinical Lecturer at Queen Mary University of Londonand music therapist at East London NHS foundation Trust.


Writing Well and Writing to Get Well

In this workshop, Toby Litt will look at Creative Writing, both inside and outside the academy. And will investigate whether or not Creative Writing can be used therapeutically. He will explore, through writing exercises, some of the ways in which past experiences and traumas can be framed and narrated.

TOBY LITT grew up in Ampthill, Bedfordshire. He has worked as a teacher, bookseller and subtitler. A graduate of Malcolm Bradbury’s Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia, Toby is best known for writing his books – from Adventures in Capitalism to Lilian's Spell Book – in alphabetical order; he is currently working on ‘P.’ He is a Granta Best of Young British Novelist and a regular on Radio 3’s The Verb. His story ‘John and John’ won the Manchester Fiction Prize. Toby teaches creative writing at Birkbeck College.

Playing ON Theatre Company

Playing ON Theatre Company have drawn together the stories of those receiving and providing mental health care using a unique collaborative process between patients, psychiatrists and mental health staff.  Hearing Things is the result of that work – a process which has instigated real change in the lives of patients.

As part of the writing process, staff and patients at the Maudsley Hospital in south London took part in a drama programme in April 2014. Improvisations were used as material for the finished play, with clinicians and those receiving treatment swapping roles. As a direct result of these workshops, two patient’s progress was so great that doctors allowed their early discharge.

The play explores the dilemmas of psychiatry from the points of view of patients, relatives and staff. Based on experiences of psychiatrists and patients, the ‘healthy’ and the ‘ill’, looking at how and if people heal and recover inside institutions.

They will perform a brief excerpt from their play and demonstrate how theatre-devising techniques can be used to facilitate a greater openness about lived experience.

“All trainees in psychiatry should see Hearing Things by Playing ON for an understanding of compassion for patients and the real job.  Astounding.” Dr Paul Gilluley

Playing On will be working with Hugh Grant-Peterkin, Consultant in Adult & Older Adult Psychiatry, currently working in Liaison Psychiatry for ELFT at Homerton Hospital. I have a strong interest in the arts especially performing arts and took a two year OOPE to study devised theatre making at LISPA subsequently performing at Underbelly in Edinburgh & Southbank Centre in London. I also have an interest in medical education and am currently undertaking a MA in medical education which I hope will help me to bring together threads of medical student wellbeing & the arts which currently form part of a SSC which I teach on at BLSMD.

Key Changes

Key Changes was set up in 1997 by a group of patients, and aims to provide music engagement and recovery services in hospitals and the community for young people and adults affected by a variety mental health conditions. Their award-winning programme promotes wellbeing and recovery through developing creative, technical and vocational skills and opens pathways to mainstream opportunities in education, training, work experience and employment. Their innovative approach draws on clinical therapeutic techniques and professional music industry practice.

Dance Movement Psychotherapy in Mental Health Services

Bio: Brenda Naso is a qualified Dance Movement Psychotherapist (MA DMP) & Somatic Movement Therapist (Dip. IBMT). She works clinically in ELFT NHS Foundation Trust in both community and acute Adult Mental Health. She is a Lecturer on the MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths College and also teaches internationally.

This experiential workshop aims to give participants a brief introduction to Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) and the role it can play in the lives of those living with mental illness. It will also offer participants the opportunity to explore the role that creative movement and dance can have in our general sense of well-being by enhancing our connection with our bodies and minds.

Disappointman Drawing

Chris Sav is a visual artist. My work predominantly takes the form of illustration, and I have created illustrations for mental health charities such as Rethink Mental Illness and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). I illustrated a weekly series called Disappointman for the CALM website. Disappointman dons a cape of inadequacy, wears odd socks as a delusion of luck, and puts on his nautical pants of conviction. He’s a hero who doesn’t fight crime, but struggles to get out of bed. Rather than going against a villain hell bent on world domination, he battles anxiety and depression– enemies hell bent on stopping Disappointman from leaving the house. I’ve given talks about the comic at Changing Minds Festival at the Southbank Centre, as well as All in the Mind Festival in Basingstoke.


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Conference 2018

psychART 2018 Conference was on Friday 23rd November. For more info visit our event page clicking here


Please stay tuned for dates of upcoming events.

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