Opening Event –  50th Anniversary Celebration of Art Therapy

This academic year 2021-22 marks the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Art Therapy teaching, training, professional development, and research at the University of Hertfordshire.

Art Therapy at the University of Hertfordshire: A Potted History

1971-72: The initial Certificate is launched by Anthony Harris (Head of School), John Evans (Vice Principle) and led by pioneering art therapist Edward Adamson, at the St Albans School of Art, later Hertfordshire College of Art and Design (HCAD).

1975 – The first Diploma in Art Therapy cohort. The pioneering art therapy team that established one of the first art therapy training courses in the UK was led by John Evans.

1975 – The Post-Graduate Diploma in Art Therapy was validated by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) along with the Foundation course in art therapy. Both courses attracted a team of therapists including “Kim James, John Henzell, Felicity Weir, Peter Wey, and myself” J. Evans cited in Waller, D. (1991) Becoming a profession: The history of art therapy in Britain 1940-82 (p.239).

1978 – Edward Adamson retires.

1970’s – Sue Jennings led a short course in Dramatherapy and a certificate course on which Helen Payne taught the movement elements as a visiting lecturer (VL).

1980’s – 
The Postgraduate Diploma in Art therapy was led by Kim James then Dr Joy Schaverien, then Caroline Case, other significant figures teaching in the 1980’s were Tessa Dalley, John Henzell, Felicity Weir, Patsy Nowell-Hall, Katherine Killick, Janek Dubowski. All pioneers in training and practice and art therapy publications.

1983 – Post-Graduate Diploma in Dramatherapy validated by CNAA. The first in the UK led by Dr Sue Jennings, later Alida Gersie, followed by Phil Jones, Dr Helen Payne and Ditty Doktor.

1986 – Post-Graduate Diploma in Dance Movement Therapy (CNAA). This was the first in the UK. The programme was designed and led by Dr. Helen Payne, supported by Ditty Doktor, and Dr Bonnie Meekums, with Ragnar Johnson teaching anthropology across all programmes. Additional visiting lecturers from across the clinical and academic spectrum were appointed, and Vicky Karkou was the arts therapies research fellow.

1988 – John Evans instigated arts therapies leaders/chairs from each of the four associations (art, drama, dance movement and music) to form a regular group meeting to discuss and agree policy on factors affecting the development of the arts therapies in the UK

1989 – The Advanced Master’s in Art Therapy validated by CNAA led by Joy Schavarien.

1990’s – 
Dr Janek Dubowski worked on the art therapy programme and took up a key research position in the School of Creative Arts from the mid-1990’s. The teaching team at this time included Caroline Case, Alida Gersie. Phil Jones, Ditty Doktor, and Ragnar Johnson.

1991 Art Therapies staff at HCAD were key founders of the European wide consortium for Arts Therapies in Education and Training (Ecarte).

1992 University of Hertfordshire absorbed all programmes from Hertfordshire College of Art and Design.

The School of Art moved from St Albans to a site in Hatfield.

Art, drama, and dance movement therapies were validated as UH Advanced Masters in the 1990s

1994 – Phillippa Brown appointed as Programme tutor for the Postgraduate Diploma in Art Therapy. Subsequently became Professional lead for MA Art Therapy, Short courses, the Art Therapy Foundation certificate, and research projects.

Throughout the 1970,80s and 90s there was an intensive one-week summer school in each of these Arts Therapies. Short courses continue to be delivered at the School of Creative Arts.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Art Therapy was revalidated to MA level led by Philippa Brown. Dramatherapy and Dance Movement Therapy followed, however soon afterwards the University withdrew the Dramatherapy and Dance Movement Therapy MA programmes.

The MA Art Therapy establishes itself as a progressive and theoretically inclusive course, although psychodynamic theory is, in line with UK practice, still foregrounded. Recruitment continues to grow, and alumni go on to establish themselves leaders and influencers in the profession.

Key art therapy staff during 2000’s include Pauline Mottram; Richard Lanham; Michele Wood; Jonathan Isserow; Julia Ryde; Chris Brown; Julia Meyerowitx-Katz; Jessica Hall; Fran Taylor; Kate Rothwell, Myriam Senez, Jane Landes plus many additional visiting lecturers from across the clinical and academic spectrum.

2007 Andrew Marshall-Tierney was appointed as MA Art Therapy placement tutor.

2010’s The core teaching team on the MA Art Therapy (Philippa Brown, Andrew Marshall-Tierney and Miriam Usiskin) supported by a range of Visiting Lecturers maintain and enhance the course’s reputation for art-based and practice-focused learning.

The close working relationship with the British Association of Art Therapists continues.  Throughout this time, the MA Art Therapy keeps its focus on employability in the public and voluntary sectors. Placements are increasingly in mainstream education and, to reflect this, developmental theory is increasingly taught.

2016 – Phillippa Brown retires as programme leader of the MA in Art Therapy

2016 – Hayley Berman joins as programme leader and a psycho-social model of practice is foregrounded. Megan Tjasink joins the permanent staff team.

2018 – Andrew Marshal-Tierney takes on leadership for the MA in Art Therapy and Karen Sawyer is appointed as Placement Tutor soon afterwards

2020 – Gary Nash joins the team to run the Foundation Certificate placing a focus on an introduction to the Arts Therapies using an integrative approach to the arts in therapy and wellbeing.

Art Therapy in 2021

The MA Art Therapy is restructured to ensure it continues to adapt to changing practice contexts; new modules are created which focus on co-production, intersectionality, visual culture, and research-aware practice. During the pandemic the course was delivered online and art-based blended learning is now a key part of teaching on the course. HCPC Standards of Proficiency underpin all teaching and learning. The bio/psycho/social model is a core part of the curriculum, whilst the course now takes a lead on promoting the use of therapist artmaking and response art as safe, effective interventions.

The University of Hertfordshire continues to deliver the Foundation in Arts Therapies and the short course programme including the executive CPD modular course for arts therapists in integrating the arts, art-based supervision and research in practice. All our courses take place in an art school context and university campus setting.

We pride ourselves in the following qualities:

– 50 years of Art Therapy training within the unique context of the art school currently the School of Creative Arts.

– Innovation and development of arts-based practice, approaches, and research.

– Links with expressive arts therapies communities in Europe, America, and South Africa.

– Clinical placements located across the Hertfordshire County in the voluntary, education, the NHS, and social care sectors.

– Professional relationships and partnerships with placement providers, organisations and associations locally and Nationally.

The opening event is a celebration event hosted by key members of faculty at the School of Creative Arts. There will be student awards for outstanding contributions to the different arts therapies in practice and research innovation.

This event is open to Alumni, staff and supporters of the School’s Art Therapy programme.

Booking information – pre-booking is required.