Sue Ellis - Art Psychotherapist 

Creating a safe environment for children, young people and adults of all ages to come to a greater understanding of themselves  and find their authentic voice that tells their own story...

Sue Ellis Art Psychotherapist MA: Registered with HCPC and BAAT

I graduated with HND photography and worked in community arts,  before going on to do my Certificate in Education. I have taught Art and Design to adults in prison and YOI, environments, I was a course co-ordinator for ND Photography for a few years before setting up an arts organisation, Serendipity Art Ltd. We developed and ran community arts projects helping communities tell their stories.   We delivered creative education programmes to young people not engaging in mainstream education.

As an Art therapist. I worked with a PRU to support an environmental shift from behaviour modification model to a relational dialogical model with an understanding of attachment and trauma theories,  working towards the development of therapy suite for young people and families.

Today I am set up in private practise, managing director of a social enterprise, Envisage Arts CIC,  working with a wide range of people across all generations, a large portion of my work is with adopted children and families experiencing complex issues.

I have a particular interested in working with children who for what ever reason struggle to engage into learning, to understands all the whys that this is happening, helping them find their voice and tell their own story so the world around them can respond accordingly.   There are times It is necessary for me to be the child’s advocate to help parents teachers and other professions to understand the situations through the eyes and understanding of the child.

It has been my great privilege to work with Veterans and their families,  as a child brought up in the Armed Forces I understand the impact on children and families, as a mother of a Veteran I understand it as a parent. Through the work in our community we found there was a need to set up a therapeutic intervention to support Veterans and their families, Salute has been running now for 2 years.

Working with older people has been a honoured position to listen and validate their life’s stories. In doing this work with older people I have gained a greater understanding of the inherent affect of trauma the generational ripple of the consequences of PTSD and Combat stress of the World Wars the impact this had on parenting and attachment,  the emotional availability they had towards their children. How this shaped the next generation, the children’s lives and then their ability to parent and build attachments essential for sound emotion resilience and good mental health.   As we come out of a 20 year war we are still seeing the devastating impact of PTSD, Complex PTSD, Combat PTSD. The impact far wider than the Veteran themselves their whole family unit needs to be supported including the Veterans themselves.  

2020 saw the onslaught and devastating impact on the world of the  Covid 19 pandemic.  It became a fast and steep learning curve. I was grateful to the young woman that reach out across the world some 12 months earlier and asked if I could do art therapy on line. Together we learnt and created a way that art therapy could be successful online,  extending the understanding and learning from talking therapies that has lead the way in Teletherapies.

Over this challenging time we set up community online art groups ‘stitch in time’ community quilt project, and worked hard to further develop Cyber Art Therapy to meet the growing needs of people feeling isolated and increasing anxiety. I am very proud of a project I set up and ran ‘Virtual Cuppa’, to support other creative therapist, everyday weekday morning we ran a Zoom session to support working online and to capture the learning we were all going through to share good practice and provide a sound therapeutic intervention to our clients. I am very proud to have been awarded a The Rising Star Award in the Advancing Healthcare Awards 2021.

I have always encouraged trainee Art Therapist to come and work at Envisage Art CIC developing a learning environment to benefits our local community and working in schools. The Pandemic raised a lot of new challenges in how this was to be achieved and how we  served our community through online interventions. As a team we were very proud when the work we did as the Envisage Arts CIC  therapeutic team was recognised and thanked from The Lord -Lieutenant of West Yorkshire.