'I am a Family Therapist in Westminster CAMHS where I have been working closely with Kate Guscott. The Art Therapy service that she provides in the community is making a valuable contribution to the Mental Health and Wellbeing of children in Westminster. Her work is particularly effective with hard to reach groups that are suspicious and reluctant to engage with mainstream services. For example she has managed to engage with a ten-year-old boy of Iraqi Kurdish descent whose parents had disengaged with social services. She worked closely with the CAMHS team and offered a flexible service first in school then in a local family centre. Working outside of statutory service in a local voluntary Family Centre based in the community, helped her reached out to this boy and reduced the risk of family breakdown. As CAMHS move towards CYP IAPT dominated by CBT, IPT and Systemic work, the Art Psychotherapy service provides a valuable complementary service to address the complex emotional needs of children who are hard to reach and do not engage with other evidence based approaches .' (Philippe Mandin, Marlborough Cultural Therapy Centre, http://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/mfsmctc.html, 38, Marlborough Place, London NW8 0PJ, 020 7624 8605)
'M talked very warmly about her sessions (with Kate) and they were clearly something she looked forward to, perhaps an oasis in her very challenging family life. She actively sought out art activities during our work with her and she invariably used them in our therapeutic context very well. She had a capacity for reflection and could articulate her thoughts and feelings in language, which I feel sure was developed and nurtured through her art therapy.
I'd also like to state that it was very helpful for our service to meet with Kate in professional meetings when discussing highly complex children and their families. Her knowledge and expertise in her area and collaborative approach was invaluable when thinking about how to support the vulnerable children and families with whom many professionals were involved. She produced professional and helpful reports.
Kate was always very prompt and professional in replying to e-mails, phone calls and very flexible about attending meetings at different venues in order to accommodate many and different requirements.' (Serena Potter , Systemic Family Psychotherapist, Assistant Head of the Marlborough Family Education Centre)
'Kate and I have a lot of shared clients that we have referred to each other. The art therapy Kate provides offers all of the children a space to reflect, to use art to express themselves and to have their own time. Art therapy offered X a space and time away from the difficulties of home and school life and gave him a sense of pride in the work he completed in the sessions. He seemed to be a happier child after the sessions and was always smiling.
Another child we both work with finds art therapy a vital place for her to voice her concerns and to have time out from everything going on around her. D’s mum suffers from mental health issues and Kate has developed a very good working relationship with her, this has enabled increased understanding surrounding D's behaviour. D truly values art therapy and doesn’t want it to end.
Kate’s art therapy service is excellent, she is totally dependable, when you refer a child she will do her utmost to take the child on, she attends all the social care meetings she is able to, around her therapy sessions. She is very capable of reading a situation and being able to feed into CIN, CP or other social care meetings regarding the safety of a child and the safeguarding concerns she has.
Kate treats her clients with the utmost respect and keeps everything confidential and part of session, she will express the gist of what is going on or outcomes that she has achieved but she remains professional and confidential about all details. Kate service is a fundamental part of support for many Westminster children.' (Julia Clarke, Programme leader at Chance UK, Unit 202 | Shakespeare Business Centre | 245a Coldharbour Lane | SW9 8RR, 0203 177 3914, www.chanceuk.com)