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Meet The Trainer

Lindsey Alderson (MBACP Accred) is a Humanistic integrative psychotherapist who has been working with clients at the New Dawn Centre since 2002. Lindsey has a particular interest in relational work, both with adults and with children. She has worked with couples in a therapeutic setting for over 10 years and has worked with children and families for over 11 years. 


Lindsey’s other passion is in helping others grow as counsellors. With a background in education (secondary school) and also training counsellors at the start of their journey (teaching levels 2, 3 and 4 CPCAB courses), she now co-tutors the current couple training course at the centre and is one of our regular facilitators in our Saturday seminar programme.

2nd February 2019 10am-4pm - £70

Talking is powerful. It's the way we learn to communicate with others and is the most obvious form of communication in a talking therapy. However, it is not always the most productive.

Sometimes clients are unable to find the words to adequately articulate what is happening for them. Benefit may come from exploring themselves and their issues by using other dimensions of awareness.

Our brains develop from he time we are conceived, and long before we learn to talk they are already processing in other ways. We refer to these processes as pre-verbal and yet this activity continues alongside the more cognitive functioning of our brains.

In this day long workshop you will explore different creative techniques, using different types of materials. Learn about how and when they can be utilised, and have the opportunity to try them out on yourself and your peers in a safe environment. A CPD certificate of attendance will be provided at the end of the day.

Activities will include:

  • Use of pre-drawn or pre-written sheets to facilitate creative experiment

  • Use of storyboards

  • Use of Sand tray

  • USe of dolls, animals, stones

  • Use of paints, chalk, crayons

  • Use of playdough

Refreshments will be included, please either bring your lunch or use the many eateries nearby in Beeston.

What Is Creativity?

Type 'creative therapy' into google images and you will mostly see adult colouring books that seem to have taken over.

Creative approaches have a long history within the fields of psychology and counselling. They cover a broad spectrum of activities. It can be any out-of-the-box moment that helps a client to therapeutically move. Creativity is about clients and counsellors being more cognitively flexible, opening themselves to new ideas and experiences.

Why be creative?

Creative methods are useful with clients who are stuck in a rut and for whom talking therapy is ineffective. Some clients don’t have a language for their feelings, particularly if they’ve been encouraged to hide how they feel or were never asked to talk about them. If we think of the many different learning styles – audio, visual, audio-visual, kinaesthetic – staying with the audio of talking therapy will not meet the primary needs of many of our clients. Using different ways of expressing ourselves can unlock some of these hidden feelings. Many of us already use metaphor and other creative methods verbally. Can we take this one step further, perhaps couching the experience as an ‘experiment’ for the client to try, remembering that our role is to facilitate solutions, not manufacture them?

The Science Bit

The left side of the brain is responsible for rational, logical, and abstract cognition and conscious knowledge. It’s been suggested that activities associated with the left hemisphere (LH) currently dominate mental health services. This is evidenced by the recent reliance upon psychopharmacology over counselling, the reductionist and idealistic view of “evidence-based practice,” and a lack of respect. 

The right side of the brain is associated with unconscious social and emotional learning, and includes intuition, empathy, creativity, and flexibility. Some argue that counselling has always been associated with right hemisphere (RH) processes. Studies on counsellor development have found that experienced counsellors tend to rely more on intuition than manualized protocols. Counsellors tend to learn intuitive skills such as timing and word choice with experience, and most of us will rely at times on our ‘gut’.

Creativity occurs when counsellors trust their unconscious, where novel ideas are generated, based on environmental cues. Creativity is typically an emergent and unconscious process, unfolding in the immediacy of the counselling room. Counsellors often cannot fully prepare for what the client brings to the session. Every session therefore requires some degree of creativity by the counsellor, whose flexible response to the interpersonal contact with the client is crucial to establishing a deep therapeutic bond. Without creativity, the counsellor is reduced to the role of technician, administering treatments in a consistent and rigid manner. This limits the creative process and RH processing for both counsellor and client.


One cannot establish an effective counselling relationship by merely attending to verbal content (LH); a strong counselling relationship requires the integration of both LH and RH processes. Approximately 60% of communication is nonverbal (Burgoon, 1985), which is a RH function. Counselling effectiveness requires the integration of both right- and left-brain processing.

Why Aren't We More Creative In Our Counselling Rooms?

Some people are afraid of being more creative because they think they need to have specialist skills. There is a fear of taking risks, failure, looking silly... often rooted in shame.  A lack of self-belief, a need to be in control, an inability to play... These feelings alone can provide rich material for weeks of therapy. And that’s just the counsellors!!


Many counsellors feel unable to work in creative areas because they too have feelings of inadequacy about their own creative skills. But it’s not about artistic ability, it’s about expressing feelings. Working creatively does not mean making artwork, it simply means sometimes using something solid or tangible to help you look inside and express what’s there.

This course aims to equip you as a therapist to engage creatively with your clients with confidence. If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch. 

New Dawn Counselling Centre

​Contact Us: 0115  9170500​
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