FAQ Page

Growth through Art Helen Bradshaw Sunshine Coast Retreat

Expressing ourselves and releasing bottled emotion is vital for good health and well-being, especially if we are going through any ongoing pain or experiencing emotional or physical symptoms.

Art Therapy is a powerful psycho-therapeutic process to express feelings, thoughts and experiences, reduce stress and anxiety and alleviate depression and fear. It helps to identify blocks to emotional expression and personal growth. Even for healthy, problem-free people, this therapy can be a very good means to understand themselves further and grow to their full potential. It may be a painting, a drawing, a collage, working with clay or even sound, movement and digital media. All of these methods can help to unleash creativity and release feelings enabling emotional, physical and spiritual freedom.

In a safe, supportive and inspiring environment, you are guided and encouraged to find new perspectives, and ways to communicate experiences in your own unique and authentic way.

The art provides a safe place to creatively express, explore and gain insight into ourselves, our stories and our lives. Sometimes it is hard to put into words what is happening and how we are feeling. Opening up with creative expression can help release into the art what we are unable to say.

Research is substantiating that art improves not only our quality of life, but also is effective in reducing pain, fatigue and stress and increasing cognitive abilities and emotional well-being. This can improve our mood, restore calm to a stressed body, help with blood pressure and depression, and create positive life transformations.

Art Therapy can help people process change, review past events, understand feelings, explore future goals and create a greater understanding of relationships. Art Therapy can assist in:

  • expressing feelings that may be difficult to verbalise
  • identifying blocks to emotional expression and personal growth
  • traumatic experiences
  • reducing pain and fatigue
  • resolving conflicts and developing interpersonal skills
  • reducing stress, anxiety and depression
  • managing behaviours and disorders such as blood pressure and eating disorders
  • increasing confidence, self-esteem and personal development
  • improving health, well-being and quality of life
  • Living a more creative, confident, fully expressed and authentic life

Even for healthy, problem-free people, Art Therapy can be a very good means to understand themselves further, establish and implement new goals and ways of being and also to destress.

No. You do not need to have any artistic ability or knowledge of how to use art materials to engage or benefit from Art Therapy.

Art therapy is for anyone! People of all ages, genders, abilities, cultures and beliefs can engage and benefit from this sensory modality. You don’t even have to be able to hold a crayon!

As an Art Therapist my role is to facilitate individual and group sessions in an environment that enables the safe expression of emotions and feelings relating to life challenges. This may include processing change, reviewing past events, understanding feelings, exploring future goals and creating greater understanding of relationships. My aim is to support, encourage and gently inspire individuals to feel comfortable to express and release what they need to in the art process, guiding them to explore, gain insight and meaning from their artwork, and help to integrate new ways of being into their life. Rather than directing the process or judging the art, the therapist is there to guide and support you to find your own meaning in the art and gain the therapeutic benefits of an authentic creative experience.

We use a wide variety of art materials such as pencils, oil and chalk pastels, collage, paint, clay, textiles, mixed media for sculptures, digital media, and items from nature, anything from a feather to a rock. Sound, movement, mindfulness and meditation are also used. These tools are used to allow each individual to communicate and express themselves in their own unique way. The essence of Art Therapy is not following instructions on how to use art materials to produce an art piece, but to freely express and discover your own imagery and in doing so discover and connect more to your unique authentic self.


We have a brief chat about your goal or what you would like to achieve from the session, followed by engagement in art materials, although we don’t spend the whole session doing the art as it’s not an art lesson. We will discuss any symbolism or metaphor that is speaking to you from your art work. The good thing is that you don’t have to talk about the bits that you don’t want to, as you have expressed them in the art, however the choice is yours.

The Art Therapist gently guides the art process but does not interpret the art produced, encouraging and supporting the individual to find their own meaning in their artwork. We help you interpret your work, by asking you questions about it, however we don’t do the interpretation for you because you have made the art with an intention. It is your personal work/expression and we don’t know what it means for you. You might not want to talk about aspects of your art, which is absolutely fine because only you need to understand what it means. Whether you choose to talk about it is up to you.

We can assure you no art will be shown without your permission. Remember that you are creating art for expression not for exhibition. Your confidentiality is taken seriously. We will not show your art to anyone as that would be like divulging what you said in a counselling session. You are welcome to share whatever you like but we won’t be displaying your process in our studio, on social media or in any promotional material without your permission.

NO, unless you would like to bring a journal or something symbolic or personal to use in the session. All art materials are provided for every session, workshop or program unless otherwise advised.

There are a number of ways:

Individual Creative Mentoring sessions

Can help and support you make sense of and heal deeper issues that you are not quite ready to open up to in a group

Group workshops or programs

Allow you to connect and share with other group members, gaining support from shared experiences, inspiration from new discoveries and insights, and feel less alone in the world


Can fast track self-discoveries, healing and transformations because you are able to explore yourself in different surroundings away from your every-day life in a more intense yet nurturing way


We find different, meaningful and fun ways to assist staff to communicate, collaborate and celebrate themselves as a team, focusing on supporting self-care and recognition of personal gifts and talents using creative and expressive methods.

It is completely personal. Some people prefer to work individually to start off with, while others initially feel more comfortable in a group setting. It is completely normal to feel a little nervous at the thought of engaging in Art Therapy, but once you’re fully immersed in it, you are in your own world, and everything flows easily.

Being creative means the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated experiences, solve problems and to generate solutions. It means taking risks, ignoring doubt and facing fears. We do it every day i.e. cooking, decorating, work, driving a new route to work and our clothing, yet many of us believe we are not creative. Anyone can be creative! The greatest misconception is that creativity is related to how well we can paint or draw. For many thousands of years, we have utilised our creativity resulting in invention, progress and is evident today on cave walls as a form of primitive storytelling. When we surrender to our creative self, we free our mind, opening exciting doors we didn’t even know were there, and inspire a more authentic and joyful life.

This is a FREE 20 minute chat with Helen to find out which service is the right fit for your needs and how Helen can help you achieve your goals and live the life you were born to live.

Contact Helen on 0419 467 442 or email us.

Individual sessions go for up to 1.5 hours and allow a more personalised approach for you to explore yourself and your life a little deeper. A safe and confidential space is held for you to express any issues so you can:

~ Make sense of difficult or traumatic issues and gain emotional and physical

freedom to reach your highest potential

~ Gain clarity to open up to discovering and creating a strong value-led foundation

so you can live a joy-filled life with purpose

~ Learn to love more of YOU!

This work offers a different way of healing and transforming using creative expression, Art Therapies, mindfulness and personal development, promoting lasting positive change in your life. Go to link

We recommend coming for a few sessions depending what it is you wish to work with. You can decide that you want to have a break for a while but the door is always open. It can be great to have more sessions to further unpack and get more insight so you can begin to create lasting positive change in your life. We work together in determining what is the best way for you to move forward.

Blocks of 4 or 8 sessions are offered at a discounted rate. Go to link

Individual sessions go for 60-90 minutes for adults. For Children up to the age of 16 a 60 minute session is advised.

NDIS clients can access Art Therapy as an allied health service.

There is no Medicare or private health rebates available at this stage for art therapy, however I offer discounted rates  for multiple sessions. 

To book, call Helen on 0419 467 442 or email us.

“Growth Through Art” is based in beautiful Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast. Our studio is situated in a haven of leafy green lushness at 14 Tharra Street and we run some of our workshops here too. It is full of stimulating resources to experiment and explore with. It is a safe and inspiring space where you are able to be wherever and whomever you are, chill, let go and connect to your creative and true self…a space for self-discovery, transformation and healing.

We also travel to your venue if that suits your needs better, as well as Australia wide and overseas.

Under the NDIS, art therapy is provided as an allied health service in the same way as physiotherapy, speech therapy and many others.

An art therapist is an allied health professional who has been trained to use art, sound and movement to help people improve their health and wellbeing.

If you have individual therapeutic support or group therapy support funding, you may choose to use that funding or part of that funding for art therapy.

To book, call Helen on 0419 467 442 or email us.

We invite you to book in a time to discuss what you would like to achieve.