Website DreamArts

Fusing arts and therapy to transform young lives

DreamArts seeks an experienced freelance therapeutic consultant with a creative and/or social/youth work background to help shape our award-winning projects fusing arts and therapy.  You will provide periodical support and expertise within our predominantly non-clinical team.  This includes reflection spaces where staff can explore approaches, interventions and techniques, and providing a ‘therapeutic lens’ for the planning, monitoring and evaluation stages of projects so they can meet the needs of children and young people and in some instances their families.

About DreamArts

Our projects create inspiring spaces where young people across Westminster can express themselves on their own terms, explore their challenges and build their strengths so they can realise their potential.

Children in poverty are 4 times more likely to develop mental health problems, and Westminster where DreamArts has worked for two decades suffers the 6th highest level of child poverty in the UK.  Covid-19 has only increased wellbeing challenges.  To help meet this need DreamArts has a powerful programme engaging those from social and ethnic backgrounds who traditionally don’t engage with the arts or therapy.

EXPRESS offers free community-based arts therapy, and projects empowering young people to share their experiences creatively and have their voices heard about issues that affect them (e.g. young carers); EXPERIMENT weekend creative labs empower 7-19 year olds to devise their own original work, from films to musicals; and EXPAND leadership schemes empower young people to become creative entrepreneurs.

Enabling and empowering participative creative self-expression is a recognised professional skill and  achieving this with young people with often complex emotional needs is something which DreamArts excels.  We infuse our work with therapeutic practice to make an even greater impact on young lives, investing in our skilled facilitators who learn how to combine arts-based practice with aspects of therapeutic practice.  Core to this ‘DreamArts Way’ is PACE whereby facilitators are Playful, Accepting, Curious and Empathetic; to our knowledge we’re the only organisation applying this attachment-based therapeutic approach in a youth arts setting.  This enables rich relationships that engage those with complex needs and helps participants reflect on themselves.  This needs-led approach to project design empowers participants to turn issues into creative works.  This approach layers onto our team’s extensive skills and experiences.  DreamArts is also an Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC) trained organisation helping us understand and respond to young people who have experienced trauma.

Our successful and pioneering fusion of arts and therapeutic practice has been developed by Anne-Marie Reid who was our Programme Director for nearly 2 decades and is a creative facilitator, qualified integrative arts therapist and clinical supervisor.  With Anne-Marie stepped down from her role DreamArts is looking to appoint a consultant to support future projects and team members to ensure the charity can continue delivering strong outcomes for young people.

About the role

We are looking to appoint a Therapeutic Consultant with a creative background and approach who will use their expertise and insight to provide accessible support to our predominantly non-clinical team so that they can develop and deliver projects that can engage and meet the needs of children and young people and in some instances their families.  This will involve;

–          Providing a ‘therapeutic lens’ across DreamArts projects.  You will be part of the planning, mid-way monitoring and evaluation process of projects.  Typically this will involve i) a 1.5 hr session with the project team to inform their planning, exploring the needs of the target group of young people and suggesting approaches to the work, ii) a 1.5 hr monitoring session typically mid-way through the project to assess how it’s going and help inform how the team can address issues and needs that have arisen, and iii) a 1.5 hr session at the end of the project to support the evaluation process.  You will typically contribute towards 12 projects each year, scheduled 3 months in advance.

–          Providing Reflection Space for the DreamArts Core Team.  The Core Team at DreamArts consists of 6 staff members (2 full-time, 4 substantial part-time) who have a mix of leadership and delivery roles.  You will provide i) a 2-hour interactive reflection space every 2 months with the team, supporting their professional growth, enhancing their skills and understanding, and exploring approaches, interventions and techniques.  The space will include using creative approaches to support the team in understanding how their own backgrounds and experiences inform their practice and approaches. And ii) provide individual 1.5 hr reflection spaces for 3 non-clinical core team members on a quarterly basis.

–          Providing a group Reflection Space for Support Practitioners.  The Support Practitioners provide pastoral support for children and young people taking part in DreamArts projects, in particular those with additional needs.   You will provide a 2-hour interactive reflection space twice per annum with the team, supporting their professional growth, enhancing their skills and understanding, and exploring approaches, interventions and techniques.

Contract and delivery

The post is a freelance contract renewable annually, starting from November 2020.

Fees are negotiable and paid on a monthly basis on receipt of an invoice submitted at month-end.

Sessions will be a mixture of remote and face-to-face.

Dates can be flexible to meet your availability.  We anticipate the role delivering;

36 x 1.5 hour ‘Therapeutic Lens’ sessions per annum supporting project development

6 x 2 hour group reflection space sessions with the Core Team

12 x 1.5 hour individual reflection space sessions supporting 3 Core Team members

2 x 2 hour group reflection space sessions for Support Practitioners

Total hours; 88

Expression of interest

Please contact DreamArts Director Graham Whitlock at graham@dreamarts.org.uk to arrange an initial conversation.

You will then be invited to provide a (paid) Reflective Space on Zoom for the Core Team exploring a specific given issue, and attend a 45-minute interview with DreamArts Director Graham Whitlock, and Trustee Toni Medcalf who runs the Schools Counselling Partnership in West London.

DreamArts is taking action to be an anti-racist organisation and we would particularly welcome and encourage candidates from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.  We believe in affirmative action and every applicant from these backgrounds who meet the essential criteria will be invited to interview.

Deadline for expressions of interest; Friday 26 March 2021

To apply for this job email your details to graham@dreamarts.org.uk.