Visual Arts Therapy

1362 x 900

Visual Arts Therapy is a new service at The School of Life which offers personal consultations with a therapist expert in both art and psychotherapy. A session of Visual Arts Therapy offers a chance to discuss issues and witness them illuminated by carefully chosen works of art relevant to your situation. After your consultation, you will receive a curated list of images, along with an intelligent and wise commentary to guide you in how to look at and and get the most from them. In many ways a direct counterpart to our well-established Bibliotherapy service, Visual Arts Therapy is a further extension of The School of Life's belief in the therapeutic benefits of art and culture.

Though it’s often assumed that art exists merely ‘for art’s sake’, the basis of Visual Arts Therapy is the belief that works of art have a particular capacity to offer hope, usher in calm, dignify sorrow, expand one’s imagination, stretch one’s powers of empathy and lend one self-understanding.

A connection with a piece of well-chosen art can have a powerful effect on many of our problems: for example, a troublesome relationship with a partner or child, the ongoing burden of caring for a sick relative, the stress of a difficult boss, bereavement, or the pain of unrequited love or infertility. The right artwork can expand one’s horizons, reframe one’s dilemmas and profoundly influence one’s sense of self-worth and well-being. Let us guide you to those works of art most relevant, and most helpful, to your situation.

To find out more about the service, download our Frequently Asked Questions PDF here.

For an insight into the role art can play in our lives, watch our short film, What is Art For?


This class is part of our EQ Certificate Programme. For more information about how to enrol at The School of Life please click here

About the Visual Arts Therapist

Ella Clocksin is experienced both as an artist and psychotherapist, with wide knowledge of art forms across different cultures and eras. Ella first found that art could make a difference to her experience when she was in hospital aged 3. She joined the School of Life in 2013 to explore with others how art can make a difference for them. Ella completed a first class honours degree and a Fine Art MA with distinction at Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton). Her Postgraduate Diploma in Systemic Psychotherapy is from Kensington Consultation Centre, London.

Booking and Venue

Consultations with our Visual Arts Therapist can take place take place face-to-face at the School of Life in London, or remotely by Skype. When you book a session, the Visual Arts Therapist will be in touch to arrange a date and send you a preparatory questionnaire. During your 45-minute consultation, we will discuss relevant artworks using digital images and offer a takeaway prescription. A full prescription will follow within 5 working days, with links to your personalised selection of images and suggestions for further reflection or action.

The School of Life
70 Marchmont Street
London WC1N 1AB

Please specify in-person or remote when booking.

Please note we require 2 working days' to transfer or refund a booking.


Thank you for the lovely pictures and ideas you have sent through to me.  I wanted especially to thank you for taking the time and perseverance to find that ‘one’ picture.  You got it perfectly.   It drew me to it instantly and is my favourite of a wonderful group of favourites.  They will become part of my life.
- Participant

Wow! Thank you so, so much for this. You hit the nail on the artist's head (ouch - but in a good way :)  I will definitely get to know these artworks better. Thank you for helping me on my journey.
- Participant 

Therapy and talk about art is a pleasant combination, which gives you the opportunity to take a closer look at your self, while gaining more insight and joy from art.  When I opened my mail with the prescription I couldn’t believe my eyes. I did not expect the therapist to find so many different paintings, which all speak to me.
- Participant

Book Now


Please note we need two working days notice to transfer or refund a booking.

You might also like