Today we are shining a light on Alison Morgan-Tansley, Art Psychotherapist, who was nominated by Niall Gamble, who said:

“Alison brings her authentic self to her work, showing commitment to providing person-centred care to service users. She is compassionate to both her clients and colleagues and never fails to put a smile on people’s face during difficult times.”

Alison was asked to share more about her role, what she is proud of and who inspires her, she said:

“I have the privilege of working as an Art Psychotherapist in the Tamarind Centre; a secure hospital which supports men with mental health difficulties. I was lucky enough to gain a wonderful placement with the Forensic Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service team at Ardenleigh while training, which gave me experience and skills to gain a fixed term post and set up a pilot study to identify if there was a need for art psychotherapy within the men’s forensic service. I am proud to say that this was successful and the art psychotherapy provision at the Tamarind Centre is now a substantive one.

I work across seven teams who provide excellent care, supporting patients as they progress along their individual recovery pathway. The Art Psychotherapy Interventions I provide are tailored to each individual, which enables me to work with people across the service from the intensive care unit to the acute and rehabilitation wards. I am passionate about continuity of care as people move through services as it enables trust to build and relationships to develop, both with the therapist and the service as a whole and supports engagement and recovery. I have personal experience where people close to me have not received this continuity of care, so being part of a service that allows me to have this role is very rewarding.

I have been asked to say who inspires me and I can honestly say that it is the patients I work with. It takes bravery to open up, and the men I work with are prepared to share their vulnerabilities and life experiences to support their own recovery – amazing!

To understand a person’s needs we listen, and if we don’t understand we need to find a way to understand through finding a shared language or seeking support from another who may understand. As a person supporting people from all sections of society, I hope I bring curiosity, thoughtfulness, and creativity to ensure each person is able to access the Art Psychotherapy Service in an equitable and inclusive way that recognises each person’s unique needs – we all deserve to be able to access the services we require, in ways that make sense to our lived experience. 

“We learn from our patients, and this is an absolute blessing. Thank you to those who have trusted me and allowed me to walk alongside them on their journey and enabled me to grow. Also, thank you to whoever nominated me for this, it’s wonderful to think that the work I am doing is valued.”

Alison Morgan-Tansley