about saskia

IMG_0020“A good place to talk. No-one is being judged and I can talk about things I wouldn’t talk to anyone else about” (young person in group at Royal Alex)

“I like making and drawing the things and talking about what happened and if we are sad – it’s a great way to get rid of that feeling. Telling it to someone you know won’t laugh at you” (young person talks about art therapy group at BHWC)

“I am so relieved that M is happy to attend yoga classes when everything else we have tried has been such a battle. M really struggles with the cycle of pain and exhaustion and wants to stay in bed much of the time. She has been resistant to undertake any exercise. For her to accept that yoga can reduce her pain levels is a massive achievement” (parent)

“Yoga is helping me to feel better” (young person)

I’m a qualified Art Psychotherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a member of the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT), Art Therapy Practice Research Network (ATPRN) and Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). I am also a Yoga Alliance UK fully accredited teacher of yoga and mindfulness for teenagers. As an HCPC Partner I assess applications from students who trained as art therapists outside Europe.

I work on-goingly within the NHS at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton running an Art Therapy Group and one to one Yoga and Yoga Groups for teenagers with chronic medical conditions. Charlotte Savins is the lead art therapist and can be contacted on 01273 523149

I post interesting articles relating to art therapy and mental health on my Facebook page: Saskia Neary Art Psychotherapy

Art therapy enables people to express their feelings and experiences, explore anxieties and develop confidence. Some issues are really painful or hard to talk about and using art materials can help to explore and express difficult feelings. You might find out more about yourself and that how you feel is important and matters.

In yoga “an asana is a container for an experience”using the posture to explore, or to get into the body (Kaminoff, L. & Matthews). In art therapy the art work is a container for an experience. You use the artmaking to explore the internal landscape. Combining these practices support young people to become aware of inner experience and learning and to befriend what is going on inside ourselves (Van der Kolk).

Yoga philosophy cultivates a sense of being with what is – honesty, acceptance non grasping for achievement. Art making and yoga – together hold up a mirror, young people can start to experience themselves here in the present moment with kindness and compassion. Integrating art therapy and yoga helps to bring the body back into the picture. These modalities work together to circumvent the over reliance on verbal communication and the thinking mind and to help balance dysregulation and can be particularly helpful for young people affected by trauma and other psycho-social stressors.


My background: Children’s Rights and Youth Participation

I have worked for many years as a freelance consultant supporting organisations to develop young people’s participation; contributing to policy and decision-making and to have their say on a range of issues of importance. Organisations like the Hangleton and Knoll Project, Brighton and Hove Council Youth Service, UNICEF UK, Citizenship Foundation, Trust for the Study of Adolescence, Islington Pupil Parliament and the National Children’s Bureau.

I have a firm commitment to supporting young people to say what they want and need to say. I also recognise that a young person can’t necessarily just come out with this – they might need convincing that I am going to listen, respect what they have to say and take them seriously. Perhaps, that they even have something worth sharing at all.

Young people need support and encouragement to work out how they feel about life and themselves. To do this they need to be safe, not judged and have someone they can trust, who is genuinely interested and committed to listening.

My training

Degree in Social Anthropology (University of Sussex)

MA in Applied Anthropology, Youth and Community Work (JNC) (Goldsmiths, University of London)

MA in Art Psychotherapy (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Art Foundation (City College, Brighton)

CPD regularly undertaken as a legal requirement for practicing as a HCPC registered Art Psychotherapist.

Yoga Therapy Foundation Module 1, British Wheel of Yoga accredited, with Judy Hirsh Sampath from Yoga United Education (60hrs). Focussing on the foundations of yoga therapy and my own self care and professional development. Tuning into the Body. 

Yoga4Health,Yoga in Healthcare Alliance, with Heather Mason and Paul Fox (35hrs). The 10-Week Social Prescribing Course created for NHS patients, NHS staff, Keyworkers and other frontline staff. This Programme was uniquely created to lower stress and improve relaxation skills (thus improving mental health), and help people with prediabetes or at risk of heart disease.

Yoga and Somatics for Healing and Recovery: moving beyond stress, trauma, burnout, anxiety, fatigue and post illness through embodied awareness with Charlotte Watts (70hrs). This is an explorative journey to delve into how a compassionate and subtly attentive relationship with our bodies, practice and teaching can help address common dis-ease states. I love this work!

Art of Teaching 1-2-1 training with Kate Ellis (2 years). Developing skills and resources to work one-to-one with a particular focus on how yoga can become therapeutic. Drawing on insights from yoga, body psychotherapy and developmental movement, exploring how embodiment impacts our capacity for relationship whilst exploring the innate and profound intelligence of the body. It highlights how working in an embodied and relational way leads to working therapeutically.

Trauma Centre, Trauma Sensitive Yoga 20 hr Foundation Workshop with Alex Cat introducing the core concepts & applications of David Emerson’s highly regarded intervention for Complex Trauma – Trauma Centre, Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TCTSY).

200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (Yoga Alliance accredited) with Universal Yoga.

Complete Yoga Alliance TeenYoga Teacher Training with Charlotta Martinus from TeenYoga; empowering teens through yoga and mindfulness and including the latest neuroscience, mindfulness research and disciplinary techniques.

Yoga for Neurodevelopmental Differences training (with Dr Lucy Clarke) introducing yoga and mindfulness for people with Autism and ADHD.

Getting Started Teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Teens Special Yoga Foundation training.




contact: saskianeary@yahoo.com    

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  1. Hello Saskia

    It’s great to hear what you are up to these days . I have great memories of how you inspired me when I was 19 and onwards . I have just started to do yoga for me and when my son was baby we did tatty bumpkin yoga which I loved 🙂

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