Tracy Ann O’ Brien


“It is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self”
D.W. Winnicott

I am an art therapist who specializes in working with children and young people. I support children who are experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression or low self-esteem among others. I have gained significant experience working in educational, sub-acute mental health and hospital settings. I use a gentle and person -centred approach which allows young clients to comfortably process difficult experiences and feelings in a safe contained environment. I am Garda Vetted and accredited through IACAT (The Irish Association of Creative Art Therapists.

What is art therapy?

Art therapy also called art psychotherapy is an established mental health profession which incorporates art making and creative interventions to safely encourage self-expression and reflection on the issues that affect children and young people in everyday life

When words are a struggle, art therapy can offer an alternative way of communicating through images, symbolic play and metaphor. Thoughts and feelings can be expressed and reflected upon through different art mediums. The central focus of art therapy is to improve mental health and maintain emotional well-being. Art therapy can be used to reduce inner conflict, enhance social functioning, improve self-esteem and develop healthy coping strategies

What to Expect?

No prior experience with art making is necessary, the focus is on the experience of making and not the final product. An art therapist will not interpret the art work but will offer support in exploring its significance as it relates to the presenting issues. The course of treatment is tailored to meet the individual needs of the child. Sessions last for an hour and take place at the same time every week.

Art therapy can help with a range of issues and needs including:

· Anxiety and depression
· Anger
· Gender identity issues and sexual orientation
· Self esteem
· Relationship difficulties
· Bereavement and loss
· Coping with illness
· Trauma
· Autism and special needs
· Behavioral issues

· Reduce anxiety
· Improve coping mechanisms
· Resolve inner conflict
· Communicate difficult thoughts and feelings
· Gain insight

MA in Art Therapy, Crawford College of Art and Design, CIT, Cork-2018
PG Dip Art therapy, Le Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia-2017
BA(Hons) Fine Art, Crawford College of Art and Design Cork-2007
Introduction to counselling skills course, Le Trobe University-2016