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Between Words and Meaning – The Place of Creativity in Therapy

Between Words and Meaning – The Place of Creativity in Therapy

Date(s) - Saturday, September 9th, 2023
12:30 pm - 4:00 pm


9 September 2023

Workshop 1– 4pm; registration from 12.30pm

Venue: Draper Hall, Hampton Street, London SE17 3AN

Moriam Grillo: While our minds hold thoughts and information our bodies and limbs are also purveyors of memory and emotion that can speak deeply of internal world states and the unthought known.

The session will facilitate response to Dominic’s talk by giving space to explore unconscious process and wordless communication through mark making. Creative expression will be used to tap into curious thought, a term coined by Moriam Grillo to describe a use of free association in creative expression. A skill that enables us to consciously process and bring to surface awareness psychological matter that exists in our bodies as thoughts, feelings and sensations that are yet to be named and fully thought about.                                                                


Dominic McLoughlin: The important role for creativity in psychological health is well-established by the work of D. W. Winnicott, Marion Milner and more recently Thomas Ogden and Michael Parsons amongst others. Defining what is meant by ‘creativity’, is itself an imaginative project, encouraging us to be alive to spontaneity in ourselves and others. The place of creativity in psychodynamic practice also raises questions. Is a special approach to meaning-making required to allow the therapeutic couple to be creative? How realistic is it to want a space for creativity in short-term counselling within an organisational setting? Dominic’s presentation will explore some of these themes and make space to consider what happens when creativity causes us to admit uncomfortable and even unbearable thoughts such as around desire and cultural difference   

The presentation will be framed by Moriam’s experiential session which will give participants a sense of how creative expression serves to tap into unconscious process and wordless communication.


Moriam Grillo is an Analytical Art Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor, Lecturer and Anti-Racism Trainer. She holds multiple degrees and is a registered member of BAAT, BAATN and HCPC. Her therapeutic journey began as an artist and community practitioner. It was in sharing space with local communities that she became aware of the complexity and depth of the creative process as a means to explore personal themes and articulate feelings when words are not forthcoming.

Moriam contributed a chapter to a new publication entitled Therapy in Colour released by JKP in April 2023. It is available to order here;


Dominic McLoughlin is Counselling Service Manager at University of Westminster. Trained at Birkbeck, he has published articles on creativity and psychodynamic thought including, Making and Finding Creativity in Student Counselling in University & College Counselling (March 2023), and an essay for Psychodynamic Practice on Bion and the poet R.F. Langley. Dominic gained a PhD in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. He has been runner up in the National Poetry Competition and his poems have appeared in various magazines.



For further information and special dietary requirements, please e-mail:


This session will involve creative artwork; we will provide paper but please bring your favoured mode of artistic expression: felt, pencils, watercolour, tempera, chalk…….

Ticket Prices:

£45 Non BCA Member

£40 BCA Member

£15 BCA student member & other student member


Terms & Conditions:

  • Continuing Professional Development Certificates will be issued on request.
  • BCA student members and Non-BCA students, please give details of course/year of study.
  • If you have a query or require further information, please contact BCA Administrator at
  • We are now able to accept payments via our website using PayPal. This is a simple way to pay online and will cost you nothing to use. If you experience difficulty then please pay into BCA account:  Co-operative bank account:  s/c  08-92-99     Account: 65339800 00 with reference C23 (and your initial/surname) e.g. C23TBirkbeck  (if named Tom Birkbeck)

         We look forward to welcoming you at this BCA event


Bookings are closed for this event.

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