Andréa : A Short Story
There was once a small child who loved cutting, gluing and making things.
The small child grew up and while studying Art discovered she was pregnant. She thought that making a baby was the most amazing thing she could do and decided to stop studying.
Eventually she worked for organisations that made no money, but helped lots of people. She liked this but missed creating things so did an Art Therapy Foundation course. Here she learnt useful stuff, like images are really good for exploring and expressing how you feel, what you’re thinking and your ideas. What it looks like isn’t important, it’s the process that matters. She also realised that being an Art Therapist wasn’t her thing!
“Our purpose is to enable others to be true to their authentic self and fulfil their potential.
Our vision is to see visual learning through collage widely used as an approach to achieve this”
She applied this knowledge to a new project when asked to run a session to help bereaved carers understand their journey through grief. When she’d said ‘Yes’, her head had screamed ‘NO’, because she had no idea what to do. Then she remembered what she’d learnt from Art Therapy and decided to use collage. Everyone enjoyed and benefitted from it. The next year someone came back with their collage and used it to share their story. This happened three years in a row.*
Fast forward three years and she’s considering changing jobs. She spoke to a clever lady who suggested drawing a picture about her opportunities. So she did, but knew the stick people in her drawing weren’t helping her. Instead she made a collage because it meant cutting and gluing. When she found a picture of a small child under a blanket it made her feel quite sad. Recognising she felt like that child; hidden, stifled and unable to express herself creatively, she decided to leave her job.
It was time to do something creative. Remembering what she’d learnt at Art Therapy. How the bereaved carers said collaging really helped them and how it had helped her, she thought ‘This could help lots more people’. So she took a leap of faith and created a business called UnglueYou®.
* Without being asked, 5 years since the first session, carers continue to return with their collages to share their stories.
UnglueYou® was founded in 2012 and is based in Hertfordshire. Since starting the business Andréa has undertaken additional training to enhance and add value to the service she offers. These include Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and Acceptance Commitment Therapy. She’s also interested in and researches extensively about the benefits of visuals, creativity, play and storytelling.
Covering Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and North London, Andréa also travels nationally on request.
If you would like to know more about Andréa’s experience, training, skills and knowledge please view her LinkedIn profile.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
— HEBREWS 11:1