Art Therapy & Workshops for Special Educational Needs (SEN) & Autism

Auriel Sarah Eagleton

Masters trained, qualified HCPC registered Integrative Arts Psychotherapist, working with both adults and children.

Auriel provides art therapy, psychotherapy and counselling services to individuals, couples, groups and parents or carers with their children.

Auriel has also undergone training with Ian Siddons and is an Environmental Arts Therapist, working outdoors and bringing natural materials into the art therapy studio.

In Auriel's words:


I have a special interest in Learning Disability (LD) and autism. I have written both articles and blogs on the benefits of art therapy for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), if which there are many.

I offer both integrative arts therapy and 'Art for Autism and Special Educational Needs' workshops. Integrative Arts Psychotherapy entails the use of all the arts and play to support the child and family wholistically, focussing on all areas of their needs and development. The workshops, on the other hand, are extremely goal oriented and typically more time limited (see below).

I am passionate about supporting children to thrive and reach their best potential in all areas of life. I see each child as an individual and work with their strengths to support them through emotional difficulty or trauma and to develop social and emotional skills.

I don't shy away from addressing practical and behavioural difficulties. I have a special interest in Special Educational Needs (SEN) and autism (ASD). I recognise that in some cases it is as important to address and explore educational needs and behavioural strategies as it is to support children to achieve emotional wellbeing. Indeed the two are linked. A child who feels confident about their capacity in the world and who understands expectations of their behaviour geared toward their health, safety and wellbeing, is typically a more grounded and happier child. Likewise, emotional wellbeing is often at the root of other difficulties. Unlocking and working through emotional difficulties while building self-resources, helps children to thrive.

I structure sessions according to the individual needs of the child. Sometimes this will entail a lot of free play and emotional exploration, for example for a child who struggles to play, socially interact and engage with life. At other times sessions might be structured to offer some free exploration and some set activities, for example with children who struggle to accept direction, become over stimulated or chaotic.

I work with parents and carers to establish children's ongoing needs throughout the course of therapy, though my approach is also very much child-led. I offer both Integrative Arts Counselling (using play-based and arts based interventions to meet children at their level of need and understanding) and 1-1 therapeutic arts workshops geared more specifically to a need or difficulty the child is facing in life, for example working on developing frustration tolerance. The latter is not counselling or psychotherapy as it is directed toward a single goal or outcome, while therapy and counselling will address the broader needs of the child. In cases of trauma or extreme difficulty therapy or counselling will always be recommended, as emotional needs that are left unattended have a direct impact on behaviour and wellbeing.

Art for Autism and Special Educational Needs:

I recommend arts therapy for children struggling emotionally or with behavioural issues related to diagnosis. However, I do offer tailored 30-40 minute sessions with children to explore specific needs or areas of concern. This is not therapy, sessions are directive and goal oriented. For example, if a child has a low tolerance for frustration we might book blocks of 12 sessions, each offering a balance of enjoyment and frustration, to support the child to increase their frustration tolerance. Alternatively, a child might struggle with recognising emotions in others or themselves and we might design sessions that use play and the arts specifically to teach emotion labelling and recognition. Children with dyslexia might struggle with the alphabet and we might design sessions involving creating letters and exploring the alphabet using the arts, play and movement.

These are just examples of this genre of work but sessions are tailored to the individual and all manner of challenges or difficulties can be focussed on. Sessions can also be planned for adults with learning disability. 

If you think this approach might benefit you or your child, please arrange a meeting to discuss the behaviours or difficulties you would like to explore. We would have one meeting in which you describe the difficulty and what you would like to achieve and then a follow-up session to discuss my proposed approach and an outline for sessions before the work begins. All meetings and sessions are charged at £40. For Integrative Arts Psychotherapy, my rates range from £45-£65 dependent on income, time of day and location.

Mobile: 07859161555




Freya Austin

Professional Body and Membership Number:
Play Therapy UK Membership Number 201010989
DBS Check Number: 001498991698

Postgraduate Diploma in Play Therapy
Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling with Adolescents
BA English Literature

In Freya's Words:


I am a Play Therapist with additional training in Psychotherapeutic Counselling with Adolescents. Play Therapy offers children an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings through the natural language of play. My training with Play Therapy UK stems from a humanistic approach and the core of my work is client centred: I firmly believe in the power of the psyche to heal itself, and I have been amazed again and again by the ability of my young clients to take the therapy in the direction in which they need it to go to allow for exploration and healing. I see it as my role to be aware both of the barriers to change and the opportunities to move past them, and to create a space in which these dynamics can be played out. With adolescents I use a variety of verbal and arts based interventions. Creativity aids communication across socio-cultural and language barriers and, for teenagers, can offer alternative ways of self-expression.


I work with children and young people in Primary and Secondary Schools across London, and in my private practice at the Queens Wood Cabin. I have a wealth of experience of working with clients who are struggling with anxiety, depression and attachment issues or who have experienced loss, separation or trauma. I have worked with a variety of Special Educational Needs and Mental Health conditions. I am happy to provide individual or group therapy on a long or short-term basis, depending on the needs of the client and am open to referrals from parents, guardians or self-referrals from young people aged 15 and over. Please contact me to discuss fees and availability.



London Art Therapy and Ecotherapy Cabin