I began an LGBTQI dedicated art therapy group 'Punto d'Incontro" in 2014 at Bologna's LGBTQI centre. Since then, it has continued running in my private practice. It is temporally suspended due to Covid, but do write to express your interest, or contact me for individual sessions or for an on-line group.
Lesbian. Bisexual. Transgender. Demigirl. Demiboy. Non-binary. Intersex. Gay. Pansexual. Asexual. Queer.
So many labels. So many identities. So many differences. And yet there are also some things in common. Whoever identifies under the LGBTQI+ identifies finds themselves in some way "outside the box". It can be exciting, difficult, a source of pride and/or shame, source of pleasure and disappointment ...
Being LGBTQI+ isn't a problem, but it can be problematic when we don't feel accepted by others or society, and when consequently we find it hard to accept ourselves. And it can be problematic when we feel confused about our identity. My art therapy studio provides a safe place without judgements or preconceived ideas to explore whatever questions and doubts you have.
As an LGBTQI art therapist, it is a fundamental part of my work that I strive at all times to work beyond the sphere of judgements of good and bad choices. We have internalised so many social, cultural and religious judgements that it becomes difficult to find our own self amongst them. When I rebel, I am no more my self than when I act to comply. When a client comes to me because they are unsure of their sexuality or their gender or they feel pressured into coming out, there is normally an internal battle being fought between notions of right and wrong. Once this pressure is removed, most people can find the answers easily for themselves.
Links to articles I have written on my work with LGBTQI+ identified clients:
International Journal of Art Therapy: Not female-to-male but shadow-to-human: an exploration of body tracing in terms of embodiment and identity definition during gender transitioning. (article available from May 2021)
What my clients say:
"I started the group with no particular expectations and almost by chance, in order to work as much as possible on myself and my identity. I was truly pleased with the experience: the group represented a safe and judgment-free space for me, in which I started experimenting with my gender identity as a transsexual boy. I felt totally accepted and this allowed me to grow and develop through the art-works, and more than this. I am grateful to Rivkah for the opportunity and for her rare level of sensitivity, thanks to which I knew I could open myself completely. I certainly recommend the experience to anyone who wants to work on themselves without prejudice and with respect for their own and others' limitations. "
(participant of the art therapy group Punto D'Incontro : 2016-2017 and 2017-2018)
""I met Rebecca Hetherington when I decided to try an art therapy group, which I joined almost by chance, at the age of 22. Right from the beginning, the world of everything I could not say was opened up and magically appeared, expressing itself through my drawings. Finally I could get close to what was unsaid, to what needed alternative ways to be expressed. It certainly made me make big steps forward in self-awareness, in a safe, stable and fun environment. After the group had finished, I moved to another city where I immediately looked for other Art Therapy group: I felt the need for it and I really missed the group. Having now had experiences with other art therapists, I can assure everyone that Rebecca has remarkable sensitivity and delicacy. "
(participant of the art therapy group Punto D'Incontro : 2014-2015)