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Postgraduate Certificate in Developing Professional Practice in Higher Education, University of South Wales (in progress, 2017)

Sandplay Therapy, BISS (British & Irish Sandplay Society, London, 2014). Working Towards International Registration, ISST (International Society for Sandplay Therapy)

KUF Personality Disorder Awareness, University of Nottingham (2010)

Motivational Interviewing, University of Nottingham (2009)

MA Art Psychotherapy in Practice, Leeds Metropolitan University (2006)

BA (Hons) Fine Art, University of the West of England, Bristol (2001)

BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Birmingham City University (1998)


Emma is a HCPC Registered Art Psychotherapist, Sandplay Therapist, Clinical Supervisor, lecturer and presenter at forensic international conferences and is a published author in both Art Psychotherapy and Forensic Sandplay Therapy.

Emma has been working full time at Rampton Hospital, one of the three high secure hospitals in the UK since 2009 and has over ten years’ experience of NHS settings after qualifying in 2006. During 2006-8, Emma specialised in eating disorders where she worked as a Specialist Mental Health Practitioner.

From 2009- 2013, Emma was the BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists) Regional Coordinator for Region 9; organising monthly business meetings & a variety of CPD workshops & events for over 90 Art Therapists based in the East Midlands.

Emma now works part time at Rampton Hospital due to being appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Art Psychotherapy at the university (September 2016).


Emma has been working at Rampton Hospital, one of the three high secure hospitals in the UK since 2009 and has over ten years’ experience of Art Psychotherapy in a number of NHS settings, predominantly with adults.

Emma was appointed as the ‘Therapies and Education Arson Treatment Lead’ as part of an Arson Treatment Expert Group at Rampton where she designed and formalised arts therapies fire-setting assessments that have been offered in Rampton and the Wells Road Centre (Low Secure Unit) in Nottinghamshire. Emma presented her work at the IAFP (International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy) Conference in Utrecht, the Netherlands in March 2014 and is due to complete a service-evaluation of the work with the psychology team at the Wells Road Centre, Low Secure Unit in Nottingham. Emma was the first to develop Forensic Sandplay Therapy in high and low secure settings in the UK and in piloting sandplay as an additional offence analysis module for those with intellectual disabilities and communication deficits. Emma has completed specialist training in working with fire-setters, research and clinical perspectives with Professor Kolko and Gannon at the University of Kent and with Fabtic, a company in London that provides specialist fire-setting training.

Emma is highly specialised in personality disorder assessment through years of working on a DSPD (Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder) unit at Rampton Hospital (the Peaks Unit), which has now developed into an Enhanced Hospital Service for Personality Disorders. Emma is a trained Violence Reduction Programme (VRP) Facilitator and has specialist experience and training in managing risk, violence and aggression.

Emma is published in Forensic Arts Therapies and has presented at numerous conferences that include a FATAG (Forensic Arts Therapies Advisory Group) conference in 2015 entitled; “Opening Up to Emotionality: Symbolic Exploration of the Anima, and the Internal Judge in Forensic Sandplay Therapy" in 2015. The presentation highlighted the differences between Art Therapy and Sandplay Therapy and assisted other arts therapists in utilising a symbolic approach to forensic psychotherapy. Emma has also given symbol paper presentations for the IAFP (International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy) and is working towards international registration with her Sandplay Therapy training.

Emma is an experienced placement supervisor for a range of arts therapies trainees (including Dance Movement Psychotherapy) and has taught Forensic Art Therapy on the Northern Programme for Art Psychotherapy (Leeds Metropolitan University, Sheffield) and Sandplay Therapy at Derby University.

Emma is trained in Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing, case study research and evidence based practice as some examples.

Emma is currently focusing upon developing Forensic Sandplay Therapy in the Mental Health Directorate at Rampton Hospital and hopes to develop further training courses in Sandplay Therapy and to integrate this into a range Therapeutic Studies courses, including the MA Art Psychotherapy course at the university. Emma also teaches Forensic Arts Therapies to Forensic Psychology masters students at Nottingham Trent University.


Senior Lecturer in Art Psychotherapy; currently teaching on MA Art Psychotherapy.

Teaching at postgraduate level, co-leading the MA Art Psychotherapy (HCPC approved) course and making a substantial contribution to teaching Art Psychotherapy skills, theory and professional practice. This includes contributing to Masters Dissertation supervision, engaging in scholarly activity and developing research interests.


Book Chapters

Allen, E. (2016) Lighting Up the Symbolic Crime: New Approaches in Sandplay Therapy & Fire setting Analysis, Book Chapter in Rothwell, K. (ed.) (2016) Forensic Arts Therapies; Anthology of Practice & Research, Free Associations.

Allen, E. (2017) Some People Never Live: Images of Renewal & Recovery in Sandplay Therapy, Book Chapter in Llewellyn-Jones, S. & Mann, B. (ed.) Engagement in Secure Recovery, The Royal College of Psychiatrists (Accepted & In Press).

Allen, E. (2017) The Boy Who Cried Wolf: A Collaborative Approach to Long Term Segregation, Chapter 11 in Bent, C & Colbert, N. Working across Modalities in the Arts Therapies: Creative Collaborations, Routledge.

Allen, E. (2017) Breaking and Entering: Wounded Masculinities in Sex Offender Treatment, Chapter in press for Hogan, S. (Ed.) Inscribed on the Body: Gender and Difference in the Arts Therapies, or Gender Issues in International Arts Therapies Research, Routledge.


Allen, E. (2014), Sandplay Therapy, p.13, BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists) News Briefing.

Allen, E. (2014) An International Stage for Art & Sandplay Therapy, p.27, Positive Newsletter, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Allen, E. (2016) Leading the way with Forensic Sandplay Therapy, Positive Newsletter, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Allen, E. (2017) Confronting the Monkey in Forensic Sandplay Therapy; Symbol Paper, Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Sandplay Therapists of America, USA. (In Editing Process with Journal).

Allen, E. (2017) Hunger and the Hunt; Archetypal Symbolism of the Pig in Forensic Sandplay Therapy, Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Sandplay Therapists of America, USA. (In Editing Process with Journal).

Conference Participation

2017 IAFP 26th Annual Conference, ‘Rage & Mourning’, ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ Collaborative Approaches to Long Term Segregation, Catania, Italy.
2017 Innovating Art Therapy Practice – Meeting the needs of a Changing Landscape, BAAT AGM, Newport City Campus, Uinversity of South Wales.
2017 Broadmoor Hospital Seminar ‘Scatolia’: ‘Shit Happens’: A paper presentation on collaborative approaches to Long Term Segregation (LTS) and smearing in the seclusion suite using both DBT and Art Therapy approaches.
2016 IAFP (International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy) University of Ghent, Belgium. “Confronting the Monkey in Forensic Sandplay Therapy” A Symbol Paper Presentation.
2015 FATAG Conference, London “Opening Up to Emotionality: Symbolic Exploration of the Anima, and the internal Judge in Forensic Sandplay Therapy”.
2014 Saturday Forensic Forum, London “Forensic Art Therapy Approaches” Presentation.
2014 Joel Ryce Menuhin Lecture Weekend & Sandplay Therapy Conference, BISS (British & Irish Sandplay Society), London. Presenter: ‘Fire-Fighting: Elimination & illumination’ Lecture.
2014 IAFP (International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy) 23rd Annual 3 Day Conference, Zeist, Utrecht, Netherlands, “Fire & the Phoenix: Working with the Symbolic Element of Fire in Individual Arson Treatment (Sandplay) in a High Secure Setting”.
2013 Case Presentation in Forensic Sandplay, Medics Meeting, Postgraduate Education Programme, Rampton Hospital.
2009 ‘Learning Together: Journey through the Peaks’ (Unit) Conference, Rampton Hospital.
2008 Trauma & Dissociation hosted by Valerie Sinason, Rampton Hospital. ‘Trauma & the Body’ Case Study.


Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) – Registered Arts Therapist (2006-present)
British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) – Full Time Member
Arts Therapies Practice Research Network (ATPRN)
BAAT Forensic Special Interest Group
Forensic Arts Therapies Advisory Group (FATAG)
British & Irish Sandplay Society (BISS) – Advanced Student Candidate / membership
International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy) (IAFP)
Saturday Forensic Psychotherapy Forum, London

Membership with the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellow pending

Standing Nursing and Allied Health Professionals Advisory Council (SNACC), Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, (2105-6).


Emma specialises in Forensic Arts Therapies where she regularly presents paper presentations at the IAFP (International Association of Forensic Psychotherapy) conferences. This has included presenting a symbol paper presentation (“Confronting the Monkey in Forensic Sandplay Therapy”) at the University of Ghent, Belgium, in 2016, and presenting a talk; “Fire & the Phoenix: Working with the Symbolic Element of Fire in Individual Arson Treatment (Sandplay) in a High Secure Setting” at Utrecht University, Zeist, Utrecht, Netherlands, in 2014. Emma has also presented at a number of Sandplay Therapy conferences with the British & Irish Sandplay Society in London.

From 2009 – 2013 – Regional Coordinator for Region 9 (East Midlands: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire), British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT)

Emma worked at HMP Gartree Prison on the Therapeutic Community (TC+) Wing for residents with learning disabilities and personality disorder and has delivered groups and children’s day events at ‘Maggie’s’ cancer charity in Nottingham as part of external contracts for Rampton Hospital.

Emma has also been an artist in residence prior to her training in a number of schools and pupil referral units, which included the ‘Big Arts Week’ events. Emma has also worked in art galleries and museums including the IKON, Birmingham, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal Pavilion, Brighton.


Emma is able to provide a wide variety of training, lectures, talks and presentations and clinical supervision to a range of therapists and practitioners.


Emma is undertaking a service-evaluation with psychology from her fire-setter assessment work in low secure and is also beginning to undertake content analysis research from her 7 years of providing new admission assessments in the DSPD and Enhanced Personality Disorder Services in high secure. Emma is currently interested in researching the ‘conflict and resolution’ held within ‘the first image’ made in Art Psychotherapy assessments.

Emma is a peer reviewer for the Personality and Mental Health Journal.

Areas of Expertise

Art Psychotherapy
Arts Therapies Clinical supervision (including dance movement & Sandplay (groups and individual, peer, team)
Forensic Arts Therapies
Forensic Settings (High, Low, Medium, Hostel, & prisons)
Treatment resistant, co-morbidity, ‘Three Fold’ Complex Trauma in adult offender patients
Adult mental health (chronic conditions including Schizophrenia, psychosis)
Attachment difficulties and disorders
Intellectual Disabilities (ID)
Dangerous & Severe Psychopathologies including Psychopathy and Enhanced Personality Disorders
Managing Violence & aggression
Risk Management Planning
Psychodynamic Formulation
Evidence Based Practice & Outcome Measures
Service Evaluation & Content Analysis
Case Study Research
Writing for Publication
Fire-setters and Fire-setter Treatment Programmes
Sex Offenders
Index Offence Work
Directive Approaches, Kinetic Drawings & Manuals
Long term segregation & seclusion work
Motivational Interviewing & Eating Disorders
Sandplay Therapy
Jungian Psychology & Symbolism



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