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Kimberley Iyemere

Arts Therapies Professional Lead, CPFT


Kimberley has worked as an Art Therapist in the NHS for 20 years, and is currently the Arts Therapies Professional Lead (Trust Wide) within Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT). Her Mres focussed on research in to the effectiveness of Art Therapy for people living with Dementia and she coordinates the National Special Interest Group - Art Therapy Outlooks on Later Life (ATOLL)


‘The Recovered Moment’ – Art Therapy and Music Therapy for people living with Dementia


The term ‘The Recovered Moment’ is a term I have created as a result of thinking about recovery principles and how they can be applied when working with Older People living with Dementia. Arts Therapies use creativity and imagination within specific Arts modalities to facilitate non verbal means of communication which enable people living with Dementia to reach out and contact others creatively. Once creative contact is established, people living with Dementia can have moments when they feel orientated, supported and acknowledged and in control of that moment. This is what I term as ‘The Recovered moment’ it is not looking for recovery in the future it is discovering recovery now. This moment which potentially could be one of isolation, loss and disorientation can be one that supports self- esteem, self expression, hope, aspiration, strength, unique creative potential, communication, and opportunity to be inspired by each other in the moment. This moment is not just for the person living with Dementia to enjoy but it is also for the person for instance the Arts Therapist working with them, the Carer, Staff, friends and family to enjoy. When the Arts therapist connects non verbally this moment can be led and owned by the person living with Dementia. This can also give permission to the Carer to reconnect as Partner in the sharing of creativity and often there are untapped areas of the mind that are facilitated through creativity and can be enjoyed by the person living with Dementia and those around them. In my talk on ‘The Recovered Moment’ I will concentrate on the effectiveness of Art Therapy and Music Therapy for people living with Dementia as there is both quantitative and qualitative evidence to support both of these modalities and I will present the phenomena of ‘The Recovered Moment’ and how I have observed it being utilised in these two modalities, with reference also to how Arts and Arts Therapists can support each other in a new creative fusion.