Jorge Camarena art therapy teacher


I am an artist and a qualified Art psychotherapist with more than fourteen clinical and managerial work experience in the UK. In my current position as a clinical lead Art Psychotherapist (community and rehabilitation) in the NHS, I work with individuals and groups of young adults and adults with severe and complex mental health issues such schizoaffective disorders, psychosis, depression, substance misuse, eating disorders, acute anxiety, depression, bipolar and borderline personality disorders traits, in rehabilitation and community settings. I have also worked with the same client group within low secure and PICU inpatient wards. I co-lead a Mentalization Based Arts Psychotherapies service in the community, and clinical supervise psychotherapists and art therapists from a MBT-APs service for adults with complex emotional needs associated with borderline personality traits. In addition to this I am currently undertaking further research in the area of Art Psychotherapy to help build upon evidence-based art therapy practice with borderline personality disorders and psychosis with particular attention to the area of responsive art making, some of this work is published at the Journal of the British Association of Art Psychotherapy: Inscape. Apart from my Art Psychotherapy training, I have done further studies in Forensic Psychotherapy at the Portman Clinic, Interpersonal Psychotherapy training (IPT), Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT), MBT practitioner and supervision level, and MBT-F (working with families), at the Ana Freud Centre respectively. I have also completed the training in working with children, young people and families: a Psychoanalytic Observational studies at the Tavistock and Portman Clinic. This MA study has been a good asset to my existing psychoanalytical and psychodynamic theoretical frame of work, my clinical practice and clinical supervision skills due to its robust practical child observational component. It has also contributed greatly to my child development research approach. More recently, I have started a new clinical training at the Tavistock in intercultural psychodynamic psychotherapy with the view to carry on expanding my psychoanalytic and psychodynamic knowledge and understanding when applied in clinical contexts, but with a particular focus on the study of intercultural issues, which are going to help me to develop the skills necessary for working in a modern multi-cultural context. This new knowledge coming from these different psychotherapeutic approaches have enriched the way I have been able to understand the complexity of the states of mind of the people I have had the fortune to work with, both by doing specialised assessments and offering evidence based psychotherapeutic short, medium and long term interventions. Alongside my clinical practice, I have had developed a particular extensive experience in supervising managerially and clinically qualified arts psychotherapists, psychotherapists and arts therapies students within different NHS settings and privately. I managed a team of arts psychotherapies and researchers, both in the community and inpatient settings within the NHS, paying particular attention to the improvement of clinical governance, and systematic development of service expansion strategies In the last seven years, I have also started teaching different modules towards the development of effective approaches for International Centre for Arts Psychotherapies, ICAPT, Mentalization Based Arts Therapies and Clinical supervision. In addition to this I have been visitor lecturer in the MA Art Psychotherapy programme at different higher education institutions in the UK, such as University of Roehampton, Hertfordshire, Goldsmiths and most recently at the MA Art Psychotherapy at Brunel University in London. I have taught in different modules, such as applied psychoanalytic and psychodynamic concepts in Art Psychotherapy, arts in health, understanding different psychotic and neurotic states of mind, and working with Mentalization based arts psychotherapies programmes. I also teach at Metafora in the MA Art Psychotherapy in Spain. In this country I have also participated in different conferences delivering different presentations in evidence based art psychotherapies interventions in Spain, such as IATE and GREFART in Madrid and Barcelona respectively. I have also `done a training in a systemic psychodynamic approach in the Tavistock Consulting, which has made a significant contribution to my capacity to think reflectively on clinical material from organizational dynamics perspectives. This training has acted as a stepping stone to set up an lead reflective practice spaces to Arts Psychotherapists and other members of MDT at different inpatient and community settings.

Havsteen-Franklin D, Patsou M, Somaini G, et al. (2020) Reimagining Attachment Traumas: Perspectives on Using Image-Making in Psychoeducation for People with Borderline Personality Disorder. Neurological and Mental Disorders. IntechOpen. Available at:

Dominik Havsteen-Franklin & Jorge Camarena Altamirano (2015) Containing the uncontainable: Responsive art making in art therapy as a method to facilitate mentalization, International Journal of Art Therapy, 20:2, 54-65, DOI: 10.1080/17454832.2015.1023322