William Secretan, arts psychotherapist working for the Psychology and Psychological Therapies (PPT) service in South Devon, has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of his work in the emerging field of Ecopsychology and his contribution to the development of Group Relations practices in the co-operative and social housing sector.
William has been working on a pilot ecotherapy project with clinical psychology colleague, Becky Polack, in which patients from the PPT service have been receiving group environmental arts therapy in a woodland environment at The Glade, Dartington. This ecotherapy pilot is one of the first to take place anywhere in the NHS. It is the very first project of its kind to work in partnership with a local Community Interest Company (CIC) to help develop access to green spaces for people with severe and enduring mental distress. William has been published on arts based approaches to ecotherapy and is a regular speaker on this subject at national and international conferences.
William was nominated for the Fellowship by Leah Eatwell, a leading consultant in the Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH). William has been consulting to the CCH on the use of Psychodrama and Group Analytic concepts for managing difficult group dynamics in community-led housing projects.
In the official language of the Fellowship Charter, the award recognises the contributions of exceptional individuals from across the world who have made significant contributions relating to the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce.
Notable Fellows of the RSA
The RSA, founded in 1754 as the Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, is a politically independent organisation which invites experts from a broad range of industries and fields to help tackle social challenges. Fellows include leading artists, writers, journalists and former politicians who have made significant contributions to their fields. Past and present Fellows include Charles Dickens, Marie Stopes, Stephen Hawking, Karl Marx and David Attenborough.
Great honour and privilege
On receiving the fellowship, William said: "It is a great honour and privilege to be invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. The Society has a long and prestigious history and I look forward to working with the Fellowship Community on a range of green and mental health issues – particularly exploring ways in which public sector organisations like the NHS can work with small scale, community based, forestry organisations to support greater access to green and wild spaces for people suffering from severe social deprivation and the associated mental health problems."