Art and poetry are part of my life and can be powerful tools to support self-reflection, self-awareness and enabling understanding of unconscious inner processes and to inegrate toxic and unpleasant experiences life may throw at us. Creativity has the potential to heal wounds that are at times seemingly deep and entrenched and unfixable by any other means or process.

Here is a recent poem: 

The butterfly dropped 'neath the dusty worn container
Lifeless, still, skeletal.
The light of the sun warmed it's freckles.
Energised the silent lifeless creature
It rose up and fluttered towards the buddleah in the vase.
Sucked the flowers sweet nectre.

Night fell and passed
The sun rose again at dawn
The butterfly rose up
Took flight into the open doorway
Ventured out into the world
Beyond the confines of the house and the walled garden
Into a world beyond---wider and wider, free to explore.

This poem is a metaphor for the work and process of a client in therapy.

GROUPS and PERSONAL GROWTH WORKSHOPS: As a professional counsellor /coach and artist I am interested to work with professional or open groups to explore and enhance your own creative potential in an environment that provides safety, exploration, reflection, along with some playful and purposeful practice and experience. Any corporate professional groups wishing to do some TEAM BUILDING may approach me for some details and a protocol. The best size groups is 9-12 anything above this number reduces the quality and the intensity of the workshop and waters down the affects. Any local art groups may also approach me if you wish to 'free' up your own work and become more in the moment in your own creativity. Fees and venues would be negotiated at the time. 

Here is a selection of my own personal art: click on any of the images to view larger copies. For more information about Creative Therapy, to find out more about these paintings or to enquire about sales,(each piece of art/ painting is individually priced according to size and depth of the work) please telephone or email.

"I delight in Heleena’s paintings – and the energy with which she brings them into being. I have had the honour of witnessing her process a great many times in her creative psychospiritual sessions with me. 
Beginning with a moment’s stillness, Heleena brings her full attention within… Then, quickly she stands and walks swiftly to the easel. Reaching for palette and bottles of paint, she grabs the colours she requires, releasing them in breathy splutters and full-bodied gloops. And I sit back, quietly smiling… 

Each time I observe Heleena absorbed in her work, I’m enchanted by her vibrant colours, flowing lines, deliberate dots, suggested shapes, and emerging imagery. Her intuitive approach is direct and free; the way she paints is wonderfully spontaneous – almost playful; and each stroke is deftly delivered with lightning speed – and apparent casualness. The receptive viewer will notice how each picture Heleena paints is steeped in sensual sensitivity and soulfulness. Such a natural transformative process as this invites unconscious knowing into conscious awareness. 

There is something quite shamanic about this kind of process – and Heleena’s work.

An Artists Prayer:

What do we do
the singers tale writers dancers painters shapers makers
They go with empty hands
Into the gaps between
They come back with things in their hands
They go silent
And come back with words and tunes
They go into confusion 
And come back with patterns
They go limping and weeping
Ugly and frightened
They come back with the wings of the red hawk
The eyes of the mountain lion
That is where they live
Where they get their breath
There in the gap between the empty place.
Ursula le Guin
Jaimie Cahlil – artist & psychotherapist, 2013


This is a deep colourful painting shaping many of the dense planting that is part of this tree space. Australia has many rainforests that I have often visited.


This is a 3D painting with subtle soft hues of greens and pinks. It is reminiscent of a shaded garden beneath an apple tree; created by my daughter; herself a textile artist. It is still a very beautiful garden today.


This is a dark painting with the sense of a storm looming in a stormy sky. There is an eye in the centre of the moon-shape; evoking a mood of depth, darkness, perhaps even grief and sorrow. A poem was written to reflect this mood: ‘Blue Moon’. The moon is always mostly symbolic of the deep feminine energy.


This is an evocative painting revealing the shape of the heart and a cross. There is a defined figure that rises to the top of the painting (symbolic of the Divine) and inside the heart space; two definable figures may be seen; facing each other. Colours of blues and lilacs evoke depth and sobriety yet there is a gentleness suggesting calmness and peace. Lilac is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit in Christian terms.


In the style of!? Wassilly (1866-1926) This large painting when it evolved reminded me of the great artist/ musician/ scientist: Wassily Kandinsky. “Generally speaking colour directly influences the soul, colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively to cause vibrations in the soul.” [quote from: The Spiritual in Art. By W. Kandinsky] This painting here has many tones of blue, yellows, white and pinks. It is gentle on the eyes and energetic in its movement. Wassily was a wonderful abstract colourist whose many paintings are now seen as art posters.


The organic process in the painting, happened over many layers and hours. What emerged is this symbolic iamage; akin to a peacock’s feather. The bright colours of reds; yellows with peripheral surround the dark. Dark and light are almost always together; as an energetic form. The peacock symbol is representational of the numinous /spiritual emergence here. The painting was created whilst in a silent retreat in a religious community: St Mary's Convent Wantage Oxon.


A painting with both dark and light shades; containing and embodied many hues of blues and reds, with a dash of yellow. It is associated with a poem I wrote almost at the same time as the painting was created. The painting is the evolution of a whole new creative -process, integrating multiple layers of paper, paste and paint with glue. It is then stressed and peeled back to reveal whatever is there, in an organic process. I love this painting; the poem was called: Child's Play.


The foreground is dark yet there is light that highlights across the skies diagonally. Wales is a moody landscape yet very beautiful. Our souls are often moody inscapes yet they too are very beautiful spaces within.



This little painting depicts the village light shining onto the sea with a full moon over the Moray Firth Scotland.


This full figure is seen in a veil of a misty cloud; an image of ‘self’ as an artist beginning to emerge.


The image suggestive of a butterfly. The bright reds, yellow, white and black converge into one another. Images of butterflies are generally symbolic of change and transformation. There are suggestions of koala bears to the right of this painting. As an Australian by birth I have seen Koala bears in the wilderness spaces of Australia in NSW.


An image of myself looking out to sea. To be in nature and experience this is a soul yearning a seeking of the true self.


This painting of reds, pinks black and yellow; depicts the heart shattered with light; shining into the soul.


Greens reds and black; symbolic gesture of the lichens that grow onto stone walls.


Light shatters darkness. Light is never easy to access. Dark and light portrayed in this painting in dynamic form.


This playful painting, depicts waves rising up from the sea-bed with the froth of bubbles and water.


Little did I know that this was the beginning of the infection of the British Ash over the past three years in the UK. This is an image of an Ash tree; that split in two by a storm. I painted the image and wrote a poem to go with this. It is bright and challenging. The evidence of chaos and destructive powers in nature. This was a true image of an Ash struck by a storm and crashed to earth.



Two figures are emerging central to this painting. Male and female entwined integrated in this form.

Please don't hesitate to contact me
Call 01295 713554 or 07752 086496
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Heleena Yates is a counsellor serving the counties of Oxfordshire: serving nearby towns; Didcot, Abingdon, Hungerford, Grove and just ten miles from the centre of Oxford City where a bus service operates and comes to the centre of Wantage into the market square.