About this course

Building on our recent seminar that explored the domains of traditional music therapy models as well as digital wellbeing practices, our upcoming 4th Seminar takes us on a journey to explore the entanglements of social environments, places, and events where therapeutic practices can make a   significant impact. Our primary focus will be on the margins of society and the construction of spaces that often delineate distinct social languages and interactions for LGBTQ+ individuals. To illuminate this topic, we have invited esteemed presenters, each coming from different academic and practical disciplines, including art psychotherapy and digital media.

Event Question: "How can LGBTQIA+ perspectives, shape our responses to societal crises, and how can we navigate intersections within marginalised spaces?"


Sanjini Kedia’s Perspective

Sanjini’s presentation is informed by her on-going PhD research findings – ‘moving trans men in the patriarchy: a feminist practice-led interdisciplinary inquiry’. The PhD project challenges, integrates, and investigates how the interdisciplinarity of dance movement psychotherapy (DMP) supports trans men’s lived experiences of their bodies, mental health, and emotional expression in India and the U.K. The presentation will dive into themes that emerged from the DMP groups with trans men, and the unique life stressors that they embody every day. The presentation will also explore the urgent need to create queer affirmative therapeutic practices to challenge the traditional (sometimes harmful) way of doing therapy; and will experientially question what it means to be a therapist and an ally.

Dr. Jessica Collier's Perspective

Dr Jessica Collier, an art psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and academic, will explore the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals through an interdisciplinary dialogue that traverses art psychotherapy and feminist criminology perspectives. Drawing from her many years of experience working with women in prison, she will examine the sociological, psychological and emotional dimensions of existence within marginalised spaces, with a focus on the gendered pains of prison. Jessica will discuss the intricate realm of forensic art psychotherapy, providing a unique vantage point to explore the interplay between identity, incarceration and the LGBTQ+ experience. Her perspective offers insights into the systemic prejudices faced by criminalized women and LGBTQ+ individuals, and the potential art psychotherapy offers for internal transformation as they navigate a world that frequently marginalises and punishes their existence.

Dr. Ivan Girina and Zander Vermaas' Perspective

From an alternative perspective, Dr Ivan Girina, a distinguished Senior Lecturer in Game Studies, will share his expertise in digital culture and media landscapes to explore LGBTQ+ identities in digital gaming. His presentation will underscore the pivotal role of digital media in shaping cultural narratives and highlight the distinctive challenges encountered by LGBTQ+ individuals within socially marginalised spaces. More specifically, Dr Girina will make a case for the importance of digital games aesthetics as a prime site for the formation of digital queer identities, looking at questions of representation, the identification between players and digital characters, the cultural formation of the ‘gamer’ and the emergence of cyborgian techno-body assemblages in gaming, ultimately disputing notions of agency afforded/claimed by the queer gaming subject.

Following, Zander Vermaas is an emergent Game Designer who will present a framework for the design of autobiographical queer games developed in the context of the MA in Digital Games at Brunel University London. Not only does the framework mobilise a reflection on the lived identity of the queer subject, by creating a log of everyday activity which is then abstracted as game mechanics and inform design pillars of the artistic work, but it also brings forth and highlights socio-economic tensions between the artist’s use of autobiographical creative tools to explore their identity, and the exploitation emotional labour through the commodification of lived experience within the creative industries.

By juxtaposing these distinctive yet harmonious perspectives, we aim to facilitate a dialogue centred around LGBTQ+ experiences within the confines of marginalised spaces. This seminar promises an in-depth exploration of the psychological, emotional, and cultural dimensions of the LGBTQ+   experience, offering a profound exploration of the challenges confronted by LGBTQ+ individuals in a world that frequently perpetuates marginalisation. Through this exploration, we aim to foster a heightened awareness of these challenges and inspire constructive discussions on how to cultivate more inclusive environments. 

Structure of the Day

5:45-06:00 Arrival to THQ, registration and tea & coffee

06:00-06:15 Opening
• Dominik Havsteen-Franklin
Professor of Practice in Arts Therapies at Brunel University

•Sanjini Kedia
Dance Movement Psychotherapist

06:45-06:55 Tea & Coffee Break

•Dr. Jessica Collier
Art Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor

07.25-07:35 Tea & Coffee Break

•Dr Ivan Girina
Senior Lecturer in Game Studies at Brunel University

•Zander Vermaas
Game Designer

08:05-08:30 Questions and Discussion

Ms Teams /Face to face hybrid event

350 Euston Road
London NW1 3AX


20 February 2024


06:00 pm - 08:30 pm


Hybrid (in-person/virtual)


  • Allied health
  • Psychological
  • Any Health Care Professional


£5 or £7

CNWL ICAPT & Brunel University Research Seminar Series | Seminar 4


The trainer

Sanjini Kedia

Sanjini Kedia (she/her) is a queer affirmative, dance movement psychotherapist, and a PhD candidate at the University of Roehampton, London. Sanjini works virtually as a dance/movement therapist with Dance for Mental Health (dMh) and Parivarthan Counselling Centre, India. Transmen and cis men’s mental health, along with allyship and advocacy in the arts therapies are Sanjini’s primary research interests. She follows an intersectional feminist approach to her research-practice and offers individual and group dance movement psychotherapy. Sanjini’s professional experience ranges from working with children, adults with PMLD, adults from the LGBTQIA+ communities, in-patient and out- patient at ELFT NHS, and older adults in retirement housing. Sanjini has presented her research at various global conferences and is a member of the Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy U.K’s ethics committee.

Dr. Jessica Collier

Jessica Collier has practiced as an art psychotherapist and clinical supervisor working with violent offenders in prisons, secure hospitals and a modified forensic therapeutic community and continues to work for the NHS with women in prison. She has lectured widely on forensic art psychotherapy and contributed to the training of art psychotherapists as a visiting lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire and senior lecturer at the University of Roehampton. Jessica is co-convenor of the Forensic Arts Therapies Advisory Group and sits on the executive board of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapists. She is co-editor of the International Journal of Forensic Psychotherapy and has published extensively on forensic art psychotherapy and the role of female offenders in society.

Dr. Ivan Girina

Ivan Girina is a Senior Lecturer in Game Studies and holds a PhD in Film and Television Studies from the University of Warwick, his research is currently focused on digital games aesthetic, particularly its relationship with cinema and larger visual media landscapes. Ivan is also a co-founder and member of the Editorial Board of the international academic journal G|A|M|E – Games as Art, Media and Entertainment. He has published on a variety of topics such as cinematic games; video game agency; film and new media; media literacy and education; and Italian regional cinema.

Zander Vermaas

Zander (BUL evening lecture presenter) Half Size.png

Zander Vermaas is an emerging Game Designer known for his innovative approach to game design, particularly in the realm of autobiographical queer games. As a graduate of the MA in Digital Games program at Brunel University London, Vermaas has honed his skills in crafting immersive and thought-provoking gaming experiences.
Vermaas' work is distinguished by his utilization of a unique framework for designing autobiographical queer games, which he developed during his time at Brunel University. This framework not only serves as a reflection on the lived identity of the queer subject but also delves into the intersection of socio-economic tensions within the creative industries.


Seminar Chairs

Professor Dominik Havsteen-Franklin

Dominik Havsteen-Franklin (b. 1972) is a British Art Therapist and Clinical Academic of international acclaim, known for his pioneering work in the areas of arts and health. With a dedication to exploring and advancing innovative models of arts-based intervention, he investigates the transformative potential of body movement, musicality, and visual image making within healthcare and public domains. 
Presently holding the position of Professor of Practice in Arts Therapies at Brunel University London, Dominik is instrumental in developing arts-based therapeutic practices. In addition, he serves as a Consultant in Arts Psychotherapies for CNWL NHS Foundation Trust. A founding member and Vice President for the European Federation of Art Therapy, Dominik's leadership extends beyond borders, fostering a collaborative and dynamic interdisciplinary terrain for art therapy on an international scale. 

Recent Publications:

Huss, E., Havsteen-Franklin, D., (2023). Developing a theory of social art therapy: Insights from the context of crisis. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 85, 102066. 
Havsteen-Franklin, D., de Knoop, J., Agtarap, T., Hackett, S., & Haeyen, S. (2023). Evaluation of an arts therapies approach to team development for non-acute healthcare teams in low control and high-pressure environments. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 83, 102003. 
Havsteen-Franklin, D., Cooper, J., & Anas, S. (2023). Developing a logic model to support creative education and wellbeing in higher education. Cogent Education, 10(1), 2214877. 

Jenni de Knoop