Born in Florence, Italy, Francesca La Nave initially studied sciences and took part in field research both in her native country and in North Africa, on the subject of Quaternary Age Ecology. Once in the UK she studied Fine Arts at Chelsea School of Art and held a studio at Cable Street Studios. She trained in Art Psychotherapy and subsequently in Group Analytic Psychotherapy with a Masters in Group and Intercultural Therapy at Goldsmiths College. She has had a long career in the NHS, working in Mental Health in settings such as Day Hospitals and Rehabilitation Units. She also worked with Children with Special Educational, Social and Emotional needs in Special Educational settings. The combination of these two clinical practices has provided her with a unique, working perspectives on the intergenerational and interpersonal aspects of emotional and behavioural problems.

Francesca now works in a specialist service for patients with Complex Needs, including Borderline Personality disorders. She has developed her competence in the field with a variety of complementary courses, with particular attention to the areas of Mentalization and Systemic Family Therapy. Francesca is also the coordinator for all Arts Therapies Clinical Training placements for her NHS Trust. She is a regular, visiting lecturer on a number of training courses in the UK and abroad; her main subjects include Art Therapy with Adults and Children, Groups, and Mentalization.

Following her training as Social Dreaming Host with the late Gordon Lawrence, Francesca has been developing and hosting Social Dreaming programmes for Arts therapies training organizations and conferences, in the UK and abroad. She has a small private practice in Art Psychotherapy for both adults and children. She is a clinical supervisor for both qualified and training Art Therapists and specialises in team and group supervision.

She is a practicing artist, specialising in painting, printmaking and stained glass. Her publications include:

2010   International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape 15: 1, 13 — 24

Image: Reflections on the treatment of images and dreams in Art

Psychotherapy groups

DOI: 10.1080/17454831003752378 URL:

2014  Theatre of the Image and Group Interaction in Waller D. Group Interactive Art Therapy- Its use in training and treatment (II Edition). Routledge, London UK