Alongside her University role, Ali is employed as an Art Psychotherapist in NHS adult community mental health teams (in two localities in Gloucestershire). She works with clients with complex psychological difficulties, both individually and within groups. She has a particular interest in the use of museums, galleries and other cultural and environmental resources in Art Psychotherapy, and was the co-founder of the British Association of Art Therapists’ Museums and Galleries Special Interest Group (www.atmag.org). She runs innovative museum-based Art Psychotherapy Groups in her NHS work, using museum objects, exhibitions and settings to aid the therapeutic process.
Before qualifying as an Art Psychotherapist, Ali worked as a primary school teacher, a museum education officer, a museum adviser, and a project manager and consultant in the areas of arts, heritage, health and education. She has also devised and delivered a therapeutic arts programme for families, with funding from Arts Council England.