I am a dramatherapist, systemic practitioner, school counsellor and parent coach who specialises in work with children and families. This means that I am qualified to work with toddlers, children, teenagers, siblings and families using a mixture of talking, playing, creating and listening skills.
I have worked therapeutically in education, NHS, charity and arts organisations as well as in private practice. I also have a background in theatre and spent many years using drama with children with special educational needs.
I trained at The Tavistock Clinic (PG Cert/Dip Applied Systemic Theory), Central School of Speeach and Drama (MA Drama and Movement Therapy) and Edinburgh University (MA Hons History). I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council who regulate allied health professionals across the country. You can check my registration by clicking here.
I am also a parent who understands the challenges of raising children. I enjoy working with young people of all ages and have a particular interest in working with families who have been through, or are going through, divorce or separation.
Systemic therapy is about how we relate to each other and not just to ourselves. It is a way in which families, couples, siblings and people who care about each other can learn to communicate more effectively.
When a therapist works with individuals systemically, they explore the individual in context of the relationships around them. It is a chance to explore the beliefs we hold and the stories we tell about ourselves and others in order to make changes within our 'systems'.
Systemic therapists use a verbal approach, asking questions and encouraging people to explore each other's experiences and feelings to bring about change.
Dramatherapy is a way of working therapeutically using play, puppets, story, movement and other creative mediums. It is not just for children, but is often used as a gentle and safe way of allowing young people to explore their inner worlds.
It is very useful to have alternative ways to communicate, particularly if the feelings are painful, shameful and hard to articulate. It can be a great way to explore different ways of being and to find a way out when things feel stuck. I do not interpret the creative output of my clients, using it more as a way into their inner world with the intention of bringing about self regulation and awareness.
It is not necessary to be interested or talented in drama - there is no performance element, nor is there any acting involved.