A little about my journey
I have a passion for helping people, for supporting individuals to connect with their inner strength and vitality that all of us have. In addition to my training as an Educational Psychologist and a therapist, I hold a Masters in performing arts psychology. My approach is playful, supporting children to learn through play and helping adults re-connect to their inner child. After all, all life is improvisation.
I provide bespoke psychological support and training which encompasses our natural ability as humans to create. 'Creating' happens when we play, move, draw, or even in our interactions with others where we creat relationships. Creative arts therapy was the first door in to my work in mental health.
I have a diagnosis of ADHD, which I wish had been understood earlier in my life. I never got adequate help for my needs growing up as they were not understood. This is a big reason why I went into this work. To learn and also know in my heart what you might need.
My work in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia included:
Research project at University of Malaysia: ‘An investigation into the effects of creative therapies on the psycho-social rehabilitation of psychiatric outpatients’
Speaking at a variety of conferences around the country
Establishing my own company and centre for running drama programs, English language and wellbeing programs for children and adults. This included significant work running drama programs with children with Autism Spectrum Condition and Down Syndrome.
Writing the drama syllabus for The National Autism Society of Malasyia (NASOM)
Social skills and creative arts therapy programs at Malaysian Mental Health Association
Gaining a Cert in Creative Arts Therapy in Singapore
Teacher training in creating and delivering drama sessions to target different areas of social and learning development.
My work in Vancouver included:
Training in dance and movement therapy
Project with young people based on Augusto Boal's work (theatre for social change) raising awareness on climate change
A life-changing accident
After an accident, in 2011 my work in Malaysia and overseas came to an abrupt stop. With a lot of time to read, write and reflect, so started my work back in my home town of Sheffield after 12 years away, on and off. It was in the non-mobile period to follow where I wrote my first publications and learnt so much about the body-mind connection. I experienced how to find flexible ways to manage pain, of both the body and the mind, which I use in my work supporting individuals who need to overcome any type of trauma or distress.
I have since trained as a Child and Educational Psychologist and worked in Local Authorities for 3 years before becoming fully private in my practice. I have continued my private therapeutic practice, working in a clinic in Sheffield and virtually. My goal continues to be providing support to those most in need.
As I continue my personal and professional development, my journey takes me towards mindfulness, nature and collaboration- with other professionals but also with my community. I continue to study and use therapeutic models which focus on people's strengths and forwards movement towards values, rather than becoming saturated with problems and how to 'escape and avoid' these. I believe that when we keep in mind what we want, these problems automatically become less. Sometimes, the 'problem' can be that we have forgotten what our values are.
My doctoral thesis was on the experiences of teenage girls who had a mental health issues whilst at school, in which I used creative arts as a tool for exploration. I have a particular interest in teenage mental health and regularly deliver training to schools on how to identify and support children and young people, as well as staff wellbeing- an area I feel needs much more work.
I enjoy creating and delivering training and new programs to find new ways forwards where individuals may have become 'stuck'. There is always another route to try and I hope to help others to find new ways to be.
I regularly attend conferences and training to maintain my professional development.
I am a full member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) The Association for Educational Psychologists (AEP) and a member of the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH).