Previously working in law, advocacy and mediation, I have been working as a therapist in educational settings as on site school counsellor and manager of therapeutic services. I am also an Addiction Therapist as well as a Parent Adviser supporting parents/carers coping with the mental health behaviours and emotional well-being of their children and families.
I am qualified to MSc degree level in conflict resolution and mediation, with a diploma in Person Centred Counselling and qualifications and training in Counselling Children and Young People, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Trauma Informed Therapy and Integrative Supervision. My training and practice has focused on the person centred approach, humanistic philosophies and psychodynamic perspectives but with detailed attention to the significance of attachment theory, systemic working, child development and neuroscience, diversity and difference and the importance of working ethically and professionally adopting the BACP Ethical Framework.
These qualifications and extensive continuing professional development have enhanced my range of therapeutic responses and provided a deeper understanding of the range of issues brought by clients such as separation, loss, trauma, abuse, family breakdown, relationship conflict, complex family child protection matters and cultural identity,
School Counsellor and Manager of Counselling Services:
My work in schools utilised all my experience and skills to good effect as children and families within the school community have presented with a spectrum of mental health behaviours requiring expert knowledge and therapeutic practice from anxiety, low mood, stress, self-harm, eating issues, body image, friends and relationship difficulties, family breakdown, domestic abuse, online abuse, bullying, school refusal, bereavement, addiction, and learning needs. The onsite therapeutic services that I managed, were regularly accessed and integrated successfully within the school’s provision of well-being and mental health support. It was important to provide knowledge and understanding to children, staff and parents on all aspects of mental health and well-being with a focus on prevention and, the importance of creating a better environment for learning, teaching and building resilience.
In supporting children and young people, I am trained in non-directive play therapy. This way of working uses the medium of play to allow and encourage children to communicate with the therapist both verbally and non-verbally. The play and art making within the sessions offers a variety of purposes: to express feelings, to act out an experience that has troubled or traumatised them or to play out difficult thoughts, images and dreams. The counselling sessions provide a creative space where the individual is autonomous and free to explore whatever they want to bring safely with the therapist. As a result, children are able to learn strategies to help them deal with their problems, to improve their self-esteem and resilience and to gain a sense of self. Consequently this frees up their energies and focus, to enable them to concentrate on learning, enjoying school life, building relationships with family and friends.
MSc BA (Hons) PGdip: MBACP
Location: Barnet, London
Addiction Therapist with Community Addiction Services:
I have been working with one of the leading providers of addictions services on behalf of local authorities and the NHS, offering abstinence based therapy, children and family interventions, clinical services, detox/rehab, psychosocial services and aftercare. As part of its psychosocial support, I offer one to one counselling to clients to aid successful recovery as wellbeing is rooted in the ability to form healthy relationships and participate in family, work and the community.
Each recovery journey is unique to each individual and by offering a supportive, safe and non-judgemental therapeutic relationship, clients were able to address the psychological aspects of human and social experiences such as loss and trauma. Significant to the counselling work was reconnecting mind, body and brain and the use of embodiment techniques so that clients remain connected to themselves and respond safely to triggering experiences within relationships and their environment.
Mental Health Support to Parents/Carers
I work with parents and carers offering confidential support about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person. This work has introduced me to multiple issues and problems that face children, young people and adults and how these impact on their emotional and cognitive development, relationships and societal interaction. I support families in coping with a wide range of mental health behaviours, feelings and symptoms, (for e.g. anxiety, low mood, low self-esteem, eating problems, body image, exam stress, bullying, abuse, family breakdown and friendship issues). I have found that early intervention is vital to help build emotional resilience. I have also supported parents via peer to peer community projects who had been affected by violence, addiction, disabilities, abuse, mental health and family breakdown.
Royal Foundation - Heads Together
I have been involved with the Heads Together Campaign in conjunction with the Royal Foundation to help relieve the stigma attached to mental health.