I currently work in the community at The Annabelle Davis Centres in Yaxley and Wisbech, and manage the triaging and allocating of referrals. I am also based in a secondary school in Peterborough; work includes short- and longer-term counselling, as well as facilitating the delivery of mental health informed staff training and assemblies. In addition, I am involved in pilot projects at Kings Ripton Court in Huntingdon, supporting both staff and residents, as well as at Romsey Mill in Cambridge, to support their youth workers.
My work as a therapist is integrative and trauma informed, involving working collaboratively with parents/carers and professionals. I believe in and am driven by the power of the therapeutic relationship, based on engagement, openness, and equality. I aim to empower young people to take steps towards change and ultimately, to support them in enjoying a capacity for a compassionate relationship with themselves and others. In equipping young people with a safe space and offering evidence-based psychoeducation, they can be prevented from being pathologised, enabled to process painful life experiences and make informed decisions about key aspects of their lives.
I like to help young people find a way to access therapy that feels safe for them. This may include using movement, props, words or play. My approach is very child centred and focuses on the relationship between a child’s inner world and their outer world. I have a keen interest in the works of Laban and Kestenberg and use these theories to inform my practice and help a young person to develop socially and emotionally.
I enjoy working with families and supporting adults who work with young children. I deliver workshops and training to offer understanding and practical ways of working with young people, particularly with those who are living with the effects of trauma. I strongly believe that the more we collaborate and share, the more we can help support a young person to grow and develop.
I currently work as a Play Therapist for YPCS at the Annabelle Davis Centre and within primary schools. I also facilitate online and face-to-face wellbeing groups. I previously spent several years in special needs education working with children with autistic spectrum disorder, challenging behaviour and emotional and social difficulties. This was where I discovered the transformative power of play and that we don’t always need words to make connections. I have also worked in a college and with vulnerable adults in the community.
I wanted to work with young people as I believe early intervention is crucial for supporting mental health. The difficulties they face are not always recognised and so it became my passion to give young people the space, sincerity and support they deserve. As young people cannot always find the words for their feelings and experiences, I wanted to provide a means for self-expression and emotional exploration that doesn’t rely on being verbal.
I enjoy talking with families and young people about what matters to them; about issues they may face, and how they might gain more satisfaction and meaning from their relationships.
It can be useful to talk about early experiences and the family background with parents or with the young person themselves. Drawing, painting, using clay, music, and any other art form can also be useful for self-expression. Every behaviour is a communication, and by discussing dreams, body language, and unconscious processes we may better understand causes of current distress. With increasing awareness of our patterns of behaviour we can learn to take more control of our lives.
Prior to counselling I worked as a mental health recovery worker which guided me to train as an Integrative Counsellor with a special interest in trauma.
My aim in counselling is to meet the client where they are at and help then gain understanding over their situation, supporting them to build on existing resources and additional coping skills where necessary. I learn so much about the world through working with young people and it is a great privilege to work in a role where I get to share a small part of their journey.
Before starting my journey with YPCS I previously worked for Embrace supporting young people who have been a victim of crime and Bedfordshire Open Door supporting young people with an additional need.
I offer a safe, warm, confidential, creative space and a not ‘one size fits all’ approach to counselling and supervision. I bring the creative aspect of counselling and supervision into the room. When dealing with trauma and deep rooted worries or concerns, it can be difficult to even know where to begin, especially when we first enter the therapy room.
Quite often it can be someone’s first experience of counselling and so being able to provide a safe space is critical to your journey. I aim to provide a warm, comfortable, non-judgemental environment where I hope you will feel safe, respected, and heard.
I feel the therapeutic process starts with building a safe and trusting relationship and this can take some time; it is after this is established the work can take place. I understand putting your trust in someone is a big step but it’s an important step for therapy to be effective.
I aim to walk alongside you on your journey and hope that you don’t feel so alone.
For me, the emotional well-being and mental health of children and young people are paramount. It is for this reason that I decided to retrain and focus the remainder of my vocational career as a Counsellor, working alongside children and young people by providing a safe, empathic, non-judgemental therapeutic space to help them explore and process feelings, thoughts and challenging situations.
I work from an integrative perspective which means that I can use various theories and approaches to meet the individual needs of the young person on their therapeutic journey.
I am particularly mindful of the connection between the mind and the body and how the arts can be used to bring into conscious awareness feelings that may not previously have been understood or expressed. Current research in neuroscience and the human brain is also a growing field of learning that contributes to my integrative approach to counselling. The basis of my practice, however, is always the therapeutic relationship. This is integral for any positive change and healing to occur.
As well as being a member of the Young People`s Counselling Service, my counselling background includes working as a Counsellor in primary and secondary schools.
I have a background in Education which prompted me to work therapeutically with children and young people. Since qualifying I have worked in a variety of settings: mainstream and alternative provision and ages ranging from primary to further education.
My journey to Dramatherapy started on a school trip to Africa where I delivered ‘therapeutic’ work shops to young people and their families in communities and clinics. I had always had a passion for Drama and was involved in theatre groups as a child. I was then able to combine my love of theatre with a teaching career. All this forged my route to becoming a Dramatherapist. I feel privileged to do what I do and have met some amazing young people and families on my journey. Children and young people are experts in using themselves in the work. Working at a distance and creatively provides space to explore difficult emotions in a safe and contained environment. The practice does not necessarily rely on spoken language alone to resolve what a child or young person may wish to address, explore or seek support with.
My work is DDP informed and for the last eight years I have been registered to provide therapeutic provision to fostered and adopted children and young people. I work alongside the family to offer therapeutic parenting support and in addition, carry out life story work with young people. I also work with the school ensuring best outcomes for the young person.
I am a qualified supervisor and trained to work creatively, in a person centered way. I have supervised counsellors, therapists and teaching staff.
As co-convenor of the Education sub-committee, for the British Association of Dramatherapists, I liaise with colleagues working in the Education sector on best practice, offering advice and CPD at training events.
Prior to joining YPCS I worked within the mental health housing sector in another county. After retraining 2014 to become a therapist I have worked with various charities. This has included a local alcohol charity, emotional wellbeing supporting children and young people’s mental health and any form of trauma and exploitation.
I offer a safe, warm non-judgemental, confidential environment where I hope you feel safe, respected, heard and acknowledged to give you as an individual an opportunity to express your own inner thoughts, feelings and challenges, which can enable you to take a lead in your own therapeutic journey.
My work as a therapist is based on the person-centred approach which focuses on building a safe therapeutic relationship by offering empathy, congruence and being non-judgemental.
It can be uncomfortable to talk about difficult or traumatic experiences so I always allow the young person to take the time they need when working through these experiences. I believe that everyone moves towards personal growth if they are offered the right conditions to do so and that everyone should have an opportunity to feel heard. It feels important for me to offer a space where the young person feels they have a voice and encourage them to build emotional resilience. I aim to offer a therapeutic relationship which empowers young people to gain self-awareness and develop self-compassion.
I have worked with children from birth through to 25, in a range of settings including nurseries, schools, and colleges and counselling centres. I worked within a SEN Department delivering group therapy and a nursery delivering 1-1 therapy. I have many trainings in trauma and I work for a children’s trauma charity with PSARC clients alongside the YCPS. I also have experience delivering therapeutic groups to adults with the charity MindSpace Stamford and I have delivered 1-1 therapy to parents with child survivors of trauma.
I work in an integrative way, offering a mix of creative and listening based therapies and I tailor this based on each individual.
Adolescence is a difficult stage of development where the brain and body are changing at such a rapid rate; it has always been a tricky stage of development to navigate. However, the increase in social media and technology brings different challenges for young people and it feels like mental health support for young people is now paramount.
Young People’s Counselling Service
Annabelle Davis Centre
Peterborough PE7 3JD
Phone: 01733 903288
Registered Charity No. 1190555