For YPCS, I currently work in the community at The Annabelle Davis Centres in Yaxley and Wisbech, working alongside the Clinical Services Director in managing clinical coordination, and supporting some of the therapists. I am also based in three secondary schools across Peterborough. Schools work includes short- and longer-term counselling, as well as facilitating the delivery of mental health informed staff training and assemblies.
My work as a therapist is integrative and trauma informed, involving working appropriately and 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 connection, and offering evidence-based psychoeducation, they are prevented from being pathologised, enabled to process painful life experiences and make informed decisions about key aspects of their lives.
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 work as a counsellor for YPCS and City College Peterborough, and hold my own private practice for young people and adults. I have extensive experience in the criminal justice system; I have worked for Cambridgeshire Constabulary since 2012 supporting victims of crime and offering them a tailored support package. I have had previous counselling experience with Embrace Child Victims of Crime, YMCA and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall hospice and I have worked with vulnerable people within homeless accommodations in Peterborough.
I wanted to work with young people as I find sometimes they don’t feel heard or understood. Young people are the future and I believe maintaining good mental health is key in guiding them towards the future they want and desire.
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.
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 offer specialist support to young people and their families around Harmful Sexual Behaviours (HSB), including family intervention.
I work with YPCS to offer support to young people in my local area and to be part of a proactive team who have the community at the heart of their development.
Young People’s Counselling Service
Annabelle Davis Centre
Peterborough PE7 3JD
Phone: 01733 903288
Registered Charity No. 1190555