Our Therapists

Marcia Poyner

BSc. (Hons) Counselling and Therapeutic Studies
Diploma in Counselling Teenagers
Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools and Communities
I have been working with children, young people, and their families since 2009, initially within the local authority and then in the third sector. For five years prior to joining YPCS, I worked for a local alcohol charity, within their young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing project.

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.

Daniella Budd

MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy
MA Diploma Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools
Award in Bereavement Counselling

I began my journey as a Dance Movement Psychotherapist seven years ago, and since then have worked with young people and their families in a range of contexts. Dance Movement Psychotherapy recognises that therapy can sometimes be difficult, and allows a child or young person to be able to explore their feelings or experiences through sensations and rhythms in the body.

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.

Kirsty Skutela

BSc. (Hons) Psychology
PG Dip. Play Therapy
Parent-Child Attachment Play
Intensive Interaction
I have been working therapeutically with young people since 2015 using play and the creative arts. My Integrative Holistic approach places the young person at the centre, giving them the opportunity to make choices and decisions whilst we explore the conscious and unconscious through a range of creative mediums. Much of my work is non-directive, allowing the young person to take the lead, but I also integrate the use of directive approaches.

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.

Ellie Ruggeri

MA Integrative Child Psychotherapy
MA Social Work
Advanced Diploma in the Therapeutic & Educational
Application of the Arts
I have worked with children of all ages for over ten years in schools, foster care, children’s homes, family homes, and now at YPCS. My training is integrative, which means I tailor my therapeutic approach to suit the needs of each individual.

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. 

Jacqui Wheeler

DiPG. Nat.SENDCo Award

Dip. Child Counselling
I trained as an Integrative Child and Adolescent Counsellor at the Institute of Arts in Therapy and Education in London and am a registered member of the BACP (British Association of Counselling Psychotherapists). Before becoming a Counsellor, I held various roles within school communities. I also worked for a Local Authority as a Specialist Advisory Teacher and for a few years as an Independent Educational Consultant. In addition, I am a qualified SENDCo (Special Educational Needs/Disability Co-ordinator).

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.

Jody Robins

PG Dip. Counselling
Diploma in Counselling Children and Young People
Diploma in Online Counselling
PG. Dip. in Traumatology and PTSD
I currently work as a counsellor for YPCS at the Annabelle Davis Centre and work as a relational integrative counsellor and traumatologist in my own private practice. I specialise in working with PTSD and trauma with young people and their families using psychoeducation and a range of techniques to promote stabilisation and trauma processing including Trauma-Focused CBT, KidsNet, Exposure and Rescripting Therapies and CATT (Children's Accelerated Trauma Technique).

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 and support 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.  

Samantha Carrier

Ad Dip Psychotherapeutic Counselling
NCFE in Understanding Children and Young People's Mental Health
Certified Grief Specialist and Trauma Bereavement in Childhood
Trauma Informed Bronze and Silver
I have worked with children, young people and families for over 20 years. This has been within family homes, other authority areas, local authorities and school settings. My work as a therapist is very integrative; this means I can use various aspects of different theories and approaches. I tailor my therapeutic approach to suit the needs of each individual.

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.

Josie Webster

MA Dramatherapy
Neurodiversity Affirming Practitioner
I have been working therapeutically with children and young people since 2018 using play, drama and the creative arts. I support young people to express and process their inner worlds through a variety of media, keeping my work client-centred and client-led.

I specialise in supporting children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions, as well as co-occuring conditions and difficulties. I work in a neurodiversity affirmative way and keep the client's strengths at the centre of my work.

Karen Eastwood

MA Dramatherapy
Level One and Two Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
Children’s Accelerated Trauma Treatment Trained
Certificate in Creative Supervision
I qualified as a Dramatherapist in 2012 from Roehampton university. As a Dramatherapist, I use a range of action methods to explore a wide variety of issues and needs in an indirect way leading to psychological, emotional and social changes. Activities can include drama, story-making, music, movement, and art all drawn from theatrical foundations e.g. roles we play and mask making. I use a range of dramatic techniques including verbal and non-verbal ways of working. Embodiment and movement are also vital in our practice.

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.

Faye Morray-Jones

PG Dip Child & Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling
Theraplay Level 1
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Level 1
I am a child and adolescent integrative therapist, using a variety of creative activities and interventions to support the individual needs of young people, to help them to express and resolve their difficulties.

I value the working relationship I develop with young people and their families, always respecting difference and diversity. I strive to offer a safe, confidential, and non-judgemental space, where individuals feel comfortable, respected, and understood.

I have supported young people with a range of difficulties including attachment difficulties, anxiety, friendship issues, school pressure, low mood, bereavement, and loss. I have a particular interest in developmental and relational trauma. My practice is informed by my training, a UKCP accredited postgraduate diploma in Child & Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling. I also draw on 16 years of experience in working with children, young people, and their families as a Family Worker and an Adoption Support Worker for the local authority.

Rebecca Fisher

MA Dance Movement Psychotherapy
BA Counselling and Psychology
I initially trained in Person Centred listening based counselling, and then took a more creative approach using a range of mediums including rhythm, music, dance, clay, paint, sand, crochet and many other creative tools. I most recently completed a Lego Therapy qualification. I took a particular interest in child and adolescent development during my psychology modules at BA level in 2013 and this is when my journey to working in young people’s mental health began.

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 YPCS. 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.

Shama Hanif

BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling Practice
I have worked with young people since 2019 within Place2be and school settings. I currently work with YPCS at the Centre33 office in Peterborough, the Annabelle Davis Centre in Yaxley and I am also based in secondary schools. My previous job role was as a school counsellor in a secondary school offering wellbeing support to the young people. I have also worked with the Human Flourishing Project as a counsellor offering support to adults during the Covid19 lockdown.

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.

Young People’s Counselling Service
Annabelle Davis Centre
School Bungalow
Peterborough PE7 3JD

Phone: 01733 903288
E-mail: admin@ypcs.uk

Registered Charity No. 1190555