Professional Qualifications and work experience
I am registered with the Health Care Professionals Council (hcpc) as a Creative Arts Therapist and member of the British Association of Dramatherapists. I hold an M.A in Creative Arts Therapy (Drama), and certificate in Counselling and Psychodynamic Therapeutic Skills.
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I have worked with people from all walks of life, from many diverse communitie,s in different parts of the UK.
I have worked within the NHS running therapeutic groups for people with Mental Health difficulties and within a specialist project for women who have experienced sexual abuse in childhood; within Education with children experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties; and in a variety of settings as a freelance therapist including working with private individuals, in residential homes for people with dementia, and on staff development days within Further Education.
Before training as a therapist I worked for many years work as a social worker and have a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work. I have also worked in Further Education teaching drama and improvisation and hold a Post Graduate Diploma in Theatre and an RSA certificate in teaching.
Other work experience includes training for organisations such as Age UK and Marriage Care , group facilitation including reminiscence arts projects with Age Exchange Theatre Trust , and performance and workshop facilitation with Playback theatre in a variety of settings. I've also worked as a carer within residential and community settings, volunteer counsellor, as a charity fundraiser, within a women's refuge as a support worker, as a cleaner, usher and in the catering industry!
Background to Therapy
Having faced difficulties and challenges in my own life I have made my own journey with therapy.
I have learnt from my experiences and those of the people I have worked with, that attending to and taking care of, every aspect of our well-being is key to living our lives as human beings as fully and meaningfully as we can.
And often it is our emotional, psychological and spiritual well–being that is neglected and which needs to be given attention.
My personal experience of therapy and self-development work began over 30 years ago and I also undertook a Counselling training in my 20s working as a volunteer for a charitable counselling agency and for Brook Advisory Service, as well as using these skills in my main work.
I have worked with several different types of therapist over the years and discovered Creative Arts Therapy through working with a Dramatherapist - finding a freedom of expression and depth of understanding that I hadn’t previously experienced in therapy.
Through working in an embodied way , through movement and role as well as creating images, I found an authentic way to express myself without needing to 'put things into words'.
But exploring in this way certainly also helped me to understand, sort out and integrate feelings and experiences in a way I had not been able to before, and therefore to more easily ‘put them into words’.
Being alongside and supporting others to find their voice in this way, is something I feel passionately about and which most inspires me about being a Creative Arts Therapist.
Influences and Interests
My personal and professional development has been influenced through involvement in physical and ritual theatre work, Playback theatre practice, yoga, Five Rhythms dance, Authentic movement, and mindfulness meditation practice, over the past 25 years. I have learnt that the wisdom of our bodies has much to teach us about who we are and our potential.
I have also found great inspiration and resource in Environmental Arts therapy and the Celtic spiritual tradition of understanding how all our lives are part of the great cycle of nature; and how we can learn to live more in tune with our own natural rhythms and those of the world we are part of, to be more deeply connected to our human 'being'.