I have worked with several different types of therapist over the years and in mid my 30s discovered the creative arts therapy approach through working with a Dramatherapist. In this work I found a freedom of expression and depth of understanding I hadn’t previously experienced in therapy.
Through working in an embodied way through movement, creating images, and role I found an authentic way to express myself without needing to put things into words'. But exploring in this way also helped me to understand, sort out and integrate feelings and experiences I had not been able to before, and therefore to more easily ‘put them into words’.
In more recent years I have come to learn more about the impact of trauma on the body and mind through my professional work and reflecting on my own experiences. Somatic trauma therapy helps us understand the impact of trauma on the nervous system and how through developing body awareness and skills we can learn to manage trauma symptoms and use the body as a resource. This combines very well with a creative arts therapy approach as this can support the expression of what the body holds which may be ‘unspeakable’,’ and creativity also invites playfulness giving us greater access to the body’s natural capacity for soothing and healing the impact of trauma
In our busy lives we can focus on the demands of doing, achieving, perhaps caring for others, often to the detriment of our emotional, psychological and spiritual well–being. I have learned 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 finding our way on our journey and to living our lives as human beings as fully and meaningfully as we can.
Being alongside and supporting others to find their way on their journey is something I feel passionately about and which most inspires me about being a therapist.
Influences and Interests
I have also found great inspiration and personal resource in Environmental Arts therapy and the Celtic spiritual tradition of understanding how all our lives are part of the great cycle of nature; how we can learn to live more in tune with our own natural rhythms and those of the world we are part of, and be more deeply connected to nature and being human
Professional Qualifications and work experience
Since qualifying as a Dramatherapist in 2008, I have worked in a variety of settings including within the NHS running therapeutic groups for people with Mental Health difficulties many of whom have experienced trauma.
I currently co-facilitate a specialist programme for women who have experienced sexual abuse in childhood and provide individual support to men attending a similar programme.
I’ve also worked in schools with children experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties; 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 also worked in Further Education teaching drama and improvisations skills. Other work experience includes training for organisations such as Age UK and Marriage Care, group facilitation in a 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!
I am registered with the Health Care Professionals Council (hcpc) as a Creative Arts Therapist (Dramatherapy)
Click here H.C.P.C to find out more .
Qualifications and Training
Other qualifications include Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work;RSA certificate in teaching adults;Post Graduate Diploma in Theatre.
Other relevant training and Continuing Professional Development includes:
'Living and working with Psychosis' - Devon Partnership Trust Autumn 2014
‘Compassion Focused Therapy’- Compassionate Mind Foundation Nov 2014
'Working with Relational Trauma' - (PODS) July 2015
' Trauma Dissociation and Recovery' -PODS November 2015
'Healing Childhood Trauma through the therapeutic relationship' -'Survivors to Thrivers Training' March 2016
‘Asist Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training’- Living Works Nov 2017
‘Managing Power, Control, Boundary and Attachment Dynamics when working with Survivors of Abuse’ Christiane Sandersen Sept 2018
‘Psychophysiology of PTSD and Trauma- how we can make Trauma Therapy safer’
Babette Rothschild Nov 2018
‘Introduction to Somatic Experiencing’ SOS Internationale March 2019
‘Internal Family Systems Introductory Workshop’ –IFS UK July 2019
‘Embodied Approaches to Eating Disorders’ Laura Wood Dramatherapist and IFS trainer August 2019