My overarching modality is psychodynamic, but I also draw from a range of theoretical perspectives to inform my work including attachment theory, neurodevelopmental science and trauma-informed practices. My approach is relational, working towards an authentic and stable relationship with each individual and aiming for deeper understanding and change.
I am also a fully qualified teacher with over ten years’ experience working in primary and secondary education with a particular interest in special educational and emotional needs. This is particularly useful when communicating with schools regarding support children and young people may need within their educational setting.
Psychotherapy can benefit children and young people with a range of emotional and mental health challenges including:
• Difficulties with relationships or social interaction
• Difficulties accessing learning or school refusal
• Aggression and angry outbursts
• Lack of motivation, low mood and depression
• Irrational fears or worries and panic attacks
• Obsessive and compulsive behaviours
• Neurodiversity, including ASD and ADHD
• Sensory processing difficulties
• Uncertainties around sexuality or gender
• Poor body image and disordered eating
• Risk-taking or self-harming behaviour and suicidal thoughts
• Developmental problems and attachment difficulties
• Complex developmental trauma
• The lasting effects of bereavement, family breakdown, chronic illness, disability, trauma, neglect or abuse
• Any other issue that may be impacting their ability to make the most of opportunities to grow, learn or form relationships with others.
I offer a safe space for children and young people to explore their inner worlds free of judgement or expectation. For a number of reasons including maturity, confidence or developmental barriers, youngsters are not always able to express their experiences or concerns verbally, so I offer a range of therapeutic activities involving play, creative expression, games, story-telling, sand play and somatic awareness to facilitate communication. I am skilled at working with those who have delayed communication skills, those for whom English is not their first language or those who chose not to speak at all. Through creative collaboration and a holistic approach, I encourage and support youngsters in their efforts to develop a greater understanding of themselves and what might be troubling them.
Those who prefer to use talk to communicate, are encouraged to freely express their feelings, opinions, attitudes, and experiences, safe in the knowledge they are being heard and validated. I support them in learning to appreciate their strengths, talents and aspirations, and in identifying current obstacles to their development.
By building a strong therapeutic relationship, my focus is to help children and young people develop a more secure and resilient sense of self, and to tap into their innate strengths, empowering them to gain confidence to address current and future challenges. With this foundation they are then able to develop new ways of thinking, acting or relating for themselves, in order to fulfil their potential and thrive.
Transitions are often difficult times for youngsters to navigate, so I work alongside them to help them manage their emotions and any obstacles they encounter. This may be primary to secondary school transitions; school or house moves due to changes in circumstances, including family break up; moves into or between foster placements; or transitions from secondary education into colleges, universities or work.
Sessions generally take place at my therapeutic premises but can be arranged within schools or local facilities if there is an appropriate, confidential space which is consistently available and where sessions will not be interrupted. I will consider remote sessions via Zoom for older clients, preferable after several initial face-to-face sessions, particularly where this will support them during the transition from the family home.