HOW I CAN HELP
I am a child & adolescent therapist mainly based in Devon, working online throughout the UK. I have a lot of experience helping children, young people and families, so please read on to see how I can help you and your child.
I help when children are experiencing difficulties with their feelings, behaviour and relationships. It is normal for children and young people to have challenges and worries as they grow up, but sometimes for all sorts of reasons it can be hard for them to sort these out without help. Parents and other adults are usually able to help, but sometimes they need additional assistance too and they welcome the involvement of a professional like me. As well as providing individual support I often provide guidance to parents as well as other people involved with a child.
One of the key assumptions and beliefs that underpins my approach to therapeutic work with children and families is that there is often a direct connection between how children feel, and how they behave. When children have not been supported enough to effectively communicate their emotions, they often discharge them through difficult or challenging behaviour, worry or other bodily symptoms instead.
Research shows that it is often more effective to identify and work towards improving children’s emotional difficulties at an early stage to prevent things escalating. A good indication that additional support might be needed is when the emotional distress that a child is experiencing or displaying through their behaviour begins to have a significant impact on their daily life and functioning (e.g. it is affecting their friendships, relationships at home, school work and/or is stopping them from doing things they want to do).
If you think your child is showing some of these symptoms or if you are a young person reading this and think you would like help, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I have worked with children or adolescents in either education or health settings throughout my whole career. I taught in London for 13 years and then in Devon. By 2004 I had retrained as a therapist, specialising in work with children, adolescents and their parents. I also work with adults.
I worked in CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) in the NHS for 11 years. This involved working in hospitals, GP Surgeries, in schools and with a wide range of issues and with children of all ages. I have a lot of experience offering consultation and advice to teachers, GPs, school nurses, health visitors as well as parents.
I have undertaken training in a variety of specific therapeutic techniques relevant to child mental health.
In addition to my private practice I am an academic tutor on a University BSc degree course on Child and Adolescent Mental Health.
I am a qualified BACP registered therapist have a DBS certificate and regular supervision for your safety and I have professional indemnity insurance in place.
The process of embarking on a joint journey of discovery with a child or young person is not easy to put into words. It often involves their parents in order to effect change. However, I always aim to start with the hopes of the child or young person and their family, to determine the direction of our journey together.
I generally begin with a solution-focused approach to the challenges faced, that builds on the strengths and resources of both child and parent. However, I use a variety of therapeutic approaches which I select according to individual need and age.
Given that young children do not think in the same way as adults and often struggle to put their feelings into words, it is important to create a safe, supportive and child friendly environment in order to allow them to explore things. In addition to talking, I therefore use a variety of creative activities so that children can be assisted to express and explore their feelings more easily through their natural language of stories, images, metaphors and imagination. More direct talking tends to happen with adolescents as they are often more able to express themselves verbally.
Finally, it is my belief that perhaps the most fundamental part of any therapeutic work involves establishing a collaborative relationship. The nature of this relationship varies because each individual and family is unique, but in all work carried out, I seek to build relationships based on mutual respect and trust and have a genuine interest in getting to know the child and their context, not just the difficulties they are currently facing.
For online sessions we will use the Zoom video conferencing platform. You will need to download the software if you have not used Zoom before (it is straightforward) and please take care to protect your password and other login details. For more information and full guidance please click here.
BA Hons Degree
Advanced Certificate in Integrative Counselling
I have undertaken a one year post graduate training in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the University of Plymouth.
I studied on an advanced course in Systemic Family Practice at Exeter University
In addition I have attended a vast range of short courses such as likes Solution Focused Brief Therapy, CBT, TA, loss and bereavement, working with teenagers, Therapeutic Storywork, Creative Therapies, Attachment, Thrive amongst others.
Where I Work From
My practice is mainly online which means I can help children, young people and their parents across the UK. My main office is within easy travelling distance of the whole of Torbay and Teignbridge. Totnes and Newton Abbot are a short drive away and Exeter is only 30 minutes by car. I occasionally offer face-to-face appointments.