INFORMATION FOR SCHOOLS
Who am I?
I am a play therapist and counsellor, experienced in working with children from Reception up to Year 13. I am also an adult counsellor, able to work with teaching staff, parents and families.
My company logo was inspired by the phrase 'By the way …'. In my experience as a therapist, children often describe in this manner something which they have taken for granted as normal but is actually having a negative impact on their day-to-day functioning. Low self esteem and anxiety can have a devastating impact on the way a child progresses through school and both emotionally and academically. After play therapy/counselling they can often maintain better relationships with their peers and adults whilst a boost in self esteem can increase their ability to focus in class and achieve their full potential. I feel that no child should fall by the wayside, unheard.
I have worked on a self-employed basis at Broadwater C of E, Thomas A Becket First School, Steyning Primary, Glebe Primary, Angmering Secondary (as an honorary counsellor) and Steyning Grammar Boarding. At each school I have worked closely with SENCOs, Inclusion Managers, pastoral staff and class teachers. I meet with the parents/carers at the outset and feed back to them when appropriate during the course of the therapy as well as at the end. I feel that engaging the parents/carers is a fundamental way of ensuring that any positive outcomes are sustainable.
My first degree was a BA (Hons) in English and Education. I later gained an MA in Creative Writing and Personal Development from Sussex University before beginning my counselling qualifications. Since gaining my Advanced Diploma in Integrative Counselling and Therapy, I have also achieved a distinction in Working with Children and Adolescents. I am a registered member of the BACP and subscribe to their ethical framework.
My working model
My integrative model is one I have developed through my experience of working in schools. Term times provide a natural break in therapy so I tend to use those as a framework when considering the length of therapy and see them as an opportunity to review how things are going. However, I take a person-centred approach so there will be some children who need longer and, of course, some a shorter length of therapy. I am able to draw upon different theoretical models to suit the client and their presenting issue(s). Young children, in particular, often process their emotions through metaphors, especially if they are unable to verbalise their thoughts, either consciously or unconsciously. I make sure that an appropriate range of resources are available to them for this purpose. Sometimes, CBT can be very helpful for helping clients to manage negative behavioural responses and patterns whilst we explore the underlying causes.
What I can offer
Most schools choose to employ me for at least 2 hours per week. However, I appreciate that funding pupils to have play therapy/counselling is a real challenge so if your school is located in Horsham, I can offer to work with pupils on an ad hoc basis, even for just one session per week, subject to my availability. I also run a private practice from my home which may be convenient for families who are able to finance their child's therapy.
What I would need from the school
I bring all my own materials and equipment for play therapy/counselling. A small, private room is required for us to work in. Please contact me to discuss my current hourly rate.