I work with children and adolescents with a wide range of needs, including young people with severe emotional, social and behavioural difficulties. I work with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and Attachment Disorders. I also work with young people with a variety of difficulties including low self-esteem, family problems and trauma. Art Therapy can be beneficial to children, adolescents, adults or older people.
During my Art Therapy training I undertook placements working within Elderly Mental Health and also within the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. I also ran Creative Expressive groups for adults with mental health difficulties during my degree course.
After I qualified I moved to Oxford and began working at a Primary School for children with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties. I worked at this school for over six and a half years. These children had a range of difficulties and issues; many had low self-esteem and confidence, had experienced some type of trauma and struggled to relate to the world around them. Their primary ‘need’ was their behaviour but this usually masked other ‘needs’, which were more significant.
I began at the school as a Teaching Assistant after completing my Masters Degree in Art Therapy. The school had previously had no therapy input, I began to see children for Art Therapy for one day a week and over a period of two years the school increased this to a permanent full time Art Therapy position, as they rapidly saw the value of Art Therapy. The school re-developed just over three years ago and their new building included a custom made Art Therapy room for my use. After I left the school put in place plans to have both Art and Play therapists working from the Therapy room.
I saw children individually for Art Therapy, where the main aim of therapy was to provide a safe and secure space for these children to explore their thoughts and feelings, thus enabling them to understand themselves better. I also gained an insight into their lives and an understanding of their ‘needs’, which I was then able to communicate both to professionals and family members around them. I undertook some family work with children and their parents, which was extremely beneficial both to the individuals and their family units.
For five years I also had another role running two youth groups for adolescents who had High Functioning Autism and Asperger’s. With one group I was the youth group co-ordinator and with the other I was the specialist Autism Worker.
I currently work for Meningitis Now (formally the Meningitis Trust) where I use Art Therapy with individuals who have been affected by meningitis.
I have recently started a new chapter in my life and moved to Manchester, I am ready for new experiences and challenges.
Personal Skills and Interests
I am very flexible and adaptable to working in different environments. I have good communication skills and am computer literate. I am organised and work well under pressure. I work holistically in any setting, work well as a member of a team and also individually using my initiative.
I enjoy sports and keeping fit. I attend the gym regularly. I am a keen painter and whenever possible travel back home to the Lake District to go out painting in the fells.