Hello, I am an artist and MA educated Art Psychotherapist and Clay Therapist living in Kings Langley, Herts and now with a private practice in my garden studio.
Before training I worked for thirty years with children as an NNEB Nursery Nurse in many varied settings, including in NHS, education, social care, private and charity sector for almost thirty years. I then brought up my own children and became a Birth and Postnatal Doula.
My experience working as an Art Therapist includes:-
- with children individually in primary school for three years. Including working with child and parent together.
- Mother/Infant setting within a Children’s centre co-facilitating a mother/baby group addressing the mother/baby attachment. Also working with children aged from toddlers to four years- both alone and dyadically with parent(s)
- in a Pupil Referral Unit with adolescents (in groups and individually) who were excluded from or unable to attend mainstream school due to emotional and behavioural problems.
- in an NHS mental health day-care unit with elderly adults whose diagnoses included dementia; bi-polar disorder; psychosis and neurological conditions.
Within my practice, I believe that through art-making, clay-work and imaginary play, children- and indeed any age of client- can find a space to metabolize and work through their experiences.
Art therapy does not necessarily need to be vocal and therefore is effective when words cannot or will not be found.
My practice is led by the individual needs of each client and is mostly non-directive. It is orientated around various approaches including psychodynamic; attachment based; person-centred and influenced by Jung and Winnicott amongst several others.
I passionately believe in the importance of offering a safe, confidential and contained therapeutic space within which any aged client can feel met and accepted however and wherever they are.
All that comes up is worked through together in a non-judgemental way.
I include various therapeutic creative approaches beyond art-making and clay-work which include drawing from environmental therapy; play therapy; using music; puppets; Sand-Tray Therapy and so on….
Art Therapy is most effective when clients have regular weekly sessions. Therefore when at all possible, I aim to continue client sessions during long school holidays.
I am a member of BAAT ( British Association of Art Therapists), am registered with the HCPC (Health Care Professions Council)
A poem about Clay Work....
A poem about the client’s and therapist’s respective thoughts, conscious and unconscious- and some processes going on as the client touches and connects with the clay…..
Suspend thinking….. be an attentive witness.
Unsure about this- what will appear? Something lovely or ugly?
Watch! The midwife/doula waiting to see what will be birthed. Being NOT Doing.
Clay, so smooth and cool and firm at first….it’s getting warmer and more yielding.
On her face I glimpse reactions to known and unknown processes happening deep within her psyche/internal world.
Her breathing changing... slow, quick-quick, slow.
I am in the clay, the clay is in me, I am grounded and safe. Her shoulders drop.
Responses fast-tracked. Emotions and fears triggered
Masses of signals flooding my brain.
Left and right hemispheres being bridged.
Slowly and continually spiraling.
Forward steps, taking in my life experiences, integrating new realisations.
Backward steps, de-integrating, not getting it enough to embed, needing to take stock.
She voices a light-bulb moment. I encourage her and silently marvel at this circum-ambulation
I am witnessed. Feeling strongly connected with my therapist.
Deep emotional attunement: An intimacy between us.
Clay working as the conduit.
Somehow in two worlds at once…….a psychic borderland
Moving back and forth between familiar daily reality without - and hazy glimpses and imaginings within.
Preverbal needs are being attended to.
The clay (and me) are meeting her where she needs to be known.