I qualified as a Play Specialist in 2008 and a Family Systemic Practitioner in 2015. I run a private practice through my established company, The Play Specialist Service and my vision is to provide emotional and practical support for families in uncertain times and difficult circumstances. The play techniques which are used are very integrative and are individually tailored to each child / young person.
The service provides a template for professionals and family members to use and I provide bespoke training opportunties.
My private practice predominantly covers most areas of London and Surrey and I have a therapy room at the bottom of my garden with a different access to that of my home.
I provide a customised training programme / service to professionals and parents / families in play and communication.
Included in my play techniques are:
I help children and young people manage their fears, anxieties and difficulties regarding ongoing medical procedures that they may have to cope and learn to live with. I work carefully with children and young people, at their pace, using desensitization, role play, distraction strategies, coping skills and communication in a safe and therapeutic way, at their own pace.
Emotional Support / Pre and Post Bereavement:
Working around the needs of the child, young person or family, I offer supportive listening and activities to help with processing difficult thoughts and feelings around bereavement. The emotional support I provide covers many levels - grief, adoption, fostering, bullying, feeling they are “different” or “don’t fit in”. I also support those who might be having difficulty in their relationships with siblings and/or peers, or attachment to care givers/family members.
Siblings can often feel left out, particularly if their brother or sister is unwell, and needing additional care and support. Through not wanting to worry siblings, families may not be connecting or communicating effectively with them, without realising. I provide a playful environment, where siblings are listened to and supported, helping them to either re-establish or maintain a healthy relationship with family members.
Therapeutic / Sensory Play:
Incorporating arts and craft activities, play dough, slime, sand, water, messy play, shaving foam, paint, clay, cooking, mud, water, music, natural materials etc. I can support those who may be tactile defensive or averse to using their senses to their full potential. I follow the child, young person or family’s lead, exploring at their own pace. My main priority is to provide a safe environment for them to explore the creative arts, express themselves, and ensure they feel secure and supported rather than overwhelmed. I use visual aids and Makaton.
Sessions are designed around toys and games, imagination and a sense of fun, to develop fine and gross motor skills, communication, social skills and cognition. I focus on giving the child, young person and their family a voice to be heard, both verbally and/or non-verbally, whilst encouraging fun and laughter to be experienced.
The Clients I Work With: Through The Play Specialist Service, I offer a range of services for children and young people (0-16 years) and families with a variety of needs including those with SEN. I take referrals from social and health care professionals, education departments as well as parents.
The Types of Therapy I Work With: I use a variety of integrative models within my work, each dependent on the child or young person’s needs and from the assessment I have carried out. Some of the models include guided imagery, desensitization, child/family focused practice, circular questioning reframing, genograms, ecomaps, The Tree of Life, PACE (playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy) and family sculpting, however this list is not exhaustive.
The Ways I Can Deliver My Sessions: Sessions are available face to face and online using Skype, Teams and Zoom predomintly.
Some face to face sessions which are carried out within the client’s home / educational / health care / social care setting will incur an extra charge for my travel time. Alternatively sessions can be carried out in my own therapy room or online.