What do you most love about your job?
I love working creatively with children and young people. Each client is unique, so no two sessions are ever the same, as we are all continually evolving and changing. Sharing a therapeutic journey with a child is a priceless experience. It is both meaningful and transformative to be able to help children and young people make sense of sad, angry, painful or confusing feelings and thoughts. To witness healing and personal growth, as children understand their feelings is what makes this job so rewarding.
Why did you retrain to become an Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist?
As a Special Educational Needs teacher, working with, and supporting children, and young people with specific learning difficulties in mainstream school I became aware that whilst I could support these children academically with scaffolding and other ways of accessing an academic curriculum there was a lot more going on for each child than just a need for academic support. I needed to be able to understand their social and emotional difficulties and have tools in order to help them work through their emotions and feelings. I became more interested in what made children behave in a particular way and why they were often labelled at very young ages by teachers. This led me to retrain as an Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist.
What has been your most rewarding experience in work to date ?
Almost every therapeutic relationship brings rewarding experiences. To stay with and trust in the therapeutic process brings positive results as our psyche has a natural desire to heal and move forward. It is so rewarding in the moments where I see hope in the eyes of a young person, or a recognition of their own greatness, or a long-abandoned laugh or smile return to their face. Seeing a client internalise what they do in my sessions and then take it out into their own worlds enabling that young person to have a new more positive experience of themselves is extremely rewarding. For a client to move inward and finally claim their voice, to see them reunite with an amazing Self that has been waiting to emerge. These are just some of the joyful and rewarding experiences I have had over the years.
What do you like most about being part of the Bridge to Health team?
I like most that I am part of a team made up of people who have like-minded values. The Bridge to Health team is a multi-disciplinary team, where each professional is passionate about their particular area but are keen to collaborate, brainstorm ideas and share insight and knowledge. Combining these skills makes you feel part of a dynamic whole. Each have particular strengths but when integrated form a greater whole than the separate parts. We are all fairly autonomous in what we do but it is a good feeling to know you are not on your own.
What is your top health tip?
My top health tip for everyone, both adults, children and in particular for adolescents would definitely be a ‘Healthy Mind Platter’. These are seven daily essential mental activities to optimise brain matter and create wellbeing. These seven daily activities make up the full set of ‘mental nutrients’ that your brain and relationships need to function at their best. By engaging every day in each of these servings, you promote integration in your life, enable your brain to co-ordinate, and balance its activities.
These essential elements:
- Focus Time – Work/Study
- Play Time – Spontaneity/Creativity
- Connecting Time – Socialising
- Physical Time – Exercise
- Time In – Quietly reflect internally
- Down Time – Simply relax
- Sleep Time – Rest
Together they strengthen your brain’s internal connections and your connections with other people and the world around you, creating well-being.