My career in Mental Health began 21 years ago following the completion of my first degree in Psychology of human communication and German.

My initial role was as a volunteer in a residential setting for young people aged 16-25 years who experienced mental health, learning and behavioural difficulties. This role led me to spend more and more time in this environment and I soon became a full-time member of staff. My specialism in this setting was working with young people who displayed self-injurious behaviour and collaborating with local A & E services on how this could be managed.

I then trained as an Occupational Therapist as the College of York St. John. During my study in York I worked within adult mental health in the community and I also worked in as an occupational therapy assistant in a medium secure forensic hospital.

After qualifying as an Occupational Therapist, I worked in a Tier 4 CAMHS service in Leeds. Young people aged between 12 and 18 years attended the service for the day to receive individual, group and family therapeutic support. During this time, I completed my postgraduate certificate in Systemic Family Therapy and worked within the family therapy team.

Following this I went to work for NCH which is now Action for Children. My role involved me working with young children who were Looked After and living in residential settings. The aim of our work was to support the young people to move into a therapeutic foster placement from their residential placement. We then provided a 24-hour service to the foster carers to support them to provide a therapeutic placement for the young person.
During this time, I attended some training in Play Therapy which led me on to work for NSPCC as a Therapeutic Services practitioner working with children who had experienced trauma. This work mainly involved the use of therapeutic play to help the child process their experiences and consider an alternative narrative.

My work with children who have experienced trauma led me on to work within a therapeutic service in Durham Local Authority which involved support to foster carers, social workers, individual work with young people, support to residential staff, delivering training and support to adoptive parents and friends and family carers. During this time, I trained in Developmental Attachment Therapy (DAT), Theraplay (Level 1 and 2), DDP (Level 1) and Sensory Attachment Intervention (Level 1).

I then worked for a short time within the LAC CAMHS team in North Yorkshire, where I did some training in VIPP, before beginning work in January 2019 with Aspire Psychological Services. My role within Aspire is as a Specialist Adoption Therapist providing assessment and intervention with adoptive families. I have since completed my DDP (level 2 training).