I have worked in a wide range of settings, and part of my work since 2007 has been in collaboration with Early Break, a young persons’ drug and alcohol service in the role of family therapist. My work involved being part of a team, developing a model of family therapy which is rooted in Person-Centred theory. The work with families was born from research which indicated that children and young people can be seen as ‘the problem’ rather than a result of our rapidly changing family and social culture. The families we worked with had a young person at the centre who may be using drugs and/or alcohol, vulnerable to sexual exploitation, have psychiatric illness, may be self-harming, and risk taking, and have emotional, behavioural or learning challenges. I went on to develop and mature the model, working with around 200 families for Early Break and writing up the underpinning theory and a training course.
I continue to develop the theoretical underpinning, and research from ongoing work to deepen my understanding of how this lives and works in practice. I am now involved in the training and supervision of other family workers with other organisations, collaborating with them, using this Person Centred approach to working with families to create their own model to meet the needs of their client group.
I also offer Couples and Family Therapy within my own practice. This too has developed over the last three years as my therapy dogs are integrated into all aspects of my private work. Their presence has proven to be helpful during the therapeutic process as they offer support to members of the family, usually the most vulnerable in the moment. They bring calm and safety to what can be a difficult time in a family’s life and light relief at just the right moments.