in School Settings
Art and Play Therapies are creative processes that aid individual growth, awareness and healing. In a safe space, and in the presence of an attentive, consistent, non-intrusive adult, a child whose sense of self is conflicted in some way (and who may be presenting psychological maladjustments and symptomatic behaviour at home or school) can start to achieve emotional relaxation and self-control, leading to a more mature, independent and emotionally satisfying developmental trajectory.
What we can offer
Support of children through play activities, initially individually on a timetabled basis.
Drop in facility for small group conversations during playtimes.
Support for school staff.
Who we are
We are qualified psychotherapists, trained to work with families.
We support children, young people and adults in a variety of ways that include conversation, play and art activities.
We believe in an holistic approach to working with people, one which is fully supportive and affirming.
We are not about ‘sorting out problems’ but about offering insightful experiences that encourage creativity and growth.
We are particularly interested in supporting families and children in an international context,
where the usual support networks are not always available.
Parent workshops- discussion, sharing of ideas on parenting or education themes.
Supportive family or individual interventions.
A Canadian trained psychotherapist, I’ve had a private practice in Lisbon and Cascais for roughly 12 years. I work with teenagers and adults and do couples counselling.
As both a psychotherapist and mother I believe in the extreme importance of providing children with happy, healthy childhoods. I am aware that many children suffer from being raised in difficult and complicated environments that have adverse effects on their mental and physical health. Dislocations from one country to another, divorce, financial pressures, illness and other factors can lead or contribute to anxiety, depression, eating disorders, lack of confidence and low self-esteem, among other problems. Mine is a systemic approach based around understanding the individual within the broader context of family dynamics and society as a whole.
I believe that children and teenagers, not to mention adults, require much more empathy, emotional support and encouragement than they often receive. Without these they will neither thrive nor live up to their potential.
Through regular psychotherapy sessions, often on a short- term basis, I provide a context of deep listening and of being heard. This safe and possibilities for greater levels of self- understanding, and the understanding of others, that is necessary for clarity and for finding new and better ways of being.
I am British, with a background in teaching English to people of all ages in various settings and countries. I also worked for eight years here in Portugal, supporting primary school children in an international setting, working with their language and learning difficulties.
I have recently been awarded a Masters of Education at The University of Cambridge, qualifying as a child and adolescent psychotherapist.
I understand in theory, and I have experienced in practice, how valuable it can be to work with young people in a quiet setting, one in which they are free to explore and express themselves in a context of calm and empathic support.
There is a strong body of research (and there are increasing numbers of schools in Britain, both state and private) that attest to the efficacy of school counselling in its various forms, as a means of promoting pupil well- being, and of enhancing students’ ability to work and play more happily, with greater confidence and better social,
emotional and academic outcomes.
Emotional and social difficulties are by no means exclusive to the less well off. Prosperity and aspirations bring their own set of demands and stressors to families and children, while divorce and the geographical separation of families in an international setting are also extremely challenging to young people, despite being a ‘fact of life’ for so many.
What I provide
My model of work is one-to-one over a period of one,
two or three terms, on a weekly basis during school time.
I aim to empower children and young people to find their own way of dealing with their thoughts and feelings, in a safe and confidential space. Art, play, puppets, sand work and drama may be used as a means to explore a child’s world, inner life or difficulties,
through metaphor, as an alternative to more traditional counselling techniques that may not be appropriate for the very young.
My work is genuinely child led, but in a context of firm and supportive, non-judgemental boundaries. It is appropriate for a variety of children and adolescents: the disruptive, those who are struggling with their learning or with friendships, those who cling, or those who are so well behaved and apparently competent that they may be ‘forgotten’. Some children might have long term troubles. Other children may be facing temporarily challenging circumstances such as the loss of a family member.
All children and young people benefit from the presence of a caring, compassionate adult with enough time and space to encounter them for a full ‘hour’ at a time.