What are they?
Parent Peer Support Groups aim to support parents with children with or without Special Educational Needs who want to talk to other parents and share experiences but also have some guidance and support from an experienced psychotherapist and tutor. It is an informal 30 minutes getting to know each other followed by an hour structured discussion on a given topic. You get a chance to talk to me in person and find out more about what I do.
What are they for?
I found as a teacher the training I received for Special Educational Needs was just ‘good teaching’. I also felt there was a clear connection personally that teachers who had very little problems with my son were excellent teachers and his progress was often far greater with them. I feel that the same goes for parenting, if parents with ‘neurotypical’ children get it wrong they often ‘get away with it’, however parents with children with difficulties would tend not to ‘get away with it’. They have to work harder at their parenting skills and often seek out support however not all parents that come to my group have difficulties. We all can learn from these topics in a variety of ways, to make Positive Changes to our own and our children’s lives.
The more I learn about the psychology of behaviour and why people behave the way they do, the more I understand what might be causing a problem. It is great to see parents doing what they can to assist their children because at the end of the day they are what matters. I have been a parent struggling to get the best for my child and I feel strongly that our society needs to step away from the ‘blame culture’ and to question ‘why?’ more.
I am a Parent, a Teacher and a Psychotherapist. This means I have a wealth of experience from different areas of my life; my personal experience from 18 years of parenting and the ups and downs life brings all of us, my professional experience of 10 years Primary Teaching and as a Psychotherapist I support those with anxiety, depression, phobias, OCD, PTSD, self harm, eating disorders, etc.
How did it start?
I ran my first Parents Peer Support Group from my premises in Bingley, from July 2016! I now hold my group at local Primary Schools, local businesses such as beauticians,Fitness Centres, gift shops, bars and cafes all over Bradford. The topics were given to me by parents and I often ask for parents to tell me what they would find useful and I add these to my topics.
What do you do for schools?
Schools started to host my Parents Peer Support Group this year and I run INSET for teaching staff on various topics such as Growth Mindset theory. I also run Parental Workshops which are personalised to the schools parents, to support them in various areas of mental health and Special Educational Needs. Please contact me to find out more!
How do you help individuals?
I use the traditional psychotherapy (CBT, person centred and psychodynamic theories) in my therapy room, art and play therapy but also Walk and Talk therapy sessions. I enjoy my work with adults and this can be to support their children or because they experienced similar problems with own their mental health or issues at school but didn’t understand why. Often ASC or ADHD are thought to be environmental and genetic so parents can get a good understanding of their children’s difficulties because they might have had similar experiences. I also use Growth Mindset theory with many of my academic clients to support them in having the right attitude towards learning. Therefore no barriers to being successful!