Areas of expertise
Autism Spectrum Disorder
I have extensive experience working with young people on the autism spectrum and approaching their challenges with kindness, empathy and understanding. I’ve developed many creative strategies and tools to help children improve their daily living skills, social communication, sensory processing, emotional regulation, attention and focus. I’m able to explain to parents why certain situations can become so difficult and creatively find solutions to resolve issues. I can also work with your family to establish routines and structure in the home, which can help promote a sense of stability and predictability for your child. If your child needs support at school, I can work with teaching staff and collaborate on writing Educational Health Care (EHC) plans.
Many young people on the autism spectrum struggle with sensory issues, so I will often do a sensory assessment to identify specific sensitivities. Secondly, I will explain how and why the sensitivity can cause issues to prevent problems (such as meltdowns) before they occur. For example, one family I worked with struggled to understand why their child often became agitated during breakfast. Through a sensory assessment, I identified the child was highly sensitive to the smell of oranges, and when her father ate oranges at breakfast, this triggered her agitation. Once we identified oranges as the cause, I helped the family to create strategies to navigate breakfast timing, supermarket trips, and school lunches to prevent future issues. As you can see, identifying these triggers helps make life much easier for the whole family and can improve communication between you and your child.
Overall, my goal is to support children with autism to flourish and reach their full potential. By focusing on your child's strengths and abilities and working collaboratively with your family and other professionals, I can help your child gain independence and enjoy everyday activities. I find great joy in creating a supportive and inclusive home environment that benefits everyone.
Occupational therapy can help children with anxiety learn new coping skills to manage their stress and anxiety in a healthy way. I’ve helped many young people to overcome their fears through goal-setting, problem-solving, and self-esteem building. By working collaboratively with the whole family, I will create a supportive treatment plan that encourages your child to develop a growth mindset and a positive self-image.
If your child struggles with anxiety, I will first focus on creating a safe and trusting relationship before tackling any anxiety-provoking activities. Secondly, I’ll provide a framework for addressing challenging tasks to help your child build confidence and resilience. For example, graded exposure therapy is a highly effective evidence-based approach for overcoming anxiety in children. After assessing the cause of their anxiety and triggers, I’ll develop a hierarchy of their fears and a plan to address them in small, manageable steps. We will start with the least anxiety-inducing activities and gradually increase in intensity, encouraging them to become more independent. I also find it helpful to create visual charts, such as a ‘Fear Ladder’, that help your child to see their progress as they move up the ladder. I’ll monitor their progress closely and modify the hierarchy or exposure plan depending on their responses. Once your child has successfully overcome their fears and anxieties, I’ll develop a maintenance plan and strategies to prepare them for future challenges.
Finally, I believe helping children learn how to self-regulate is essential for managing stress and anxiety in their daily lives. I also provide relaxation, mindfulness, and problem-solving strategies, helping your child develop a personalised toolkit for managing anxiety. These coping skills and strategies will not only help your child overcome their fears in the short term, but they will also equip your child with the confidence and resilience to address new challenges as they develop and transition into adulthood.
I understand that self-harm can be a difficult and sensitive issue for parents to confront. However, it’s important to know that seeking support is a sign of your strength and love for your child, rather than weakness or failure. Self-harm is a common issue among children and teenagers, and often it’s not a conscious choice but rather a coping mechanism used to manage overwhelming emotions and stress. Although taking the first step in speaking to someone can feel emotional and challenging, I want to reassure you that therapy will be a safe and supportive space for your family, without fear of judgement or stigma.
When treating self-harm, I help young people and their families understand the purpose of their child’s behaviour and their triggers. I use behavioural chain analysis, a systematic approach to identify the triggers and consequences of self-harm behaviour, how these events occur in a chain, and alternative coping strategies. I also teach parents practical steps to minimise risk and how to structure conversations around self-harm so they can have an open discussion with their child, which helps to reduce the fear and shame around approaching the topic. Learning how to identify triggers, monitor distress, and comfort your child helps them to understand they’re not alone in this experience and can prevent it from happening again.
By working together, we will gain a deeper understanding of the reasons underlying the self-harm behaviour and a comprehensive plan to support your child's well-being and recovery. Most importantly, I want you to know that your child is not defined by their self-harm. Each young person is a complex individual with unique strengths and abilities. With compassion, patience, and the right support, they can learn healthy coping strategies and live a fulfilling, happy life.
My approach to treatment
Firstly, I want to say that seeking support for your child is a brave step – it takes a lot of courage and strength to face these challenges head-on. With a patient and understanding approach, I strive to create a positive and hopeful environment for your child. My goal is to help them grow and develop by building practical skills, promoting self-awareness, and empowering the whole family. I'm here to support you and your child every step of the way.
I approach treatment in a practical, hands-on way. I believe in working with your child in real-life situations instead of just talking about their challenges. Your child is always at the centre of my focus, and I work collaboratively to find the best solutions for their needs. I have a toolbox of strategies, and we'll work together to find the best method for your child.
I prefer to work with your child in person, as I believe that hands-on, personal support is the most effective way to help them. Our consultations can take place in your home, your child's school, or another convenient location (within Greater London). As treatment progresses, I am flexible and can adjust the frequency and location of our appointments based on your child's progress and needs.
I firmly believe that every child has the potential to live a fulfilling and happy life. I enjoy learning about each young person’s unique perspective and helping them overcome challenges.
Your first consultation
During our first session, I’ll begin by simply getting to know you and your child. We will discuss the specific challenges your child wants to work on so we can be clear on our goals and ensure that your child has the motivation to make positive changes. I believe it’s crucial to take the time to listen to your child and understand their perspective so they feel heard and validated, as this can improve their self-esteem and confidence. When a child feels comfortable and understood by their therapist, they are more likely to be open and honest about their thoughts and feelings, which is essential for making progress in therapy.
The first session will also involve an initial assessment to evaluate your child's strengths and get a glimpse into their perspective on life. I'll ask about their interests, daily routine, and any recent changes they may have experienced. My goal is to identify what they are most motivated to work on and improve, as this will be a key factor in our therapy journey together. By understanding what they view as important, we can better tailor our approach and make sure therapy focuses on the areas that will have the greatest impact on their life.
Your personalised treatment plan
When creating a treatment plan for your child, I believe in a holistic approach. I will consider all aspects of your child's life, including social, family, and school-related difficulties. My goal is to work hand-in-hand with both you and your child to develop a tailored plan that addresses their difficulties in a practical and effective way. I’ll also recommend exercises so they can continue to practice in between sessions. Together, we'll prioritise skills important to your child and aim to foster a positive and cohesive environment for the whole family. I want to ensure the treatment plan is well-rounded and effective, while being feasible and practical to implement within your family’s weekly routine.
I also make sure to include important factors like diet, nutrition, sleep, physical activity, and time outdoors in your child’s treatment plan. For example, research shows being in nature positively influences a child's mental health and can provide a break from the stressors of daily life. A healthy lifestyle lays the foundation for a child's overall well-being, and when integrated alongside therapy, it will lead to better outcomes for the child.
As a therapist, I don’t prescribe medication as part of my treatment plans. However, I believe medication can play a beneficial role in recovery in some circumstances. For example, medication can help minimise severe anxiety or depressive symptoms, so your child feels more motivated to engage in therapy. Gradually, their need for medication may decrease as they learn other coping strategies and skills to manage difficult emotions. If your child needs to take medication or is already taking medication, I’ll work alongside their psychiatrist or GP to create a collaborative treatment plan.
Education & Training
I’m a qualified Occupational Therapist with over 30 years of experience in mental health and 20 years of experience working with adolescents. I’m a registered member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists, the Association of Occupational Therapists in Mental Health, and the Health and Care Professions Council.
I have versatile experience working with individuals and groups in acute, rehabilitation, and community settings. I’ve had management, supervision and teaching responsibilities in occupational therapy departments, working both independently and within multi-disciplinary teams. I’ve also worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services NHS inpatient wards for many years, helping hundreds of young people and their families to manage acute and severe psychiatric conditions.
Alongside my private practice, I also work as an Occupational Therapist at the South West London and St Georges NHS Trust. In this role, I conduct functional and sensory assessments for young people experiencing mental health problems. Additionally, I coordinate the ward’s programme, supervise staff, and co-facilitate recovery programmes for parents of young people on the ward.
I hold the following qualifications and certifications:
- Diploma in Occupational Therapy
- Counselling Skills & Attitudes
- Extended Training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Cognitive Interventions with Schizophrenia
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Alert Program for Self Regulation
- Sensory Integration & Mental Health
I love the countryside and enjoy regular walking holidays in the UK. I love travelling to explore other countries and cultures and am well-travelled. At home, I am a typical Occupational Therapist and love creating things - anything from a successful garden, a loaf of bread, a delicious meal, clothes, and paintings. I like going to galleries, theatres and cinemas and out with friends. I also love keeping fit and cycling to work. I started running in lockdown and have managed to keep this up!