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Welcome to Victoria's blog - Here I'll post articles and thoughts you may find useful.

By Victoria, Feb 10 2018 11:24AM

This week it is Children’s Mental Health Week, the focus this year is on helping children to be themselves and to celebrate who they are.


The Duchess of Cambridge, who is Patron of Place2Be is keen to highlight the importance of mental health - particularly for younger generations. This week she has highlighted the importance of helping children reach their potential through positive mental health, to find out more please click here.


I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist based in Chichester, covering West and East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.



By Victoria, Dec 16 2017 01:23PM

When I took my watch to Timpson’s to get it fixed I was quite surprised to find a free book on Attachment Theory being offered in the shop. When I enquired about this I learnt that the owner, John Timpson has adopted himself and is the author of the book on Attachment. If you are not able to get to Timpson’s for a free copy you can purchase one online for £2.00.


I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist based in Chichester, covering West and East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.

By Victoria, Dec 16 2017 01:21PM

If you are looking at this website over Christmas the chances are things may be feeling really tough right now. If you are a young person you can call 0800 1111 and speak to someone in confidence about what is troubling you (remember to call ‘999’ if you or someone else is in danger).


I’ve written previously about what to do if you are in crisis over Christmas, please click this link


Our brains are wired to react to stress by lashing out verbally or physically, going into ‘freeze mode' or by running away. It might help to take some time out for yourself to focus on your own needs (imagine being a really kind parent to yourself, what would that kind parent do? Put a favourite film on? Run a bath? Take you for Pizza? Go to the beach?) or turn to friends who you know you will feel comfortable with. It won’t solve the problem, but it will help to re-engage your brain so you can think clearer about how to work something through.


I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist based in Chichester, covering West and East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.

By Victoria, Dec 7 2017 09:34PM

Bruce Perry's lecture on the importance of human relationships for healthy brain development (and therefore a healthy society) forms part of the key principles in the way I work. Particularly how change occurs through empathy.


I find it particularly interesting that children are currently only receiving around one twentieth of the relational interactions that would have occurred during hunter gatherer times. As Dr Perry makes clear, this is having a huge impact on society increasing self-absorbed traits and relational poverty (it will get worse?).


Our brains are the “organ of society” thus it is essential that we look after our mental health and particularly the mental health of our young.


To find out more, watch the lecture or you may wish to read Dr Perry’s book ‘Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential - And Endangered.


If you are interested in finding out more about how to increase empathy for yourself or someone else or wish to discuss any of the themes raised by Bruce Perry please feel free to contact me.


I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist based in Chichester, covering West and East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.

By Victoria, Jul 21 2017 07:51AM

I recently attended a Workshop on Eating Disorders which was run by Julia Buckroyd a leading expert on Disordered Eating.


Julia has written a couple of interesting and insightful books on the subject:-


Understanding Your Eating: How To Eat And Not Worry About It: Book details.


Psychological Responses to Eating Disorders and Obesity: Recent and Innovative Work: Book Details


You can find out more about Julia and her approach on her website.


I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist based in Chichester, covering West and East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.



By Victoria, May 15 2017 09:08PM

I am absolutely delighted that my friend and colleague Anita M. Hughes has released another book, this time focusing on The Friendly Group - a very special group for children on the autistic spectrum. I was fortunate enough to work alongside Anita prior to training as a Psychotherapist and I learnt so much about the benefits of warmth and kindness from Anita (see my Blog "Biography - A Bit More About My Route to Psychotherapy”)


Anita’s book 'Making Friends: How the Friendly Group Supports Children and Young People on the Autism Spectrum: Stories of Connection and Hope is available on Amazon




By Victoria, May 12 2017 09:00AM

In addition to working with children, teenagers and parents, I undertake sessions in schools with individual teachers/teaching staff or groups of teachers who may be finding some aspects of their role particularly difficult. It may be that something has occurred personally to a member of staff, or there may have been an incident or type of behaviour in school from one of the pupil’s that has challenged staff in new ways. There could be a young person with a complex life history and teachers would like to think about how better to support this pupil in school. Perhaps school morale has changed or there are some divisions in thinking between staff members.


This service can help support teaching staff by reflecting on the difficult areas of their role and connect with how attachment and neuroscience will be impacting the child’s behaviour. I can also facilitate how this impacts the school as a system, particularly ways in which professionals can be impacted by the trauma of the children they work with and how to manage this.


Thinking this through and gaining more knowledge on secondary trauma can help staff groups to feel more confident, become better equipped to take on their daily challenges and feel more optimistic about their role and the team. This in turn will have a positive impact on the pupils and the ethos of the school.


These sessions can be one-off’s, for example after a specific event or booked on a more routine basis depending on what would be most useful.


Please note that I do not have to be working with pupils in the school to undertake these reflective sessions.


It may be that just a staff member or a couple of members of staff wish to talk something through, or that it would be useful to look at secondary trauma in a bigger group, such as during a staff meeting. Therefore these sessions are flexible and can be adapted depending on the presenting issue/s.


If you would like to find out more, please contact me.


I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist based in Chichester, covering West and East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.

By Victoria, Apr 27 2017 08:00AM

This April saw members of the Royal Family continuing to raise the awareness of mental health. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince Harry worked with Heads Together Charity who were the official sponsors of the 2017 London Marathon.


This is not the first time that the Royal Family have spoken out about mental health - the Duke and Duchess are involved with other charities that work in this field - particularly around child mental health, with the Duchess of Cambridge being the Royal Patron of Place2be


Not only did they shine a light on these important charities, but Prince Harry spoke out for the first time about his own mental health problems and he acknowledged that it is essential to deal with emotions in a healthy way - by seeking help, rather than internalising feelings. Furthermore, Prince Harry spoke about how not getting help with his grief led to feeling overwhelmed to the point that he may have hurt someone - “I shut down all my emotions...I was on the verge of punching someone”. Prince Harry spoke about seeking support from a therapist, describing it as a “great” source of support.


Prince Harry also used an important word to describe his feelings and how the world felt to him during his crisis - “Chaos”. Often, when we feel in turmoil over something our feelings not only come to the fore, but they also feel confusing - or chaotic - which further increases the feeling of being overwhelmed.


Therapy can help both the internal and external chaos we sometimes find ourselves in - it’s not just about talking through a problem (though this alone has been shown to help), but it’s also about getting our feelings and experiences in clearer order - kind of like a ‘spring clean’. This then means that life feels more manageable again and our feelings more bearable.


Mental health is not just my profession, it is also something I am passionate about - so please do call or email me if you would like to connect on this. Perhaps you would like to share your ideas or find out more. Raising awareness will help reduce stigma and this in turn will go someway in creating a kinder, easier society.


I am a child and adolescent psychotherapist (UKCP Registered); a counsellor; arts and play therapist based in Chichester, covering West and East Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. You can contact me here.



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