My name is Alex and I am an experienced primary teacher and Certified Play Therapist based in Dawlish, Devon. My father died suddenly from terminal skin cancer when I was 16 leaving my mum to raise my younger siblings (then aged 12 and 13) and me. Life changed overnight and my childhood ended very abruptly. I went in to therapy as a teenager and this is where a seed was planted.
Years later, during my third year at university, I had the opportunity to work for a leading children’s bereavement charity. I was deeply impacted by the children’s resilience, capacity for growth and their natural ability to express their experiences and feelings through play, symbols and metaphor. This is where I discovered play therapy and I became hooked, lined and sinkered!
I initially completed a four year BA (Hons) Primary Education with QTS at the University of Brighton. I graduated with a first class honours degree and spent six years, post qualifying, teaching in both the private and state sectors in Sussex, South East London and Devon. I have taught across the whole primary age phase though the majority of my experience has been in Nursery and Year 1.
Teaching has provided with me a solid foundation for working therapeutically with children. As I progressed in my career, I became increasingly dissatisfied with being unable to do more to directly support children experiencing behavioural, social, emotional difficulties and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Once again I found myself being drawn to play therapy.
Finally, in 2015 I pursued a level 3 counselling studies course at Varndean College which enabled me to develop fundamental counselling skills. In 2016 I embarked upon my clinical training in play therapy. I obtained my Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) in Play Therapy (Master’s Level 7: 120 credits) in July 2019. My training was delivered jointly by the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy and Leeds Beckett University. I was thrilled to achieve a ‘distinction’ grade.
I hold professional membership with Play Therapy UK (PTUK) accredited by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA). As a PTUK registrant, I adhere to PTUK’s Ethical Framework, complete 30 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) per year, attend regular clinical supervision and comply with governance and safeguarding procedures. I uphold a current DBS certificate and professional indemnity insurance. My PTUK membership number is 201501077.
As a Certified Play Therapist, I have worked with a range of clients, families and professionals. I firmly believe in the transformative potential of play therapy as an evidence based, safe and effective mental health intervention for children and young people. Above all, I have a deep respect for children and young people, their resilience and abundant capacity for growth and self-healing.
I am an avid writer, runner and yogi. I love travelling, adventures, car mechanics, green and frugal living and charity shopping!