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 enhanced DBS certificate that is registered with the online update service. I maintain professional indemnity and public liability insurance with Oxygen. My PTUK membership number is 201501077.
As a Certified Play Therapist, I have worked with a range of clients, families and professionals in school settings and private settings including clients' homes. Clients have been able to access and benefit from my services through Early Help funding, Pupil Premium funding and the family law courts.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!