I have been working as an expressive arts therapist in private practice and in the statutory services for more than 15 years.
I am originally from Belgium where I initially studied politics and the plastic arts, before training as an arts therapist in the UK.
Between 2007 and 2021, I worked as a specialist drama therapist in a community adult mental health service in the NHS, providing individual and group treatment for clients with a wide range of emotional difficulties. I have developed an expertise in the treatment of low mood and depression, anxiety disorders, trauma and PTSD, attachment disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), psychosis, loss and bereavement, and relationship difficulties.
Over the years, I have also delivered a large number of expressive arts and creative interventions for vulnerable and marginalised individuals with the aim of helping them to improve health and well-being. This has included working alongside adults with learning disabilities, adults on the autistic spectrum, adults with addiction problems, families and young children, and refugees and asylum seekers. I delivered a number of expressive arts therapy programmes including:
- a therapeutic performance project for prison inmates at HMP Bedford in 2019 based on the theme of the ‘key’ and on the internal power for change
- a group dramatherapy programme at Rekindling House, a psychological and rehab therapy service for people with drug and alcohol problems in Luton, between 2013 and 2017
- an expressive arts therapy programme with Afghani unaccompanied minors in 2010 entitled ‘Developing personal narratives, identity and belonging’ with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (the project evaluation report can be accessed here).
- a movement based treatment programme at Brookdale Care for adults on the autistic spectrum in 2008
I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and practice in accordance with their standards of ethics and professional practice. I am a Certified Group Work Practitioner with the Institute of Group Analysis in London where I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Group Analytic Studies. I also completed an Approved Certificate in Trauma Treatments with the British Psychological Society, and in Somatic Approaches to Healing Trauma. In addition, I have undergone specialist training courses in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Body Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.
I hold a PhD degree in autobiographical performance and meaning from Anglia Ruskin University where I was also an invited lecturer on the MA programme in Dramatherapy between 2011 and 2016. My current areas of research focus on therapeutic theatre, autobiographical performance, trauma, shared meaning, aesthetics, embodiment, intersubjectivity, otherness and spectatorship.
I am actively involved in the development of the arts therapy profession in the UK. I am editorial board member and reviews editor of the Dramatherapy journal published by Sage. I have also been a peer reviewer for RiDE (Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance).
I am the founder and director of the Theatre of Lived Experience whose mission is to foster social dialogue through performance.
I am also a trained musician and a qualified teacher.