The Annex Project is a dedicated team of professionals who believe that relationships are at the heart of repairing the early trauma. All our professional staff have a passion to work and support families and the teams around them. They each bring their unique experiences, both personal and professional, and are all DDP informed in their approaches.

Many years ago when I first qualified I had the opportunity to work directly with children and young people and loved seeing changes that happened. But it always felt that more was needed. There needed to be a way of connecting parents, children, young people and the systems that support them. It felt like that was the only way that lasting change could happen. So, through my professional life my hopes were to develop a service where we could meet the therapeutic needs of children, young people and families who needed a wraparound support, preparing them for a better future.

In 2012 The Annex Project (T.A.P.) developed from this dream of delivering therapeutic services and training in a way that supports not just the families and young people, but also the systems that surround them.

The name The Annex Project was chosen because of the acronym TAP, as I strongly believe it signals that parents, schools, Social Care, and any other professionals should be able to TAP into any support they may need, through one supporting service. By offering a menu of services we believe we can hold the needs of our very vulnerable children, as well as those who have a need for an early intervention.

By accessing TAP we can give you the service you need through a very skilled and experienced team

I have an MSc in Attachment Studies and I am a Play Therapist (PTUK) and Filial Therapist, (Advanced Filial Therapy Training) a Dyadic Developmental Practitioner, Trauma and Attachment Specialist and Clinical Supervisor.

I have worked within the local authority tier 2 CAMHS service with children; young people and families with complex emotional needs. My therapeutic work has been with a wide range of emotional and behavioural difficulties. These have included diagnosed and undiagnosed ADHD, ASD, ODD, anxiety and complex mental health conditions.

I was the lead therapist for looked after and adopted children and trauma and attachment specialist, and have delivered group training for adoptive parents and foster carers, as well as guiding social care staff in their understanding of the difficulties these families face.

I have been involved in consultation and assessment of needs for all children. I believe passionately that the systems around a child who is displaying emotional or behavioural difficulties need support and guidance, along side working directly with the child or family.

I have worked independently as the senior member of a team delivering Play and Filial Therapy, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) and Sandplay to children and young people both individually and in groups.

Through my work with teenage children with special educational needs it was apparent that whether the young person had a diagnosis of Autism, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attachment Disorder – or all of the above – it is the relationship with the therapist and support within the family and school that are key to building change for our young people.

I have huge passion supporting children and families who have experienced attachment difficulties and trauma, especially those who have been adopted or are looked after by local authorities. Part of this work is carrying out bespoke attachment assessments with babies, children and young people to ensure the support that is given is the right support.

I completed an MSc in Attachment Studies at Roehampton University where I studied a variety of assessments for attachment and trauma including, Story Stems, School Age Attachment Interview, Teenage Attachment Interview, Adult Attachment Interview and Parent Development Interview. These assessments help recognise unresolved trauma and attachment patterns.

I am qualified to code babies using the Care Index to help detect early difficulties in relationships between mothers and babies.

I also have delivered training for whole teams of Social care staff where they have learnt how to understand and recognise attachment behaviours in families and to use creativity to engage with families who find it difficult to participate with professionals.

What gets me up in the morning?

After my coffee …

I am the co-founder of a charity in Kenya where we have four therapeutic houses, for sexually abused girls and for boys who have survived on the streets. We model a whole staff approach to dyadic developmental parenting with great results and train local staff to develop attachments with the children in their care through play {Play Kenya} which I love with a passion – but does tend to dominate my spare time! If I’m not over in Kenya supervising the project or fundraising – I am always thinking of areas we can develop more!!

I guess the one thing that keeps me buzzing about the work I do is that every family or young person I work with has a want   or needs to improve relationships and my job is to support them for this to happen. I love working with groups, especially parents and carers, as they are such a great support to each other.