ABOUT OAK PRACTICE
“Inside, Outside through Creativity
My journey to being a dramatherapist begun by working as a play enabler, supporting children/young people to access mainstream playschemes in Oxford. I did this whilst doing my degree and that summer job changed my life. I found myself using my previous studies as an actor in developing relationships with non-verbal children, many of whom were on the autistic spectrum. Instinctively I knew I had to find out how I could communicate with them…that it was up to me find out how we could “be” together so it was possible for us to be in connection with each other. This learning informs my practice as a dramatherapist today.
I went onto to work in Devon Partnership NHS Trust for nearly ten years as Clinical Lead for people with Profound and Multiple Learning disabilities and when there was thought to be a mental health issue present. I managed a multi-disciplinary team and in that time we merged with the Arts Therapies Service. This developed my clinical practice into working with adults across the spectrum of abilities but where a severe mental health issues was present. I/we worked repeatedly with the most complex stories of distress and this repeatedly demanded an attention to trauma and attachment narratives.
In 2013 I left the NHS after having faced a diagnosis of cancer in late 2011. After nearly a year’s treatment and a brief return to work, I realised that I wanted to work freelance/in private practice. I had done my time within an incredible service going through immense change. This informs my current work as a supervisor. I am fully aware of the demands of working in large organisations as a manager and as a clinical person. The tension between internal/external demands and the potential conflict with one's own ethics.
I am currently co-writing a chapter for a book about Trauma and the Arts therapies – When Words are Not Enough. The chapter is about what happens to the therapist when they face the trauma of breast cancer and return to work.
Outside of Work
Most importantly I am a parent of 2 much-loved children and am married with a rescue dog.
I am the founder of a local group called Scrambled Legs – FKF (Fun, Kindness and Fitness) which is a portal for any local women to connect with other women who want to get fit whether that be through walking, running or scooting or any other venture and for however long. I discovered the importance of being fitter in my return to life after breast cancer. Personally, I find it very important that my fitness is a choice and involve little guilt, be social and fun…then I partake! Sometimes I have even been known to push myself quite hard and for a number of years ran the 6 miles, hilly, road race in Chudleigh to raise money for a small local charity, Cancer Lifeline South West.
I am a trustee for Cancer Lifeline South West and am passionate about the support that they provide for people in the South West once cancer treatment has ended. They support both the person with cancer and whoever their main supporter was through a 3 night, free, Time to Retune break.
I enjoy canoeing, reading, singing and dancing – when I get the chance.
Talking Heads Associate
Acer Reflective Practice
My work in supervision, or reflective professional practice as I often call it, evolved out of many years' experience of management development, particularly in the social care sector, as well as education. My background and qualifications include nursing, training, and management consultancy. A growing awareness of the need for management support led me to formally develop my knowledge and skills, and in 2017 I completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Supervision.
My philosophy is that reflective professional practice is key to effective management. It can provide a private space in which to unravel the knots of your professional life, and shine a light into its darker corners, as well as offering an opportunity to develop and learn, decompress, and recharge batteries. If work is keeping you awake at night, causing you to feel stressed or overwhelmed, you may find that reflective practice helps you to retain resilience in your role.
I work from my private rooms in Chudleigh, providing a quiet environment with no interruptions or distractions.
‘’Spending time with Lisa gives me the space to explore the challenging and complex issues that arise through my work. I believe that it is this very exploration, safely and supportively held by Lisa, that enables me to find meaning, direction and an increased understanding of my own place within my work.”