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Amy Willshire

When your life story impacts your mental health - play it through with dramatherapy
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About Amy Willshire

Dramatherapy is a creative form of counselling which uses a mixture of speaking or thought based reflection and action or body based exploration for the therapeutic material.

I work with clients of all ages but specialise with: adolescents, clients who have experienced trauma, clients with eating disorders and clients with addictions. I also work with non-verbal clients and clients with profound and multiple learning difficulties. Sessions can be one to one or in groups.

 

The content of dramatherapy will depend on your age, needs and the issues to address in therapy. It could be:

  • Creating dens to experience a place of safety

  • Using masks to explore parts of self or internal conflict (e.g. the part which binges and the part which purges in an eating disordered client)

  • Using objects (puppets, toys or stones) to represent different relationships, feelings and events to explore

  • Using the "hero's journey" structure to explore life goals and meaning

  • Using improvisation or theatre to practice different ways of responding or to find creative solutions to break repetitive cycles.


Dramatherapy can be a short or long term form of therapy depending on the issues you would like to address. Short term therapy may not go in depth into past traumas as this requires enough time to support the integration of any therapy changes - we do not want to uncover old wounds which we do not have time to process.

  • I am regulated by and follow the ethical standards of the Health Care Professions Council (as all dramatherapists practising in the UK are legally required to be).

  • I am a member of the British Association of Dramatherapists.

  • I am fully insured through Tower Gate Insurance to practice as a dramatherapist and counsellor.

  • I have an enhanced DBS police check for work with children and vulnerable adults.

  • I am registered with the Information Commissions Office and follow data protection policy and the principle of client confidentiality as agreed in the therapeutic contract.

Languages

Specialties

  • Abuse
  • Addiction(s)
  • Anger management
  • Anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Bullying
  • Career
  • Carer support
  • Child related issues
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Dissociation
  • Domestic violence
  • Eating disorders
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Hearing voices
  • Learning difficulties
  • Low self-confidence
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mental health
  • Passive aggressive behaviour
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosis
  • Redundancy
  • Relationship issues
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self-harm
  • Sex problems
  • Sexuality
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Trauma
  • Work related stress

Experience

  • Dramatherapist  (Sep, 2018 - Current)

    Play It Through

    Working with a group of adolescents who had experienced trauma and grief. Exploring the themes using a Chinese dragon puppet, objects to represent parts of self, sculpting to explore group dynamics, games and art for expression and to reopen creativity.

  • Associate Facilitator - Dramatherapist  (Sep, 2019 - Current)

    Khulisa

    Facilitating the Face It Programme. Working with adolescents, in schools or PRUs, who are identified as at risk of school exclusion. Working with adult males in prisons. Addressing the cycle of violence, exploring personal responsibility and considering personal boundaries.

  • Kids Inspire Dramatherapist, Counsellor and Early Intervention Support Coach  (Jul, 2019 - Current)

    Kids Inspire

    Working with child clients in a school setting to help them use play and creativity to address any difficulties they are facing or to process past traumas. Working with parents to provide systemic support so that the family can have a long lasting therapeutic change.

  • Dramatherapist  (Jun, 2019 - Current)

    LArche

    Working with clients with profound and multiple learning disabilities including clients who are non-verbal. Using simple sign language and props to communicate. Connecting through stories, movement, appropriate touch and music.

  • Writter and Therapeutic Theatre Director  (Mar, 2019 - Oct, 2019)

    The UnDisposables

    (March 2019) Directing a theatre scene exploring relationships and power, using Bowlby's attachment theory as a lens to understand how early experiences impact on patterns of attachment in adult relationships. (September - October 2019) Wrote and directed a scene exploring self harming, using parts of self as a lens to explore different reasons someone may self harm.

  • Trainee Dramatherapist Placement in a school  (Jul, 2017 - Jul, 2018)

    Olive Branch Arts

    Working with children in years 2 – 5 in a primary school. I worked with clients in small groups (4 people) and individually. Length of therapy ranged from one term to one academic year. I used a range of dramatherapeutic approaches to work with the clients, including exploring parts of self and internal disagreements, creating safe space dens, drawing, painting, sculpting, mask work, sand tray, role play and story-telling. Working with the school to refer child protection concerns when raised. Holding meetings with parents and teachers to ensure clients had systemic support.

  • Trainee Dramatherapist Placement in addiction treatment  (Sep, 2017 - Mar, 2018)

    Cranstoun Drug Services

    Dramatherapy sessions for groups and individuals in treatment for substance dependency (abstinence and harm reduction). Working with clients who had also experienced family breakdown, eating disorders, self-harm, homelessness, trauma, abuse and bereavement.

  • Trainee Dramatherapist Placement on Dementia Ward  (Jan, 2017 - Jul, 2017)

    Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

    Working with a music therapist to deliver group sessions in a men’s dementia ward. Using music, stories and sensory exploration for reminiscence and nonverbal communication. Encouraging connections within the group and between clients and staff, or clients and their visitors. Using games, parachutes and puppets to encourage movement and engagement.

Education

  • Dramatherapy Masters Degree  (Sep, 2016 - Jul, 2018)

    Roehampton University

    Two year full time masters. The course content included psychology theory including: human development, mental health and illness, attachment and relationships, the ethics of therapy, different approaches to psychotherapy (Freud, Jung, Bowlby, Winnicott, Yalom, Schwartz). Dissertation on the impact of endings on the therapy progress. The course also included different dramatherapy approaches to support the therapy exploration including the use of therapeutic stories, ritual theatre, therapeutic theatre, masks, objects, games, art, music, nature based therapeutic retreats and the use of roles.

  • Psychological Trauma and Resilience  (Sep, 2019 - Sep, 2019)

    British Association of Dramatherapists

    Three Day conference with workshops and seminars on: • 06 Sep 2019 The budding of catkins: a shared experience of healing - Bruce Howard Bayley, Mary Smail, Salvatore Pitruzzella, Kelly Jordan, Hayley Southern, Kairo Maynard and Ryan Campinho Valadas, BADth Conference • 06 Sep 2019 How it feels to remember, using KMP rhythms to understand preverbal trauma - Erica Hedges & Daniella Budd, BADth Conference • 07 Sep 2019 Emotional First Aid, Trauma Tapping – Liz Merrick, BADth Conference • 07 Sep 2019 Working Empathically with Unspoken Trauma in Adoptive Families - Catherine Lake, BADth Conference • 07 Sep 2019 Resistance and resilience in the adoptive story: ‘you had to let me go’ - Anna Seymour, PhD, PFHEA, BADth Conference • 07 Sep 2019 ‘That Good May Become’: A Goethean ‘Nature’ Approach To Working With Psychological, Ritual, Sexual And Spiritual Abuse And Recovery In Dramatherapy- Dr. Bruce Howard Bayley, BADth Conference • 08 Sep 2019 Stepping In: School environment for children who have experienced trauma – Jaletta de Jager, BADth Conference • 08 Sep 2019 Wellbeing At The Heart Of Support: Khulisa’s Trauma-Informed Model For Young People - Caroline Brindle BADth Conference

  • Embodied Approaches to Eating Disorders  (Aug, 2019 - Aug, 2019)

    Dr Laura Wood, Naomi Nygaard, Martin Redfern

    Three day residential training course exploring treatment for clients with eating disorders. The training used dramatherapy approaches (Developmental Transformations, Playback Theatre, Masks, games and movement) combined with Internal Family Systems therapy to explore parts of self.

  • Healing From Childhood Trauma  (Jul, 2019 - Aug, 2019)

    Avaiya

    Online training with leading psychologists exploring innovative approaches to healing childhood trauma. Sessions included: • Juggling Parenting & Healing - Amee Quiriconi • Treating Trauma with Internal Family Systems - Richard Schwartz • You Can Heal Fully From Trauma - Susan Pease Banitt • 9 Steps to Healing Childhood Trauma As An Adult - Andrea Brandt • What Most People Don\\\\'t Realize About Childhood Trauma - Laura Reagan • Childhood Trauma is a Risk Factor for Chronic Illness: How Healing Trauma Can Help Heal Chronic Illness & Why It’s Not in Your Head - Veronique Mead • Healing From Childhood Trauma & Self Differentiation - Jerry Wise • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Approach to Resolving Childhood Trauma - Pat Ogden • What Do ACEs Have To Do With Childhood Trauma? Everything! - Jane Stevens • Healing From Attachment, Complex Trauma & Developmental Trauma: A New Approach - Dr. Laurence Heller • Understanding Unresolved Attachment to Heal From Loss & Trauma - Ann Kelley & Sue Marriott • Trauma Does Not Have To Be A Life Sentence - Dave Berger • Impact On Adult Love Relationships - Riana Milne • Gifts of Your Trauma PAST - Dr. Anna Baranowsky • Our Ever-Present Unbreakable Wholeness of Being - Richard Miller • Growing Up Your Wounded Child - Michelle Chalfant • Healing the Wounds of Childhood Trauma - Dr. Jamie Marich • Trauma & Mindfulness - Dr. Daniel Siegel

  • Moving, Progressing and Coming Back to Self  (Sep, 2018 - Sep, 2018)

    British Association of Dramatherapists

    3 day conference including workshops and seminars on: • 07 Sep 2018 Keynote: Snakes, Circles and Selves: Toward an Alchemy of Dramatherapy– Dr Robert Landy, BADth Conference • 07 Sep 2018 The Search for Self – Roehampton Dramatherapy Graduates, BADth Conference • 08 Sep 2018 Rise and Shine – Ellen Foyn Bruun & David Keir Wright, BADth Conference • 08 Sep 2018 Embodying The Dis-Embodied: Dramatherapy Interventions For Every Stage Of Eating Disorder Treatment– Dr Laura Wood, BADth Conference • 08 Sep 2018 Clown Therapy: The Paradoxical Role Of The Clown In Dramatherapy– Jeff Gordon & Yoram Shenar, BADth Conference • 09 Sep 2018 Soul Husbandry – A Morning Sensorium Ritual – Matthew Trustman, BADth Conference • 09 Sep 2018 An Approach To Drama Therapy Combining The Theatrical Model Of Uta Hagen With Gestalt Therapy As The Psychological Model– Avi Hadari, BADth Conference

  • Level 3 Counselling Skills for Working with Children  (Nov, 2014 - Mar, 2015)

    Place2Be (CPCAB)

    • Basic Counselling Skills & Working with Children • The Child in the Primary School • Child Development and Development of Play • Making Attachments as a Child & as an Adult • Making the Contract & Working within the boundaries • Creative Ways of Helping the Child Communicate their Story • Children’s Emotional Wellbeing in Schools • Child Protection and Supervision • Working with Diversity and Difference • Creative Ways of Working with Loss • Working with Endings

  • CPCAB Level 2 Counselling Skills  (Sep, 2013 - Jun, 2014)

    Epping Forest College

Prices/Services List

Individual Adult Session£45.00

Individual Child session£40.00

Group Session£40.00 per person

Therapeutic RetreatPlease enquire

Business development / team building / change managementPlease enquire

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