Stories for Special Needs

I have over 20 years experience as a psychiatric social worker working with adults in groups and for individual counselling. I have used stories to support the therapeutic process and personal development of people with mental health problems and I am very clear about the boundaries. If you want to know more about my work as a therapeutic storyteller.

I was the storyteller in residence at The Children’s Trust in Tadworth, Surrey from 2004-2007. I worked with children with profound and multiple learning and physical difficulties, and children recovering from brain damage. The storytelling programs were tailored to the individual children and class groups. In this setting I used puppets and focuses on multi-sensory storytelling to maximize the benefit to the child.

I worked with the Haringey City Learning Centre to run Storytelling Apprentice workshops for school children for whom English is a second language, funded by the Haringey Children’s Fund. This was very successful, and teachers reported that the children found more confidence in having a voice and participating in mainstream classes. These workshops have also been successfully repeated in other schools across London.

I have worked with groups of adults with learning disabilities using storytelling, and in particular with one group when addressing the issues on bereavement.

I also work extensively with storytelling to support people who have been bereaved. Read more about this in Storytelling in the care of the dying and bereaved.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss with service users and professionals how storytelling performances, workshops and discussion groups can support adults and children with special needs, and the people who support them.