She works as a supervisor, therapist, family coach, therapeutic parenting practitioner and trainer. Whilst informed by her Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) training, trauma research, and wide range of ongoing CPD, Helen believes that there is no simple framework for this work. Creative adaptation and flexibility are essential for effective work that promotes confidence, connection, and healing for all family members. Human beings are complex and precious.
Helen’s work is based on a deep respect for the person or people she is working with, alongside a commitment to empowering individuals to explore their own understandings and make their own choices. Helen emphasises the importance of dialogue, connection and relationship in all of her work. As well as attending to our pain and struggle, Helen believes that it is so important to nourish our strengths, enhance our resilience, and develop our confidence to learn, have fun, and express ourselves.
Since her first therapeutic role in a social services Family Centre, Helen has been working with a diverse range of families – including parents with histories ‘in care’ themselves, those with children on the edge of ‘care’ proceeding’, foster carers and adoptive families. We can all struggle with the challenges of parenting and managing to meet our needs as adults whilst understanding and meeting the developmental and attachment needs of our children. Being a parent of four children, and her work in this field, is both challenging and rewarding for Helen.
Understanding is frequently a key element for adults to gain/regain empathy for our children, the challenges they present, and for ourselves. This supports our willingness to adapt our parenting in ways that are most likely to help our child to feel safe, to connect and to enjoy relating. Helen really enjoys the blend of empathic listening, psychotherapeutic skills, emotional containment, fun, human connection, PACEful relating, advice, psychoeducation, challenge, problem-solving and open-minded exploration that her work entails.
Helen believes that robust assessment is important to support decision-making about the most helpful therapeutic intervention for each situation.
Most theories and understandings in this complex field need to be held, in Helen’s opinion, lightly and humbly and the more professionals can stay ‘open and engaged’, the more they will inspire this in others. The metaphor and model of ‘good enough parenting’ flows through Helen’s work. Helen wants those she works with to feel listened to, affirmed, empowered, contained, and valued. Helen is a passionate advocate for the needs of children and families, and gains great satisfaction from playing a role in better outcomes and improved wellbeing.
Helen is registered with the UKCP and BACP.