Hello my name is Natasha and I work for NESSie as a Dramatherapist primarily within St. Albans and Harpenden. NESSie is a not-for-profit organisation that works throughout Hertfordshire providing mental health support to Young People and their families. We deliver trainings, run 1:1/group sessions and offer arts therapy as well as talking therapies.
I love my job and working creatively with young people to support their emotional wellbeing. I see young people for lots of different reasons, such as needing a space to express themselves, going through a difficult time- such as a bereavement, family/friendships issues etc. In dramatherapy there is an opportunity to do lots of things together such as creating stories, using puppets, playing with playdough/slime as well as just having a space to talk. I like getting to know a young person and finding out what they like/don’t like. By building a relationship based off of trust, I hope to help the young person see their strengths and how amazing they are.
I studied drama at university and then went on to do a Masters in dramatherapy at the Central School of Speech and Drama. After studying, I lived in Manchester, spent time working in Canada and then moved back to Hertfordshire, (where I grew up). I have been working for NESSie for 4 years now. I started by running weekly groups for Young People with Autism Spectrum Condition alongside a parent support group. After that I moved onto working throughout schools in North Herts in both primary and secondary schools. As well as providing therapy I also supervise other therapists to help them with the clients they see.
I am currently studying on a course at University College London, which is looking at how we can improve NESSie as a service. Since lockdown NESSie has grown massively and we have had a lot more young people access our therapy and parents/staff members attend trainings. Due to this we have increased the amount of therapists that are working for us. My university project will be looking at how new staff members at NESSie are welcomed into our community and how we can look after their wellbeing so they can do the best job they can with the young people they see.
As a therapist I believe it’s really important to look after our own wellbeing and our mental health. This can be done in lots of different ways and will be different to every person. For me, the things I try to do to support my wellbeing are;
- Give my cat, Scally Wag (In picture) lots of cuddles!
- Go out for walks.
- Say no to plans if I’m feeling too busy or stressed.
- Try not to watch TV half an hour before going to bed.
- Write a diary every day.
- Eat chocolate!