Laura Hooper - Play & Creative Arts Therapist
I am a certified Play and Creative Arts therapist with a passion to support children, young people and families therapeutically. I have extensive practice experience, underpinned by knowledge and academic qualifications. My developing journey stemmed from my former role as a Senior Practitioner Social Worker specialising in adoption and fostering supporting children, young people & families.
I have experience of delivering high quality therapeutic interventions to children, young people and their families experiencing issues such as complex trauma, developmental delay, attachment difficulties, abuse, emotional and behavioural concerns.
As a Practice Educator, I have also led and supervised a team of children and family workers completing life storybooks and delivered bespoke experiential training.
I practice from an attachment perspective, being child- led, my creative tool kit can be adapted to each clients needs thereby helping children & young people to communicate their inner experiences and help to heal their painful pasts and hurtful histories. I work with a number of public (including schools), individual and private providers offering therapeutic services, consultancy and bespoke training. I am listed as an approved provider for many Local Authority Post Adoption Support Services.
In addition to Play & Creative Arts Therapy, I am also trained in Therapeutic Life Story work and Parent-Child Attachment play. I have also completed level 1 & 2 in Theraplay & MIMS assessment and level 1 in Dyadic Development Psychotherapy.
I am currently completing clinical supervision training and I am available to offer both individual and group supervision. Having extensive supervision experience as a Practice Educator (Pg. Cert), I understand and appreciate the value of this.
Supervision can also be offered to other therapists outside of PTUK, however the supervisee needs to seek approval from their registered body before this can commence.
I offer supervision in regular slots of either 60 or 90 minutes, depending on the supervisees needs. An important part of supervision is the integration of the creative arts such as clay, Lego, sand aswell as other creative mediums, intended to support the supervisee within a safe and protected space.
Sessions are held within a safe space.
What is Play & Creative Arts therapy
Play is the child's natural medium of self expression. It is an opportunity for the child to 'play out' their muddles within a safe & protected space. Play Therapy is suitable for children and young people from three upwards and can equally be helpful for adults.
Play Therapy sessions provide a safe, confidential environment for children to explore issues that are affecting their lives. The aims are to help them to understand their emotions, feel better about themselves and to develop a positive sense of self and resilience.
Play & Creative Arts therapy amongst other areas can help those that have experienced:
Social exclusion; Transitioning Needs as a result of placement i.e. Looked after/adopted or within the school or community environment; Grief/Loss/divorce/separation; Trauma ;Attachment issues; Abuse (all types) and neglect; Family problems; Low confidence and self esteem; Social relationships/peers; Illness; Emotional/behavioural difficulties; Stress & anxiety; Anger issues; Communication problems;bullying
Why Play Therapy and not counselling
In contrast to talking therapies, play is the medium and natural expression for children and young people who may find it difficult to verbalise their feelings. Play gives children and young people the opportunity to express themselves in a safe environment.
Play therapy has many positive outcomes for children and young people. The process has many benefits to the cognitive, social and emotional wiring of the brain. Research in the area of neuroscience has shown that play is essential to the successful development of the brain in particular the problem solving and pro social part of the brain, the neo-cortex.
Play releases chemicals in the brain that encourages calmness and wellbeing. Outcomes show that children/ young people present as calmer, more regulated and in control, have higher concentration levels and can make sense of their muddles in a more appropriate way.
Therapeutic Life Story work
I hold a Diploma in Therapeutic Life Story work. Compared to the traditional practice of Life Story Work, Therapeutic Life Story Work (TLSW) is an approach that involves supporting the child to revisit their past alongside the child’s primary carer. TLSW works from an attachment perspective incorporating interventions that enable the child and /young person/adult to make sense of their history in a safe and contained space. In TLSW practice, I adopt an integrative approach underpinned through creative arts and implementing the PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy) model, thereby supporting and enabling to deepen and develop a more safer attachment relationship between the child and their primary carer. Working within a triad relationship, this approach helps the child, young person or adult to understand the why's, when's, where's, what's and how's of their life history from perspectives of those that have been involved in their life pre to post birth. The process can help understand how the past has moulded their past but helps to enable and shape a more positive future.
Parent-Child Attachment Play
The Parent-Child Attachment Play approach is aimed at improving the attachment quality of the parent-child relationship using attachment mechanisms and play from aged 3 and upwards.
This intervention helps to build and repair the relationship between child and caregiver empowering caregivers as the agents of change thereby promoting engagement, attunement and positivity.
Parent-Child Attachment Play (PCAP) is a programme for primary carers. I work with the primary carer to develop child-oriented play skills and encourage the carers ability to contain the child in positive ways such as strengthening the attachment. Once these skills are in place, I help the primary carer to set up a short, structured playtime at home with the child supported by the practitioner.
How can I access therapy
If you are a parent/carer or commissioning agent who feels that a child/young person would benefit from therapy then please contact me on 07933 178553 for an initial discussion, there is no obligation to progress, it is important to source the right therapist who is able to support your child/young person.
Presently, I am a mobile therapist undertaking therapeutic interventions both in schools, centres and within the home environment. Location of therapy can be discussed and alternative venues can be sought.
I offer both individual and group therapy sessions for children and young people targeting areas of concern. I offer bespoke packages of therapy, training and consultation that are available upon discussion with schools, fostering & adoption agencies.
Training, qualifications & experience
- Post Graduate Diploma Play Therapy - Leeds Beckett University/PTUK
- Post Graduate Diploma in Therapeutic Life Story Work - University East London
- Post Graduate Certificate in Therapeutic Play - Leeds Beckett University/PTUK
- Psychology and Criminology BSc hons - Coventry University
- Master of Social Work (MA) - Warwick University
- Post Graduate Certificate Practice Educator - Bournemouth University
- Professional Certificate in Effective Practice (Youth Justice) - Open University
- Clinical supervision training
- Safeguarding and Child Protection training
- Court skills training
- Sexual Abuse training
- Graded Care Profile Training - NSPCC
- Parent-Child Attachment Play
- Level One Theraplay/Group Theraplay and Marschak Interaction Method training
- Level Two Intermediate Theraplay and Marschak Interaction Method training
- Level One Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
- Motivational Interviewing and the Stages of Change
- Solution Focussed Supervision
- Mental health first aid Youth
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Anger management
- Asperger's syndrome
- Attachment disorder
- Attachment disorder in children
- Behaviour problems
- Carer support
- Child related issues
- Childhood bereavement
- Childhood bullying
- Children’s learning difficulties
- Depression and anxiety in children
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Physical abuse
- Relationship problems
- Separation and divorce
- Separation anxiety
- Sexual abuse
- Young carers
Other areas of counselling I deal with
Photos & videos
Fees are available upon discussion.
I hold an enhanced current DBS certificate with update provision, Professional Liability and Indemnity insurance. I am a certified member of PTUK, Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a registered Social Worker and I hold Graduate member status of the British Psychological Society MBPsS. I adhere to the ethics and values of my practice and I am clinically supervised.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5pm Saturday 8.30am - 4.30pm
Types of client
Supervision & training
I am undertaking Clinical supervision training in Play and Creative arts therapy.