My Story

I grew up on a farm in rural Sussex in the UK and since then have lived in Brussels, Paris and London, before moving to New York in 2009 with my husband and two children.

 

Up until this point, we had tried everything for my son: drama therapy, cranial osteopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, reiki, kinesiology, aromatherapy, Chinese medicine, changes in diet, “circle of friends”, family therapy, art therapy...and I had devoured every parenting book available. Nothing was making a difference and we felt like we were spiraling underground quickly, barely able to draw breaths as we were constantly putting out fires. I was secretly hoping that maybe, just maybe, all our issues would dissipate over the Atlantic as we flew to New York. Unfortunately this miracle didn't happen and by Fourth Grade, he was placed by his school district into a therapeutic day school. At the age of 13 he went to his first therapeutic wilderness program then onto a therapeutic boarding school. However, after a year, he was kicked out, and so he returned to a second therapeutic wilderness program when he was 14 and from there he went onto his second therapeutic boarding school. After a few stints in a residential treatment facility, he eventually came home when he was turning seventeen and started at a local day school. This year he has applied to college and got accepted at eleven out of twelve colleges. He is whittling down his final choice and will start in the Fall, most likely commuting from home for his first year.

 

During his eighteen years of life, my son has been diagnosed with Early Onset Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Severe Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, Non Verbal Learning Disorder, ASD (level 1),  Parent-child Relational Problems, Personality Disorder and an Eating Disorder.

 

Over the same eighteen years, I have unwittingly become an advocate and expert in neurological, behavioral and academic issues for children who do not fit into a traditional academic setting. I am adamant that we need to treat the symptoms and not the diagnostic label and I am particularly motivated by the subtle but crucial difference between the drivers of oppositional behavior - the "can't do" versus the "won't do" - and the behavioral versus neurological implications.

 

I am passionate about twice exceptional children and young adults and the Theory of Mind. I am horrified at how often they are quite simply misunderstood. My life goal is to do something about this by focusing on the process, the brain and clear and consistent boundaries.

I am specifically interested in the link between cognitive ability and neurological needs as well as the balance of intellectual IQ versus social IQ.

 

Throughout my journey as a parent, I have attended a multitude of therapeutic trainings and workshops. I have lived through having a child with complicated and misunderstood mental health issues and I have had to work incessantly at my family relationships in order to keep us afloat. This puts me in the perfect place to act as an advocate and coach for you, your child and family.

Expertise

I have a First Class Honors (summa cum laude) degree in International Marketing & French from the University of Greenwich in London. I spent six months studying at the elite ICHEC - Brussels Management School in Belgium and I also have an Honors Diploma in Internet Journalism from the London School of Journalism. I am currently completely an Advanced Diploma in Counseling and Psychology with the International Career Institute.

 

In 2003 I spent three years working as a mentor for a high functioning child with ASD within a school setting and from 2006-2009 I was responsible for setting up and running a Gifted and Talented Program in London. In addition, I also ran after school clubs in Debating, Creative Thinking, Thinking Outside of the Box and Creative Writing, which were designed to challenge and enrich their learning experience. 

 

My areas of expertise are DBT, ADHD, ASD level 1, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, bipolar, mood disorders, nonverbal learning disorders, oppositional disorders and parent-child relational problems.

I am trained in how the brain works in non-neurotypical children and young adults, which I am fervently passionate about. I is a master at integrating neurology, behavior, academics and social pragmatics to help them find their path.

I can help advocate for your child within their school and school district to ensure they have the accomodations they need. If necessary, I will recommned an alternative path that will meet their needs.

Over the years I have built up a bank of schools, councellors, psychaitrirsts and other professionals that can be a vital part in buildingthe scaffolding around your child to ensure they are happy and sucessful.

I am a member of NATSAP, The Child Mind Institute, NAMI, The Mindsight InstituteThe Arbinger Institute.

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Qualifications & Trainings

Here is the list of trainings, seminars and workshops that I have completed so far. I am continually attending new and groundbreaking seminars.

Advanced Diploma of Counselling & Psychology

ongoing

Cognitive Distortions

Victim Stance - Externalizing Blame - Time Perspective - Power & Control - Grandiosity & Neurodevelopment Narcism - Awfulizing - Perfectionism - Procrastination - Lying by Omission - Emotional Reasoning

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Piaget's (1936) theory of cognitive development explains how a child constructs a mental model of the world. He disagreed with the idea that intelligence was a fixed trait, and regarded cognitive development as a process which occurs due to biological maturation and interaction with the environment.

DBT Routines - PIES & LABS

Set your child up for success

Keys to a Successful Home Visit

Home visits can be one of the most stressful and anxiety building steps for parents! In this session you will learn ideas and skills to create the best possible scenario for your home visits and best practice for medication administration. 

The Limbic Brain & Executive Functioning

More in depth information on the limbic brains' implications to Neurological Development.

The Awareness Wheel

Learn to experientially focus on increasing your contextual and interpersonal awareness. Great for families looking to improve their communication and perceptual understanding. .

Coping Skills

Mindfulness for children

Meta Moments

Controlling our emotions before they control us

The Hero's Journey

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us

How Vision Therapy can be instrumental in helping increase visual attention spans for children by Dr Scott Lewis, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.

Vision Therapy helps people with visual difficulties relating to a wide range of conditions, skills, and/or symptoms, such as; ADD-ADHD, learning disabilities, non verbal learning disorder (NLD) and many more.

The Mind, Moods, Motivation, and Maturity of The Middle School Male by Dr Andrew Sapp, Ph.D.

Where do the troubles start for middle school aged boys? What type of academic problems do middle school aged boys seem to have? What tips do you have for parents of boys and those working with boys? 

The Ruler Approach by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

Recognizing emotions in self and others, understanding the causes and consequences of emotions, labeling emotions accurately, expressing emotions appropriately and regulating emotions effectively

Not by Chance by Dr. Tim Thayne

The program for parents and mentors with teens or young adults in treatment

So you have a child with ASD. Now what? by Shane Whiting, Ph.D., LMFT

What is ASD? The deficits and dysfunctions. undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, prevalence, ASD profile, strengths of ASD student, how to make it go right, goes and approaches of treatment

Community Resiliency Model by Cherry Gulch School, Idaho

how to deepen the resilient zone for ourselves, our children and our families in order to create calm

Core Parenting Principles by Daniel's Academy, Heber City, Utah

The seven core parenting principles that can lead to more effective parenting and increased confidence

Dr Si Steinberg M.D. - Diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders in children

Including diagnosis, child trauma, past traumatic stress disorder and medication management

“The Anatomy of Peace by the Arbinger Institute” - The worldwide phenomenon

How to resolve the heart of conflict and how and why we contribute to the divisions and problems we blame on others and the surprising way that these problems can be solved

The Parallel Process

Growing alongside your child in treatment

The Parent's Emotional Journey

How to deal with fear, guilt and worry, frustration, sadness, overwhelm and anxiety

Parenting Traps by James J Jones Ph. D

control, anger, rage, arguing and contention, lying and inconsistency, the traps of being critical and unforgiving, teenage retirement, rescuing, lecturing and insight, nagging, conditional love and acceptance, parental disunity, quick fix and making exceptions, misusing rewards and punishments, excessive or insufficient punishment, favoritism, surrogate spouse, scapegoat, guilt, unrealistic expectations and perfectionism, button-pushing and overreacting

Postive Parenting with a Plan

limit setting, consistency, empathetic listening, family rules and making moments meaningful

The Limbic Brain

What is the limbic brain? How it affects behavior and emotions in our children and how the limbic brain directs how we must manage these behavioral and emotional changes.

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