Joanna Harley | Oakham, Rutland + 20miles

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How would you describe Drawing and Talking in its simplest terms?

Drawing and Talking is a 1:1 child led therapeutic intervention which provides an effective way for children and young adults to process emotional pain or trauma they may be experiencing.

Why are you so passionate about Drawing and Talking?

When I qualified as a learning support assistant I was astounded at the overwhelming need in school to support children’s emotional wellbeing. I wanted my contribution/role in education to count. So I trained to become a drawing and talking practitioner to support children and their wellbeing.

What is the age range you work with?

I work with primary school age, KS1 – KS2 (6-11)

What areas of emotional wellbeing do you most connect with and are passionate about supporting?

It’s very hard to select one particular aspect of emotional wellbeing. Supporting any child that is experiencing their ‘anchor’ being disrupted is enough for me to connect. Whether their world is being rocked by family issues, bereavement or anxiety about school. The fact the child needs this space is enough for me.

How has COVID impacted the mental wellbeing of the families in these areas?

I think we will see this play out over the coming months. I believe it won’t be until children are back in school that we’ll really start to see the issues of anxiety and emotional upset come to the fore, especially with those children who’ve not engaged in home learning.

Whilst using Drawing and Talking, what is your greatest success story?

I got a card from my very first client which read “thank you for making me smile again”. Doesn’t get any better than that.