Pamela Capriglione | Strabane

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

Drawing and Talking is a safe and non-intrusive approach, supporting people who are experiencing anxiety, trauma, depression and low self-esteem. It provides an effective way for people to process these emotions in a safe and therapeutic way.

Why are you so passionate about Drawing and Talking as a supportive intervention?

I am passionate about working with children and young people who have difficulty processing and making sense of their emotions. Drawing and Talking has been effective to allow children to work through their emotional challenges. I love seeing the progress which has been made from session 1 right through to the last session. I am also passionate about it as it allows people to access the support they need which otherwise they would not have access to.

What is the age range of those you work and enjoy helping the most?

I mainly work with pupils between Key Stage 2 – Key Stage 3. However, I am now seeing the greater need for older children and adults and would encourage them to access Drawing and Talking.

What areas of emotional wellbeing are passionate about supporting?

My experience stems from working with and supporting children and young people with a diagnosis of autism or who are currently awaiting an assessment for autism. I have seen an increase in the need and demand for mental health support for children and young people in the autistic community. This led me to enhance my professional development to ensure that I was equipped to provide the relevant intervention and support needed that would have the greatest impact for the pupils.

How has the pandemic impacted the mental wellbeing of those you help?

I have seen an increase in anxiety and depression not only with the young people but also their caregivers. Mental health has always been around however the pandemic has highlighted this more. I do hope that people are able to access the services they need and the stigma around mental health begins to break down more so now as I do believe everyone will have been affected one way or another throughout and long after the pandemic.

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

My greatest achievement with Drawing and Talking has to be when I worked with a person who at the beginning did not engage. However, as the weeks progressed, I found that this person was looking forward to the sessions and by the end thanked me, now not knowing this person you would think this is not an achievement however for this individual this was a big achievement for them to be happy in themselves. They were beginning to look forward to other events in their day whereas before they struggled to find happiness in anything.

Where are you holidaying this summer and why?

I holidayed in Southampton which was great as I got to catch up with friends, some of whom I had not seen in a very long time.