Sue Gregory | Kent

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

I would describe Drawing and Talking as a short term, time limited intervention that is a safe and beautiful way to help you process feelings and pain in a non-verbal format, through symbolism and storytelling.

Why are you so passionate about Drawing and Talking?

I am passionate about the approach for adults as it gives them a chance to find their inner child who may have experienced trauma in the past which has been hidden for years.

In my experience I see that over the 12 weekly sessions adults really engage in this therapy and start to glow from within! They take a pride in themselves that can sometimes lead to big changes.

What is the age range you work with?

I have worked with adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. Maybe setting up their own place, starting families, networking, and making new friends. generally feeling a sense of purpose and identity in the world.

However, during lockdown these routine things all changed, almost overnight! This created a great deal of worry, stress, and anxiety. (and how to process the feeling of loss).

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

My passion for Drawing and Talking stems from my early childhood, having a member of my family with undiagnosed Bi-Polar and other mental health issues.

Throughout my life I often had dealings with mental health professionals, and I have witnessed this first-hand.  So, I became fascinated to learn how to support people with their wellbeing and their mental health.

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

This pandemic has never happened before so, it has really made a negative influence on these adults especially if they relied on carers coming in to help them or talk to them. Many of these adults have been shielding for a year and have felt so lonely and isolated. I’ve heard that adults that are shielding become overwhelmed with sadness when they look out of the window and see people openly flouting the rules!! I have been my busiest during this time.

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

At the beginning of the first lockdown a 29-year-old young lady approached me asking for help she was at her wits end with worry and depression. Her favourite grandad was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and seeing him deteriorate every day was heart-breaking for her. She was also furloughed from a job she absolutely hated! Her house was too small! She just couldn’t see the next steps in her life. “It was like walking on a broken path, up a mountain, without a summit, in the dark” she told me.

A few months later she got in touch with me to tell me that her grandfather had passed away peacefully in a hospice and that she had taken the reins for helping organise the funeral. She had also changed her job, now working in the NHS which was her dream job, and she has just moved into a larger house with her husband and their adopted cat.