Sarah Lewis


Sarah qualified as a mental health nurse in Northern Ireland in 1993. She is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and a member of both the Royal College of Nursing and the Association of Family Therapy. She has worked with Children and Adolescents and their families since 2002.  Sarah has a diploma in Systemic Practice and is an Certified Theraplay Practitioner. She uses a range of therapeutic models when working with children and young people, including Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Sensory Attachment Intervention. She has experience in offering bereavement support to adults, children and young people. She is currently employed as Therapeutic LAC Nurse for Looked After Children in a Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland.

Sarah has experience of providing a range of mental health training to health and social care staff, volunteers and foster carers. She is on the Theraplay Supervision practicum.

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Andy Baker

Andy is a specialist SEN primary school teacher, based in north Somerset, who has focused on Special Educational Needs for 20 years. He was a SENCo for 18 years, has been an Advisory Teacher for a Local Authority and a Children’s Social Care Team in North Somerset, specialising in attachment-aware practice. He currently works part-time as The Lead Teacher for Pupil Engagement and SEND with a Multi Academy Trust in North Somerset as well as running his own business. He is an accredited Group Theraplay© trainer, offering the 2-day course to organisations who wish to use Group Theraplay, either as part of an emotional wellbeing, PSHE programme or to support vulnerable children. He developed the use of Group Theraplay initially in his own school, both with whole classes and in a more targeted manner for groups of vulnerable children. He has also trained in DDP to level 2 and in the Incredible Years Parenting and School programmes. Andy is an accredited Theraplay© dyadic practitioner (Foundational) and has used this intervention to support children and parents and in schools with key members of staff. This approach works well as part of a broader ’trauma-informed approach.
He is also a member of the National Attachment Lead network (see for details). He is qualified to deliver the Two-Day Youth Mental Health First Aid Course from Mental Health First Aid England. Andy can be reached at [email protected]

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Helen Rodwell

DClinPsy, Ph.D., MSc, HCPC

Helen is a HCPC registered Consultant Clinical Psychologist who works in independent practice in Derby, England. She holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, a MSc in Forensic Psychology, a Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis, a Post Graduate Certificate in Systemic Psychotherapy, and a BSc(Econ) in Psychology & Sociology. She is a Certified Theraplay® Practitioner, Supervisor & Trainer Practitioner, Certified DDP Practitioner and EMDR Europe Accredited Adult, Child and Adolescent Practitioner. She has previously worked within secure settings, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and co-managed a specialist multidisciplinary NHS mental health service for looked after and adopted children. Helen currently offers therapeutic interventions to children, parents and families alongside being a long-standing Expert Witness to the Family Courts. She is the co-author of Parenting with Theraplay (2017, Jessica Kingsley Publishers), An Introduction to Autism for Adoptive and Foster Families (2019, Jessica Kingsley Publishers) and Supporting the Mental Health of Looked After and Adopted Children (2018, CoramBAAF). Helen is keen to support and promote the use of Theraplay within the UK because “it works”! She can be contacted via her PA, Lee at: [email protected].

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Jenny Podd

Jenny is a Certified Theraplay® Practitioner, Supervisor-in-Training, and fully qualified Practice Educator. She is a registered HCPC Social Worker with many years’ experience in working with children and families. Her specialism is developmental trauma and attachment. Jenny currently works within a specialist CAMHS service for looked after and adopted children. Jenny is also trained in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy to Level II and uses both this and Theraplay as effective intervention tools to support her work with children that have experienced trauma and abuse. Jenny is passionate about helping children to build trusting, attuned relationships with their parents and carers through the use of Theraplay.

In addition to her direct work with families, Jenny also offeres consultation to a wide range of professionals and delivers attachment training to foster carers and social workers. Jenny also oversees the use of Theraplay within her specialist service and supports and mentors colleagues across Nottinghamshire who are trained in and using Theraplay in their practice. She can be contacted via [email protected]

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Heidi Pannell


Heidi has been a social worker for 20 years and is dedicated to building better futures for children. Heidi is a Certified Theraplay® Practitioner and Supervisor-in-Training, a Practitioner-in-Training in DDP, and a Relax Kids Coach.  

Heidi has worked in the adoption arena for 6 years with previous work experience comprising Safeguarding and Residential social work and different posts in community based Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS).  Through her work experience she has gained therapeutic skill, specialist knowledge of attachment and developmental trauma, and particular understanding of the services and processes within the adoption sector. 

In addition to direct work with families, Heidi also provides consultation and supervision to professionals including social workers, teachers, foster carers, and special guardians.  Heidi regularly delivers attachment training to parents and provides therapeutic group work for children in educational and other settings.   

Heidi has a strong academic background and early in her career spent a number of years working overseas with children experiencing deprivation.  Heidi lives in the North West of England and has two children. Heidi can be reached at [email protected] 

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Julie McCann

BA (Hons), PGCE, MA (Play Therapy)

Julie McCann is a BAPT Play Therapist and Certified Theraplay® Practitioner based in south London where she works for the UK charity TACT and is attached to their London adoption team. The focus of her work is a BBC Children In Need funded project called ‘The Power of Play’ which supports adoptive families in the early stages of placement with Theraplay-based sessions and offers life story play therapy and long-term Theraplay interventions for children who have been with their adopters for some time. She also supervises therapy and counselling students from Roehampton University master’s programmes. Julie has been working closely with The Theraplay® Institute in the US to re-write the practicum documents for UK settings and is a member of the UK Theraplay Leadership Group. She uses her play therapy skills in private practice and in local community groups, working with children and their families to build stronger attachments and process feelings around trauma and loss associated with deprivation, immigration status, and temporary housing.

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Louise Howarth

BSc (Hons), MSW, CQSW, PGDip (Play therapy)

Louise is a qualified social worker and play therapist. She is a certified Theraplay® Practitioner, Trainer-in-Training, and Supervisor in-Training. Louise has specialized in therapeutic work with children and families impacted by abuse and trauma and disrupted attachment relationships. She worked for NSPCC for over 16 years.

For the past 7 years she has worked within the field of adoption and adoption support as a practitioner and manager. She has experience providing Theraplay interventions with adoptive families from early placement onwards. She has taken a lead role in developing and promoting Theraplay within the agencies she has worked with and has supported and mentored staff to implement Theraplay techniques in their work. She has been involved in Theraplay Level 1 training as an assistant and Trainer-in-Training.

Louise now works freelance as a play therapist and Theraplay Practitioner and is keen to support students to develop skills in Theraplay and achieve their foundational level. Louise is based in East Yorkshire and can be contacted at [email protected]

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Sarah Foster

Registered Social worker; State Registered Dramatherapist,

Sarah is based in Merseyside. She has 10 years of experience as a local authority Child Care Social Worker, including working in a fostering and adoption team, followed by 16 years of experience within tier 3 CAMHS, which has included a specialist role addressing the mental health needs of children who are fostered, adopted, and in residential care. She has extensive experience with issues relating to attachment and trauma, and has developed creative ways to engage children, young people, and their families.

Sarah has been running a Theraplay® clinic within CAMHS since certification in 2013 which she has found to be highly effective in promoting healthy functioning. Sarah is impressed by the versatility of Theraplay and its ability to overcome a child’s resistance. Using a combination of skills where necessary, Sarah is able to adapt interventions according to the child’s developmental progress.

Sarah welcomes the opportunity to use the benefits of her experience to guide others in the use of Theraplay, recognizing the positive, enduring impact that this intervention has upon children and their caregivers.

Sarah can be reached at [email protected]

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Amelia Fay Taylor

Dr. Amelia Fay Taylor, BSc Hons, PGCE, DAppEdPsy, HCPC Reg. CPsychol.

Amelia is a certified Theraplay® Practitioner and Chartered HCPC Registered Educational Psychologist. She works within a Local Authority Educational Psychology Service in the North East of England and also independently provides assessment and therapeutic work through LifeCycles Psychology. Amelia specializes in work with children in care and post adoption where there is a history of trauma and attachment difficulties. Amelia also integrates Theraplay with mountain biking in her LifeCycles Programme. Amelia is also trained in Video Interaction Guidance, DDP, and to teach Mindfulness with children. She is passionate about developing Theraplay practice in her area to bring the highest quality evidence based interventions to families in need. Amelia is currently a Theraplay Supervisor-in-Training. Amelia can be contacted at [email protected]

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Carla Coley

Carla has have been a qualified social worker for over 7 years and has spent this time specializing in the adoption field. Carla is a certified Theraplay® practitioner, DDP Level 1 trained, has Assisted on Theraplay Training, and is now in the Theraplay Supervisor practicum. 

Carla has extensive experience and skills in providing therapeutic interventions, such as Theraplay, life story work, and providing attachment training. From this she has gained specialist knowledge of attachment and developmental trauma.

Carla has worked closely with professionals such as teachers, foster cares, and social workers. Within this work she has developed bespoke packages of support including classroom observations, group work, consultations, and specialist training. Carla can be reached by email at [email protected],

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