I am a psychologist and have studied both in Vancouver and Berlin. My early experiences working at the Vancouver Crisis Centre, particularly my experience doing suicide prevention in schools and colleges, primed me for my further work in various clinical contexts in Berlin (psychosomatic, psychiatric, and addiction wards), as well as my work with adult psychiatric clients in private practice. After the birth of my autistic son in 2001, I specialized in autism and have since worked with autistic children of all ages (from 2-18), as well as their parents, in various settings (e.g., in the homes, Kindergartens, schools, autism center) and in various constellations (e.g., one-on-one, group work with autistic adolescent girls, parent and teacher coaching).
Although I had worked a lot with children in my younger years (as a piano teacher, for example), I had not intended to work with children as a psychologist. Then my son arrived and everything changed. I started “playing” with him – then doing film and music projects with other autistic children in the schools – and pretty soon I was “playing” with autistic children and adolescents in a therapeutic context in whatever way moves them. And encouraging the adults in the lives of my kids to “play” along!
I feel so deeply that a relational, developmental approach is what the world is needing right now, whether it be in terms of children, or adults, or even the planet. When I think of my son and all the amazing kids I have worked with in the last years – their struggles and the struggles of their parents – I feel a deep inner calling to respond. I feel the call to support people in building the attachments they need to rest and grow. And, because I see "play" as nature's way of healing, I feel the call to encourage "playfulness" in all of its forms - whether it be "fun" play or "serious" play. I believe play can change us - and the world.