Ferndearle has a wide Clinical Consultant base but two of our therapists: Michelle Newman Brown (Systemic Psychotherapist), and Sally Edwards (Psychodynamic Psychotherapist), have set regular weekly hours at Ferndearle and which together, constitute a full time working week during term time.

The other therapists outlined below have been vetted and chosen carefully and have undertaken work for us for several years.  Unlike our Psychotherapists, however, they work for us as and when required depending on the assessments needed and/ or the therapy needs of the children.

Ferndearle’s Consultant Specialists, Experience and Qualifications and their roles at Ferndearle

Michelle Newman-Brown - coordinator of therapeutic services

Systemic Psychotherapist

Mrs Michelle Newman Brown is a Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist who qualified with an MSc and distinction in clinical work from the Tavistock and Portman Trust in 2003. Prior to this she gained qualifications in MA in Social Work, Diploma in Therapeutic Child Care, Counselling and Diploma in Therapeutic Play. Michelle co-founded the Tavistock two-year diploma in Applied Systemic Theory in 2005 based in Maidstone, training over a hundred professionals to Systemic Practitioner level. Michelle also qualified as a Psychotherapy Supervisor in 2007.
Michelle has remained committed to work within Therapeutic Residential Care for over 27 years. Beginning as a Residential Social Worker and experiencing the complexities that trauma and abuse can have on young children, Michelle has progressed into providing Systemic Therapy, Training, Staff Consultation and Supervision to a vast number of Foster Agencies and Therapeutic Care Homes throughout the UK. Alongside this work Michelle has worked in Domestic Abuse Projects and NHS CAMHS for many years. This has included on going individual, couple and family therapy, reports for Local Authorities as well as Assessments for court. Where possible, when working with young people, she makes use of play as a helpful means of engagement and communication.
Michelle has been involved with Ferndearle Child Care Services since April 2010 and has contributed to the evolution and development of the Holistic Assessments and the more in-depth and innovative therapy work of involving birth, foster and adoptive parents. Michelle is also Chair of Kent Association of Family Therapy (AFT), responsible for the provision of systemic workshops for CPD in Kent and has a number of publications in ‘Context’, a Family Therapy journal. She also jointly hosted the National AFT Conference in Canterbury in 2015.

Responsibilities at Ferndearle:

  • weekly meetings with the Heads of Care and Education to ensure an integrated package of care/education and therapy;
  • initial assessments on type of therapy required for new referrals where there is an agreement to place with Ferndeare;
  • co-ordination of short-term holistic assessments of needs for young people who may or may not remain at Ferndearle;
  • individual therapy to young people;
  • group systemic therapy with the young people;
  • family therapy;
  • delivery of therapeutic training modules to all care staff (incorporating psychodynamic, attachment and systemic ideas into our thinking);
  • monthly staff focus sessions;
  • monthly child focus sessions concentrating on providing therapeutic strategies for care plans;
  • weekly handovers and liaison with care and education staff;
  • individual therapy sessions for staff if and when required to support them with the difficulties of working with our children.

Rebecca Rice

Educational Psychologist

Rebecca has more than 21 years of experience working in the field of Educational Psychology.

Responsibilities at Ferndearle when required:

  • to undertake individual Educational Psychology Assessments.

Sally Edwards

Child and Family Psychodynamic Psychotherapist

MA, BPC - MA in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health.  Sally has worked with Domestic Abuse Charities dealing with loss and trauma related anxiety and disruptive, violent and sexually acting out behaviours. Sally Edwards is a psychodynamically trained child and adolescent psychotherapist with additional experience in Systemic and CBT work. Most recent training (one year of weekly, supervised workshops at the Portman NHS Clinic, London) has addressed some of the complexities of working with the developmental impact of neglect and abuse on children, in particular, regarding violence and sexually abusive behaviours.

Responsibilities at Ferndearle:

  • weekly meetings with the Heads of Care and Education to ensure an integrated package of care/education and therapy;
  • weekly handovers and liaison with care and education staff;
  • individual therapy with young people.

Jean Weldon

Speech & Language Therapist

Member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists No 3071; Member of the Association of Speech and Language Therapists Association in Independent Practice; Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association; Registered with The Health Profession Council.   Ms Weldon has over 30 years’ experience in working with children and young people needing SALT.

Responsibilities at Ferndearle when required:

  • individual therapy with young people;
  • weekly handovers and liaison with care and education staff prior to and post therapy;
  • Speech & Language Assessments.

Dr Joanne Ross

Occupational Therapist

PhD Allied Health Professions Studies; MSc Advanced Practice of Occupational Therapy; BSc (OT) Hons. Professional Registration: Health and Care Council no:  18253; British Association of Occupational Therapist no:  BAOT 104429.  Dr Ross maintains a mixed portfolio of clinical and management consultancy.  Clinical expertise with children (5 plus), young people and adults with: Neuro-developmental conditions:  ASD, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, atypical children with no formal diagnosis; Sensory Processing Disorders: Sensory modulation, sensory discrimination, over and under responsivity; children and young people with complex sensory processing and emotional regulation difficulties; Mental Health and emotional well-being: anxiety, low mood, emotional regulation, resilience, challenging behaviour, self-confidence and self-esteem.

Responsibilities at Ferndearle when required:

  • individual therapy to young people when required;
  • weekly handover and liaison with care and education staff prior to and post therapy;
  • Occupational Therapy Assessments.