Kate Lewis is a Dramatherapist and Systemic Practitioner, member of The British Association of Dramatherapists and The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, and registered with the HCPC. She has also recently trained as a Supervisor with Robin Shohet (Supervision in the Helping Professions, OUP 1990) and Joan Wilmot (In Love with Supervision, PCCS Books 2020) of the Centre for Supervision and Team Development.
Kate has experience working with children, adolescents and young adults through her 4 years’ experience in a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service team and 8 years as a member of a Student Wellbeing team at a University. Kate also has experience offering therapy to creative/arts therapists who are in training themselves.
In all Kate’s work her approach is calm, client-centred and always with an emphasis on the system in which the client lives and operates – whether that system is family, school, friendship groups or fellow students or colleagues. Kate enjoys enabling clients of all ages to reflect on what is troubling them by using their innate creativity to help build their knowledge, understanding and resilience.
Kate has considerable experience working with children and young people who have been adopted, and their families. Each individual has their own story and experience of adoption, and there are also common themes that recur for children who have experienced trauma – and for their new families. Kate is experienced in recognising those familiar themes whilst offering a personalised response.
Kate has trained in Assessing and Working with Trauma and Dissociation in Children and Adolescents, with Dr Renee Marks at Integrate Families, and in NeuroDramatic Play with Dr Sue Jennings.
Kate’s supervision experience includes working with other therapists and organisations (particularly in the field of Domestic Abuse) in one-to-one and group sessions.
What might a systemic session look like?
One of the key features of systemic practice is the idea that we all live, love, work and play in relation to other people and that, if one of these areas of life is troubling us, it can be helpful to look at what patterns, ideas or responses we are adopting and how they position us in our ‘system’.
We can work systemically with just one client in the room, but it can be very helpful to invite parents and children (of all ages!) and partners to join us to help think about these issues with everyone’s input.
A typical session might include looking at family structures in the traditional ‘family tree’ style – but then developing other themes that may be relevant.
We might also look an individual’s, or a family’s, ‘story’ and at how that story is perpetrated, fed and sustained by everyone? How does it serve the family, even if it is also simultaneously seen as being a problem? How can that story be challenged and rewritten?
The therapist recognises that the family is the expert about itself and that they can assist the members of that family by asking neutral and curious questions that maybe challenge the assumptions that this is the way life is, and must be, for us.