I am Robert Fitzpatrick; A qualifed Play Therapist, having qualified (Post-Graduate), and registered with Play Therapy UK.
I have achieved a HND in Health and Social Care, qualifying in 2005 from Worcester University, and BSc in Health and Social Care Studies qualifying in 2010 from Plymouth University. From these courses I have undertaken a range of modules, gaining an understanding of the children’s health, social and emotional development and social disadvantages/problems.
Throughout my working career I have gathered many skills in working with young people and their families, incorporating this successfully into my work.
When I was younger I travelled to Sri Lanka and spent time working with children in orphanages. I spoke limited amounts of Sinhalese/Tamil, but I instantly found that Play crossed communication boundaries that existed – children were asking to play volleyball and hide and seek, and in a short space of time, a positive working relationship was forming, trust, emotional warmth and excitement. I knew that this would act as a foundation for my future career.
I have spent time working within special needs education and mainstream school settings, working with, what was deemed ‘hard to reach and highly defensive children.’ Although challenged at first I was passionate about seeing the child behind their behaviour, and working with ‘them.’ In the months that followed they slowly let down their barriers, and started to show their personality, letting me in – the children that I saw were extremely endearing. I wanted to further my knowledge and equip myself with the skills to be able to better support these children’s emotional needs.
I continued my work with Children’s Services Settings where I had a very specific role in ensuring that the child’s voice shone throughout the Social Workers assessment processes. I have worked with a high number of young people at risk of running away from home, children experiencing difficult transitions in their lives, children from ‘shattered backgrounds,’ and those children that others have found difficult to connect with. I have continued to be humbled by these children’s stories, their vulnerabilities, but despite this their resilience and inner strength. I strongly believe in these young people and their abilities to grow.
My journey has taken me to Play Therapy which I now practice within schools and youth services on an independent basis.