Position: Senior Art Therapist

At Off Centre since: 2004

What do you like the most at Off Centre?

Optimism. The fact that everyone who works here cares about the young people who walk through the door, and believes wholeheartedly in their ability to transform their lives - even in the most difficult circumstances. We are rewarded with some pretty inspiring stories.

Name one quality (trait of character) you think is the most important for your job - why?

I'm going to cheat and choose two, because I feel that they are equally important. Empathy and resilience. Without the ability to relate to people, and be able to imagine what life is like in their shoes, it's difficult to build a meaningful relationship. But you also need to be able to deal with whatever people bring, no matter how tough it is. However painful something is to hear, it must have been so much worse to experience first hand. People need to know that you can survive whatever trauma they tell you about. That's what the job's about.

What do you do to relax when you feel stress?

I potter about on my allotment, play tennis or watch something that makes me laugh on TV.

What’s your most treasured object?

Mmmmm, that's tricky. I have  a few but one would have to be a tiny clay head made by one of my very first clients, and given as a gift when we ended. It means a great deal to me.

What’s your favourite word?

Glaikit. It's Scottish and it describes perfectly how I feel at the end of a long day.

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