Angie Richardson

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Name

Angie Richardson

Qualifications

ATCL (Speech and Drama), Dip Tchng, BEd, MAAT (Hons, Clinical), AThR

My Experience

I am an experienced and registered primary school teacher. I have had counselling and psychotherapy training and in 2010 I completed a Masters Degree in Arts Therapy at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design.

For the past 30 years I have worked extensively with children. In partnership I ran the ‘Taylor-Richardson School of Drama’ for children in West Auckland for a number of years. Prior to teaching in the classroom I worked as a behavioural support worker in schools for children with challenging behaviours. I have vast experience working in the area of special needs. In this field I have been a drama therapist in a special needs school, was an arts therapist and student co-ordinator for MapuraStudios and worked for Dance Therapy NZ as a Movement therapist.

Currently I work two days a week at a special needs school as a Drama/Dance therapist. I facilitate art therapy groups for clients with Dementia Auckland and for clients recovering from mental health issues at Hearts and Minds. I am a drama tutor for InterAct working with adults who have disabilities. In my private practise ‘Creative Harmony’ I work with children/teens/adults either individually or with families using a multi modal approach that includes creative visual art making, drama, sandtray and movement. I run workshops for the Masters Programme at Whitecliffe and supervise clinical trainees. I am also a marriage celebrant!

I talk about

The importance and ease in which the expressive arts can be incorporated into the curriculum to support and enrich students learning. A hands-on workshop will enable teachers to experience the potency of the arts for themselves so they come away with tools and exercises that they can incorporate immediately into their classroom planning.

Play… shapes the Brain, opens the imagination and invigorates the soul (Brown, 2009). Many students present with a range of behavioural symptoms such as anxiety due to complex life issues including loss, developmental needs and social isolation. Learning is inhibited as students struggle to engage positively with debilitating symptoms. Discuss and learn about compassion, playfulness and creative ways that schools and teachers can use to enable these students to develop coping strategies and flourish.

As Arts therapy involves the body/mind relationship the field of neuroscience has taken an interest in its links between physiology, emotions and imagery. Schools and teachers can benefit from understanding this dynamic correlation and examine their pedagogical practise in this light.

Is your staffroom a happy place? Is there collegial relationships among the staff? Is there a good vibe in the school from teachers who feel listened to and have a sense of belonging. Happy teachers are more likely to mean happy students. I can facilitate a meaningful process to help change a negative work place through creative relationship building.

My key messages

Children suffering from emotional or psychological distress cannot learn to the best of their ability. Schools can make a difference for these children.

Neuroscience has demonstrated that positive emotions are crucial to strengthening synaptic connections and there are 4 key components to this.

The importance of play and playfulness for all ages including adults.

The benefits of having arts therapists in schools or being available to schools.

Age group/s

Children/Teens/Adults and their families

Availability

I am available for day and afternoon work for these presentations:

Teacher only days
Staff meetings
Full day packages

Any other information

I am passionate about the well being of children and believe that they have the right to be healed from stressful and difficult life situations so that they may learn and participate to the best of their ability. My concern about this prompted my change in career from classroom teacher to expressive arts therapist. I am very keen to speak and create inspiring presentations and workshops where I can share what I have learnt from a long and varied career working with children.

 

The clinical application of expressive arts therapy acknowledges the ancient wisdom of all cultures and societies who have used the arts to express and heal themselves. Our own personal willingness to have the courage to heal for our own wellbeing has a ripple effect. Healthy individuals create healthy families. Healthy families actively participate in healthy communities and these communities have the resources for hope and the energy for action to heal our beautiful planet.

I would be very pleased to discuss Professional Development in your school


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