MEET THE TEAM
As the founder of Transitions I feel extremely fortunate to be in a position where my work involves bringing together my passion for horses, mental health and being outdoors. My love of horses and the outdoors began in childhood, with my interest in mental health coming a little later. I went on to study psychology at The University of York.
My professional life has involved working with people and animals in a variety of different settings including; in private practice, in schools, on community projects, within the care system, running a riding school, as well as working as a freelance Think Like a Pony instructor across the UK. Transitions was officially incorporated in 2015, although we ran some funded pilot projects prior to this, since then it has felt a little like building a jigsaw puzzle. My vision is a therapeutic center where people of all ages can access, regardless of their circumstances, a selection of therapeutic activities which both work together as an integrative whole and are standalone approaches in their own right. Over the years I have been drawn to approaches that ‘feel right’ for Transitions and all have a common thread; they facilitate connection to oneself, to others and/or to nature.
My training in Equine Therapy has included the EAGALA model, The Horse Boy method, becoming a Think Like a Pony instructor and more recently a certificate in Equine Assisted Learning through Athena CIC. I worked for several years as a Think Like A Pony instructor and loved it, each horse and human that I met taught me something new and although I am no longer working as an instructor the approach still very much influences how I work today. Lynn Henry (the founder of Think Like a Pony) was my instructor as a child and the input she has given me over the years not only influenced my relationship with horses but also played a huge role in shaping who I am as a person.
I began my training as a Biodynamic Body Psychotherapist in 2015. This process was transformative. Challenging and wonderful in equal measures. I am currently practicing as an Advanced Trainee Psychotherapist under the umbrella of Transitions and I am looking to become fully qualified and UKCP accredited in 2021. I was drawn to this work because as with EAP it is an embodied and holistic approach to mental health which is entirely congruent with my belief that mental and physical wellbeing are interlinked. The Biodynamic model fits beautifully with Equine Therapy and I very much feel that I now work as a Biodynamic therapist whether in the therapy room or in a field or in a Forest.
I was introduced to Forest school by Annie Berrington from Get Out More and I trained with Patrick Harrison from Greenbow, qualifying in 2016, I went on to work for Annie on the All For Play project in Keighley. Being a Forest School Practitioner is so much fun and I really believe that getting children and adults outdoors is key to improving wellbeing across our society. I have been offering Forest School sessions in a variety of settings across Yorkshire since I qualified and it is a privilege to witness the impact the sessions have on those that take part.
Thrive is the most recent addition to Transitions and it complements our other work. There a lot of overlap in terms of ethos with both Biodynamic Therapy and Forest School. I am extremely passionate about offering good quality support for mental health and wellbeing to children and young people and Thrive enables me to exactly that. I am proud to be a part of a movement towards mental health having a bigger profile in schools.
Relationships are at the heart of this company and I look forward to welcoming you whether as a client, practitioner or funder.
My name is Nicky and my role within the Transitions York team is as a Director and co-facilitator of our fantastic Forest School Holiday sessions, I also happen to be Hannah’s sister! I’m passionate about the outdoors and my ‘happy place’ is exploring the hills with my family and our dog ’Blue’. My Forest School journey began a few years ago, when I volunteered at a Forest School session that Hannah was running. I loved it and haven’t looked back! Working as co-facilitator of the Forest School sessions allows me the opportunity to nurture and support groups of children the outdoor environment that I love.
In the coming year, I’m looking to qualify as a Forest School practitioner, which will enable me to facilitate sessions independently in my local area. Giving children the opportunity to develop both social and practical skills away from the constraints of a traditional classroom setting is so valuable. I feel incredibly lucky to be involved in such a worthwhile initiative.
I have been involved with Transitions from the beginning, having met Hannah during my Alexander Technique Training during 2013. Many cups of tea were drunk, and many long dog walks taken whilst vague notions were gradually refined into the concept that has become Transitions.
We have big ideas for what Transitions can and will be, and have shown persistence and determination to keep the vision alive and gradually move toward realising it.
I have cofacilitated group equine therapy sessions with a diverse set of client groups, and found it to be incredibly rewarding and exciting to support wonderful changes that our work can bring. My involvement in our funded projects also has included helping to source the funding as well as building and maintaining relationships with our stakeholders. In terms of my facilitation of sessions, my specialism is in the Alexander Technique, which allows me to bring a focus on the link between our thought patterns and our physical being. This has allowed us to work with clients learning about how their thoughts influence their body (and vice versa) and sometimes even empower clients to use their own body in ways they hadn’t thought possible.
My introduction to the equine world was through Hannah, and I am extremely grateful for the experiences this has given me, most notably through relationships with people and animals. One way of describing our collective vision for Transitions would be to facilitate these for others, regardless of their place within the wider community.
My involvement paused after recovering from a major motorcycle accident and a relocation to the countryside surrounding Winchester and I am excited to be back on board in the role of Director.
I have a diverse set of experiences and interests to inform my role at Transitions. Finishing school my passion was for playing guitar, and as such I chose to study in London in order to access the music scene whilst I was studying Mechanical Engineering. Whilst studying in London, and mainly through musical connections, I stumbled upon the Alexander Technique which I used initially to help my guitar playing, it later becoming a part of my everyday life. Upon graduation, I travelled extensively in Asia and across the southern USA, before returning to the UK to work in Engineering. I swiftly decided that office life wasn’t for me and chose to further my interest in the Alexander Technique by doing the 3 year full time training to become a teacher of the Technique. Upon my relocation to Berkshire and then Hampshire, I had a stint as Stable manager at Newbury Riding for the Disabled Association before becoming a high performance driving coach for Mercedes-AMG at their Mercedes Benz World facility in Surrey.
I pursue trading and investment seriously, with the intention to transition to working for myself in this field within the next few years, thus allowing me to return to Transitions as a facilitator as well as in a Director role.
My Director’s role within Transitions is currently primarily as a sounding board via regular meetings & ongoing communication. I also manage the risk assessments including ongoing revision and checking we live up to our own standards.
Always excited to hear from you regarding anything Transitions.... firstname.lastname@example.org
I first met Hannah and the horses in 2013 when I was training to be an Alexander Technique teacher. As part of our training we had weekly sessions with the horses and it was a wonderful experience. When the opportunity arose, I volunteered for a project supporting people with learning disabilities who were coming for sessions at Transitions and loved that too. Now, after a break, I am delighted to have re-joined Transitions as a Director and also as a co-facilitator.
In 2014, I qualified as an Alexander Technique teacher and have been teaching Alexander Technique since then. My background is as a clinical psychologist working in the NHS with people with physical health problems. I worked for over 20 years in clinical psychology training and was an active researcher initially at UCL in London and then at the University of Hull. I left my job as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Hull in March 2021.
JOIN THE TEAM
If you would to get involved with Transitions as a volunteer, practitioner, partner organization or funder, we would love to hear from you.