About us


Who are we?

Active Play Therapies was set up in 2014 by two occupational therapists,  Anna Willis and Amelia Bray. We provide occupational and play therapy to children, families and adults across Dorset. We specialise in sensory integration, mental health, behaviour, neurodevelopmental conditions (autism, ADHD), picky eating and relationships.

You can download our leaflet and read more about us and what we offer here:

Active Play Therapies Leaflet


Our Therapists

Anna Willis | Co-owner of Active Play Therapies, OT and Advanced SI Practitioner

Anna

Anna


Anna has over 10 years of experience working with children with autism, and graduated with a BSc (Hons) in OT in 2008. Anna and has spent the past 10 years as an OT working with children and adults with a range of  learning disabilities and autism. Anna has completed post graduate sensory integration (SI) training and is an Advanced SI Practitioner

Anna enjoys playing, and believes that play is the primary occupation of children (and is still important in adulthood!), so tries to incorporate a playful approach to therapy.

Anna is experienced in training parents, carers and professionals in group and individual settings. Anna is particularly interested in children who are ‘picky eaters’ and has successfully worked with parents and their children to increase the range of foods they will eat.
Anna can provide interventions including:

  • Sensory advice and toolkits (previously known as sensory diets)
  • Self-regulation education for children and adults around their sensory needs (e.g. using The Alert Program)
  • SOS Picky Eaters for children struggling to eat a wide range of foods
  • Reports around support needed for daily living
  • Skill development for daily living
  • Sensory integration therapy
  • Sensory based therapy

Amelia Bray | Co-owner of Active Play Therapies, OT and Play Therapist

Amelia

Amelia

Amelia is an OT, who graduated with BSc (Hons) in OT in 2006 and is also a Certified Play Therapist, with a specialist interest in children and young people with mental health difficulties. Amelia currently works with children with learning disabilities who have mental health and behavioural difficulties.

Amelia is experienced in delivering psycho education to parents, carers and professionals in group and individual sessions. Amelia enjoys working with children on a 1:1 basis but also believes that taking a family approach to particular problems is beneficial.
Amelia has additional post graduate training in sensory integration and specialist OT assessments and can provide a range of interventions including:

  • Play Therapy assessments and Play Therapy individual sessions or group work for children with mild, moderate and severe mental health difficulties.
  • Sensory advice and toolkits (previously known as sensory diets)
  • Self-regulation education for children and adults around their sensory needs (e.g. using The Alert Program)
  • Reports around support needed for daily living
  • Skill development for daily living
  • SOS Picky Eaters for children struggling to eat a wide range of food

 

Marianne Frearson | OT and SI Practitioner

Marianne

Marianne

Since qualifying as an Occupational Therapist in 2008 Marianne has gathered a range of experience working in a variety of different services- Adolescent Inpatient Mental Health, Education and NHS Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Marianne has coordinated the adolescent inpatient group therapy program and since her degree has post graduate qualifications in Sensory Integration Practice, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (level 1) as well as Lego-Based Therapy. Marianne has a great deal of experience carrying out 1:1 therapy, group sessions, clinical/ managerial supervision, training and consultation. Marianne is a registered member of the Health & Care Professional’s Council and Sensory Integration Network. She is currently working in the Education setting alongside being an Independent Occupational Therapist. Marianne is able to offer a range of therapeutic interventions to meet the needs of complex young people.

 

 

Kate Cartwright | OT and SI Practitioner

Kate

Kate

Kate has over 18 years experience as a qualified Occupational Therapist both in the UK and overseas.  Working for the NHS since qualifying in 2000, she has worked in a variety of settings in Mental Health, Physical, and Autism services including inpatient mental health, community teams, drug rehabilitation and psychosis.  Kate has worked as a specialist OT in the NHS for the Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) Service for over 8 years and has completed post graduate sensory integration training.  She is a qualified SI practitioner with over 7 years of experience applying this to practice and using an Ayres SI therapy approach.

Kate is experienced in assessing and supporting young adults with AS to gain confidence and take steps towards independence and work towards their goals.  Passionate about supporting people to reach their potential, Kate can support adults with AS to fulfil work roles, having a wide range of experience in completing work assessments and advising HR/Occupational Health on reasonable adjustments for the workplace.

Kate regularly delivers training on AS to groups of professionals, carers, people with AS and others using her experience and specialism within the field.  Kate loves to facilitate groups for people with autism especially around sensory difficulties and employment.  Registered as a member of RCOT and the SI Network.

Kate can provide the following interventions to anyone over 15 years old:

  • Sensory advice and toolkits
  • Sensory based dyspraxia assessments and interventions
  • SI therapy and assessment using Ayres SI approach
  • Employment assessment and advice on reasonable adjustments for employers and employees
  • Assessment using AMPS for daily living skills to provide reports/ recommendations for care needs, benefits assessments such as PIP/ESA
  • Interventions for daily living skill development
  • Training for wide range of groups on AS

 

 

Faye

Faye

Faye John | Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist & Registered Mental Health Nurse

Faye has 15 years of experience working with Children, Young People and families with the NHS, across all “tiers” of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS). She has worked extensively with acutely unwell young people who are in need of crisis and intensive home treatment, within inpatient and community settings. She has also worked with children and young people with mild to moderate emotional health needs within schools and clinics as a Primary Mental Health Worker. Faye is a qualified RMN who has undertaken additional training in Motivational interviewing, Dialectical behaviour Therapy (DBT) and has gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Cognitive behavioural Therapy from the Charlie Waller Institute at The University of Reading. She is registered with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP).

 

What Faye can offer children aged 7 and above, and adults:

  • Evidence-based Psychological treatment for anxiety disorders (including phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and related conditions, and depression.
  • Understanding and development of coping skills to manage: relationships, destructive behaviours, intense emotions, sleep difficulties, stress, adjustment and loss.

 

Becca Shelton | OTBecca

Since qualifying as an OT (occupational therapist) in 2013 Becca has gained a wealth of experience working in a range of inpatient and community roles within the NHS. Becca has been working in community paediatrics (children’s therapy) for the past 2 years and experience working with children with Development Coordination Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cerebral Palsy. Becca is a member of the Sensory Integration Network and has completed the first module on her way to becoming a Sensory Integration practitioner.

Becca has an interest in using both sensory and motor based approaches in therapy to promote independence and function for children. Becca is able to offer a range of assessments and intervention strategies to meet the needs of children and young people.

Becca is able to offer Saturday and week day evening appointments.