Choosing A Therapist

At TESSA we aim to provide a therapy service accessible to adopters throughout Northern Ireland. We have a small group of therapists throughout the province, with their own specialisms and areas of interest, and all of whom fit the TESSA criteria for standards of good practice.

Below you will find the profiles of our current therapists and the services they offer.





Name: Neil Foster
Location: Belfast
Registered/accredited with:

HCPC, Registered member

NISCC, Registered member

Code of Ethics observed:

BACP Ethical Framework

NISCC Standards of Conduct & Practice


· BA (hons) [Royal Conservatoire of Scotland]

· MMT [City University, Nordoff Robbins, London]



Neil Foster is an HCPC registered Music Therapist currently working with children, young people and adults in the County Down and Belfast area.

Having trained as a classical musician, Neil worked as a session musician, community musician and music educator for a number of years before training as a Music Therapist, gradating with a Masters in Music therapy (MMT) from the Nordoff-Robbins centre (London) in 2006.

Since then he has worked across a range of social care and educational settings as well as in private practice, publishing research on new music therapy approaches within the fields of trauma and life threatening illness, and pioneering new music therapy services for organisations such as Mencap, the National Autistic Society, Combat Stress and the Royal Marsden NHS Trust.

Neil moved back to Northern Ireland from London in 2015 and has since worked locally for Lifeline, Contact NI and Victim Support NI, offering crisis support through creative arts and music therapy for young people and their families, particularly those affected by domestic violence, early abuse and neglect. Through this work, Neil gained several years experience of supporting looked after and adopted children through complex family litigation, working closely with social services and the family court system.

Neil has supported adopted children and families with complex needs in a range of settings since qualifying in 2006. His main areas of specialism are trauma and additional learning needs, and he employs a creative, play based and child centred approach.


 Please contact TESSA



Name: Oonagh Campbell
Location:       Southern Health & Social Care Trust Area
I am registered/accredited with: BAAT, HPC, NISCC & Aura-Soma Academy
Code of Ethics observed: BAAT, HPC, NISCC & Aura-Soma Academy
My qualifications are: Dip Psycho-Social Counselling
PG Dip Art Therapy
Art Foundation Course
BSC Hons Social Work with CQSW qual
Special interest/experience: Art Therapy
I work with: Children
Additional Information: From as long as I can remember making art to communicate has been my passion. Therefore, it is my delight and privilege to have been practicing as an art therapist since 1999 with children, parent(s) adults and groups for greater wellbeing and healing. I am indebted to all of those who chosen to work with me over the years.

Much of my experience has been with children and their families in Looked After Care and Adoption which is where my professional life began as a residential child care worker in 1992. I am skilled at working with participants who are traumatised by identifying the survival patterns they are operating out of and facilitating ways in which they can understand and regulate their emotional states. The need to engage creatively to meet the needs of young people in the care setting was the impetus for me to train as an Art Therapist.

Fuelled by my passion to make art making opportunities available to as many as possible. I established an independent service called, ‘Art – Well-Being for ALL’ in 2014.   The aim of this service is to provide opportunities to make art for therapeutic benefit in settings where this is not currently available. To enable this to happen I do not have a therapy room but liaise to provide therapy in locations that will best serve the needs of the individual or organisation who presents.

My development as a therapist continues to evolve. As a result the services offered by, ‘Art ~ Well-Being for ALL’ emerge from the professional trainings of Social Work, Art Therapy, Aura-Soma®Advanced Practitioner, Vedic Art®, ‘The Just Right State Programme®’ (Eadaoin Bhreathnach), and being a Professional Artist. I have completed training in Capacitar Multicultural Wellness Education which teaches “a core program of energy-based healing practices that awaken and empower people”. All of these methods and techniques are integrated into my art therapy practice in accordance with the needs of the child, parent, adult, group whom I encounter.

I look forward to the journey of working together, witnessing your art and listening together to the promptings and invitations that are beckoning to you at this time.

Name: Sharon Coulter
Location:       Ballymena & 25 mile radius
I am registered/accredited with: I am registered/accredited with: NISCC, HCPC & BADth
Code of Ethics observed: Same as above
My qualifications are: MA Dramatherapy
MA Social Work
BA (Hon) Modern & Contemporary History
Extra Mural Certificate – Community Drama
Post Graduate Certificate – Theatre & Performance Studies
Special interest/experience: Dramatherapy
I work with: children, young people, adults, families and carers, individually and in groups
Additional Information:
I have over 20 years’ experience working with young people, adults and families.
As a mental health practitioner in Child & Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) I have experience in working with parent/child attachment and young people affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
I’m particularly interested in how pre-birth and early childhood experiences affect emotional development and how the effects of negative experiences can be addressed by indirect playful interventions.I am a compassionate and empathetic therapist who believes that people can heal through the use of imagination and creative expression and that therapy has the greatest positive outcomes when there is trust and respect within the therapeutic relationship. My aim is therefore to create a non-judgemental atmosphere providing Dramatherapy structures that promote self-expression and an opportunity for self-exploration and healing.
Name:   Lizzie Devlin
Location:       Belfast/Greater Belfast County Antrim and Down.
I am registered/accredited with: Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
British Association for Art Therapist (BAAT), Member and approved by/registered with BAAT for Private Practice.
Code of Ethics observed: HCPC, BAAT.
My qualifications are:
MSc Art Psychotherapy with Merit (University of East London /Belfast Health and Social Care Trust) 2007-2010
Post Graduate Diploma in Arts Admin (UCD) 1992-1993
BA Honours in Fine Art (Painting, print-making/Art History (Leeds University) 1984-1988
BSL Stage 1, TEFL,Cert Com Dev 1988-1998
Ongoing CPD : Including Art Therapy and Treatment of Attachment Trauma, Level 2 Children Accelerated Trauma treatment and Intercultural Competency.
Special interest/experience: Art Therapy
I work with: Children, adults and groups
Additional Information:

I am a HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) registered Art Psychotherapist experienced in working with children,

young people and adults on a one to one and group basis.(MSc Art Psychotherapy, Centre for Psychotherapy Belfast and University of East London, 2011 ). I  have a background in Community Arts and my approach in Art Psychotherapy is Psychodynamic and Integrated.

Using art, play and creative expression is a natural language for children enabling them to communicate difficult and painful feelings.  Art Therapy can be particularly beneficial for children who have experienced early/developmental trauma and attachment difficulties. Art Therapy communicates when words simply cannot.

My experience of working with children includes: Looked After children, Adoption, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD and children impacted by Meningitis.

Specialist areas of clinical practice include early developmental trauma, Troubles related psychological and trans-generational trauma and PTSD.

I work with children and their Care-givers/Parents individually and jointly and with groups in many different settings both in schools and in the community.

Specialist training in trauma and attachment includes:

ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Train the Trainer Course (ACES Level 1 and 2) with the Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland.

Dyadic Art Therapy training with the British Association of Art Therapists , a joint art therapy approach involving children and their Caregivers/Parents which offers creative and playful activities, which can facilitate communication, discussion and benefit the relationship.

Children’s Accelerated Trauma Technique, Level 2, a child-centred technique for treating traumatic experiences and PTSD  developed in partnership with children and based on children’s rights principles.

CPCAB Level 6 Creative Supervision Across the Ages.

Name:           K Mosley
Location:       Belfast/Lisburn
I am registered/accredited with: BACP, PTUK, IACC
Code of Ethics observed: BACP, PTUK, IACC
My qualifications are: Dip Counselling Supervision
Cert Child Parent Relationship Therapy (filial therapy)
PGDip Play Therapy
PGCert Therapeutic Play
Cert Integrative Counselling
MA Pastoral Care and Counselling
Special interest/experience: Filial therapy
I work with: Children and young people ages 2-18, parents, young adults, therapy students and supervisees
Additional Information:
I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to offer filial therapy via the TESSA project!  I had the privilege of training in Child Parent Relationship Therapy under Sue Bratton all the way back in 2007 and have always found it to be the highlight of my therapy practice.  I have over over 20 years experience working with children and families in the helping professions, 13+ years supervised counselling/play therapy practice, 9+ years experience in filial therapy and 2 1/2 years experience as a clinical supervisor.
I have worked in the voluntary sector at the Oasis Counselling Service as a play therapist/youth counsellor and Children’s Project Co-ordinator and New Life Counselling as a play therapist/youth counsellor and Assistant Community Team Leader with both the OKAY (Only Kids and Youth) and Family teams. I have also run a small private practice called Shepherding Lambs Counselling and Training service since 2008.
I have worked with individual children and young people and groups using play therapy and counselling and do love training as well but the reason I love filial therapy so much is that it combines psychoeducation and practical sessions to teach parents how to do therapeutic play with their own children.  It enhances attachment, helps repair developmental trauma, and builds resilience in children and parents.  And it is all based on parents conducting play sessions with their children for just 30 minutes a week!
The best bit is that because it involves having such a fun, positive experience together, it can significantly reduce the impact of any difficulties you might be experiencing as a family unit.  I have used it not only as a therapist, but also as a mother with my own children so I have seen the positive results first hand.


Name: Norma Patterson
Location: Castlerock and Belfast
Willing to travel? no
I am accredited with BACP
Code of Ethics Observed BACP
My Qualifications are Degree in Psychology
Diploma in Person Centred Counselling
Diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy
Diploma in Play Therapy
Certificate in Creative Supervision
Special interest/experience Play therapy/ counselling adolescents/ suicide/bereavement.
I work with Parents and children
Name: Tania Watson
Location: Dromara/ Dromore Co Down
I’m registered/accredited with: The National Counselling Society
Code of ethics observed NCS Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling
My qualifications: Diploma in Trauma & Addictions Counselling Level 4 MNCS (Registered Accredited Member )
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Certificate
Level 6 Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator
Child Protection Training
Special interest/experience in: Fostering & Adoption (Parents & Children)
Adults & Young People
Attachment & Trauma
Additional information: My main areas of work include:
• Attachment focused work with parents and children using Theraplay and Filial Coaching
• Enabling self and co regulation through Sensory Attachment Integration approach.
• Therapeutic parenting support to families
Direct therapeutic work with children
My theoretical approach: Person-Centred, Integrative
I see: Children and Adults
Any other information:
I am registered as a Counsellor & Equine Therapist with the National Counselling Society (NCS) and have full professional membership with NCS. Equine Therapy is an innovative approach to counselling for social emotional & behavioural difficulties in individuals who find room based counselling all too much.   EFP/EFL supports clients of all ages in addressing therapeutic goals, with horses as co-facilitators and teachers, in this process.   Horses are non-judgemental and honest; these are invaluable qualities to have for people who have been through traumatic experiences.
Equine Therapy offers an alternative way of communicating verbally & non-verbally, better understanding & building on relationships, develop self awareness and gain a better understanding how our behaviour impacts on others around us.   Equine therapy also allows clients to express feelings & emotions in a non judgemental & safe environment while enjoying the outdoors.
I have extensive experience working in the Fostering and Adoption sector, working with children and families. I also work as part of a team with other professionals from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust. I have 40 years horse experience, I have enjoyed riding horses out bush in Africa and the outback of Australia.What is the difference between EFP & EFL
EFP uses equine-facilitated activities to explore the way a client sees and relates to themselves and others, their patterns of behaviour and survival as well as their gifts and strengths, and may include the exploration of past experiences and traumas.
EFL uses equine-facilitated activities as a tool for self development and education, with a focus on the present moment. Skills include non-verbal communication, assertiveness, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, relationship skills, confidence and resilience.