Poetry as Therapy
Meet Amber Law Collaborator, Dr Pooky Knightsmith
An internationally respected face of child and adolescent mental health, Dr Pooky works tirelessly to ‘be the change she wants to see’. A prolific keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer and author, she develops and shares practical, evidence-informed approaches to promoting mental health – arming health and education staff with the skills, information and knowledge they need to support the children in their care; whilst also working hard to drive collaboration and change at a national and international level amongst politicians and charity, business and service leads.
Dr Pooky, who has a PhD in child mental health from the Institute of Psychiatry, is the author of seven books and was previously the chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. She is also an autistic mum of two who works hard every day to win her own battles against PTSD, anorexia, self-harm and depression. When she is not working, she is usually climbing or singing.
Dr Pooky authored a book about using poetry to promote talking and healing. The book is “…a clear and practical guide to the use of poetry as a therapeutic tool to help explore issues surrounding mental health and emotional wellbeing with young people and adults. The book includes over 100 poems on topics such as bullying, anxiety, bereavement, depression and eating disorders, with a range of therapeutic activities that can be used alongside each poem…” Dr Pooky offers Speaking Engagements and Coaching in these areas.
A prolific keynote speaker, trainer and workshop lead, Dr Pooky is comfortable diving deep with a handful or people or addressing an audience of thousands. Whether talking to international leaders or local youth workers, she prides herself on her ability to break complex and challenging ideas down into practical strategies that can be put into practice right away. Dr Pooky effortlessly interweaves the latest evidence base and clinical best practice into her talks which are tailored to meet the needs of each audience - and responsive to their needs, questions and experiences shared on the day.
Recent topics that have gone down well include:
- You are what you do, and what you do matters
- Meeting the mental health needs of every learner
- Breaking the self-harm cycle
- Mental Health: putting policy into practice
- Practical strategies for promoting resilience
- Understanding and supporting students with eating disorders
- Teaching about mental health safely and sensitively
- Depression: helping young people to help themselves
- Anxiety: when to worry and what to do next
Dr Pooky regularly addresses staff working at all levels across education, health and social care in the UK and overseas and can work with you to develop a session that will inspire and empower.