Sue Gascoyne is an experienced and insightful Play and Creative Arts Therapist skilled in using creative media, particularly messy play with children. Her work with children aged 4 to 11 years and older, covers a range of issues including attachment, anger, self-esteem, behaviour, grief, illness and autism. Trained in Level 1 Theraplay, which she regularly uses in her work with clients, and a specialist in sensory processing, clients access a wealth of messy play resources in addition to Sue’s extensive toolkit of puppets, role-play, musical instruments and art and crafts. Her warm empathetic approach ensures strong relationships, enabling children to process difficult issues and develop mastery and self-esteem. Sue has an impressive track record of supporting children to bring about positive and lasting change and a readiness to engage in their learning.
With extensive experience of providing Play Therapy in schools and for private clients, Sue holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy with Distinction and a Post Graduate Certificate I Therapeutic Play. As a published author with a specialism in sensory processing, messy play is common. Sue particularly favours the use of creative media such as paint, sand, messy play, clay and role-play, as with appropriate support these resources can be used by children to explore emotions, change, build resilience and mastery. Sue is a member of PTUK, holds an advanced DBS, has a certificate in Sensory Attachment Integration training and is currently undertaking TraumaPlay and Autplay training.
Sue works therapeutically with children either individually or in groups. Her background in sensory processing, autism and sensory attachment has also proved immensely helpful in working with autistic children or those with sensory attachment difficulties.
Based in Essex and working throughout East Anglia, Sue Gascoyne is an accredited Creative Arts and Play Therapist primarily supporting children with emotional and behavioural issues who have experienced trauma. Sue specialises in messy play, sensory processing, autism and sensory attachment. She particularly favours the use of creative media to help clients explore and express emotions, build resilience and bring about positive changes.
Sue has written numerous books and research papers including her latest book Messy Play in the Early Years, Learning Through Material Engagements, which was published by Routledge in December 2018. Drawing heavily from her use of messy play materials in a therapeutic context, Sue has presented at the international European Early Childhood Education Research Association conference as well as being published in the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal. Sue's latest contribution to practitioner understanding is her chapter Planning Successful Therapeutic Material Engagements – Charting a Course From Danger to the Safe Zone in the forthcoming International Handbook of Play, Therapeutic Play and Play Therapy.
With over ten years’ experience in the education sector and 25 years as an award-winning trainer, Sue launched multi-award-winning sensory equipment company Play to Z Ltd in 2006 specialising in providing quality, environmental and ethically-made resources to support wellbeing and learning. Maintaining an active role as Creative Director, this ethical and environmental focus remains a key driver.
Sue is passionate about the importance of play in our lives and strongly motivated by a desire to make a difference to children’s lives through creative arts and play therapy, training, writing and research.