At Muddy Puddles we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to therapy. Each child or young person has different needs, wants and likes. That’s why we have brought together a multi-disciplinary team consisting of allied health professionals and creative arts therapists. Our practitioners work together to provide innovative supports to cater for individual needs.
One of our creative arts practitioners is Michaela Burtenshaw. Michaela practices Dramatherapy which is an immersive practice where the therapist enters the world of imagination and play with the young person, promoting a sense of empowerment and ownership in the intervention as the power dynamic is neutralised in the process.
Michaela is a passionate advocate for the rights of young people and believes in the healing qualities of the creative therapies. In her practice Michaela incorporates storytelling, dance, movement, puppetry, ritual, theatre-making and play and believes these are perfect age appropriate tools to engage young people in therapy. She also uses role play and film making as they are appealing visual tools to promote understanding and practice ‘real life’ in the safety of the therapy room.
Creativity is one of Michaela’s strengths and she has endless ways to involve, inspire and support young people to reach their goals. Michaela offers individual and group programs and is committed to delivering a client-centred service where every therapy plan is uniquely designed around the young person. She believes in the power of a strength-based practice and aims for every child to walk out of a session with a boost in their self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. All the young people who work with Michaela are given the opportunity to showcase their achievements to ensure their abilities are always recognised.
In the past ten years Michaela has gained skills and knowledge in client support, youth work, and is now a registered Dramatherapy practitioner. Michaela was previously the coordinator of Save the Children’s mobile youth service for NSW where she created evidenced based creative digital programming and facilitated health programming across NSW to some of the hardest to engage youth. It was during this time that Michaela advanced her education and interests in child protection and youth advocacy and has carried this commitment and drive into all facets of her ongoing work.
Michaela works with Muddy Puddles four days a week as a Dramatherapy practitioner and Program Manager. In addition to working with clients 1:1, Michaela facilitates a range of group programs including the Youth Advocacy Group (17-24 years), Kick Start – fitness for mind and body (teens), Snapshot – imaginative and dramatic play for development (primary and teens), Graze – social and independence skills (teens +) and Stretch - transition to high school. She also coordinates our program schedule and manages our Client Support Team who provide one on one support and therapy assistance.
Michaela’s favourite quote:
‘Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely normal.’ Marilyn Munroe
If you are interested in knowing more about the benefits of Dramatherapy, Michaela would be happy to have a chat on 02 4472 6939.