Dr Michelle Blundy
Clinical Psychologist, Certified DDP Consultant, Clinical Director
Michelle has been working within mental health settings since 2004, volunteering in several assistant roles within adult psychiatric services before spending a couple of years as a Graduate Mental Health Worker, delivering time limited CBT interventions to adults. Once she began her Doctoral training however, she finally found her true calling and has worked solely with children and their families since 2011. She worked within Cornwall CAMHS for 8 years, undertaking mental health and neurodevelopmental assessments; delivering long term psychological therapy; providing support to young people at high risk of self harm; offering clinical supervision to staff of all disciplines; and taking on leadership roles within the trust. Michelle took a big risk in setting up her own independent practice, Blossoming Minds, in January 2019, the primary driver of which was a wish to offer more authentic and creative trauma and attachment informed interventions, as well as to find a better work-life balance that fit around her family needs. Michelle has been privileged to work with many families who have inspired her to continue to learn about the impact of childhood trauma and ruptures to early relationships on life long development and mental well being, and she is excited to grow her practice, with big plans on the horizon!
Pip has been working as an Occupational Therapist in CAMHS for over 25 years in a range of settings including In-patient Adolescent Units and Community Based CAMHS teams. Prior to this, Pip worked in both Adult Mental Health and Elderly Mental Health in London but following the birth of her second child, she decided to try a new venture working in an Adolescent Unit in Surrey. This was a steep learning curve but an amazing experience of a Therapeutic community approach. Pip ran several groups for the young people and took part in all aspects of the Unit. After moving to Cornwall in 2000, Pip spent time looking after her children before finding work in the Plymouth Camhs Team and In-patient Unit. Pip co-ordinated the Group Therapy Programme and ran a number of groups alongside other clinicians. Pip was also part of the Out-Patient multi-disciplinary team and spent time working at a Day Assessment Unit for children where her skills in understanding complex children were enhanced. In 2010 Pip moved to the Cornwall Camhs Team where she stayed for 8 years, Pip undertook the ADOS training in 2002 in order to support the assessment of children with possible ASD. Pip developed a particular interest in girls on the autism spectrum and how they presented differently to boys when referred to Camhs. In 2018, Pip left the Camhs Team to join the Cornwall Children’s and Young Peoples Eating Disorders Team. Pip continues to work as part of this team offering systemic interventions and Parent Group Support.
Speech and Language Therapist
Erin qualified as a speech and language therapist with a 1st class honours degree from the university of St Mark and St John in 2015. Prior to undertaking her first role as a community paediatric therapist in the NHS, Erin worked as a speech and language therapy assistant from 2009 and maintained this role throughout her training. Since qualifying, in addition to grass roots work in the NHS, Erin has worked within several more specialised roles including as a speech and language therapist at an independent school for children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEMH), traumatic adverse childhood experiences and/or neurodevelopmental disabilities including Autistic Spectrum Condition, Down Syndrome, Moderate Learning Disabilities, Selective Mutism and Brain Injury. Erin has worked within multi-disciplinary teams to assess and diagnose communication difficulties in children with complex histories since qualifying as a speech and language therapist and prefers to work in this way as it enables holistic assessment and support to be provided for the children under her care. Erin regularly undertakes professional development activities spanning the 3 domains of speech, language and social communication as well as children’s wellbeing. For instance, she has completed training in compassion focused therapy, adolescent neuro-development, child attachment/trauma and the role of speech and language therapists in supporting children with SEMH. Working as part of the multi-disciplinary team for Blossoming Minds is a welcome opportunity for Erin to continue to support children in a holistic and compassionate way so that they can be supported to make sense of their history, their unique strengths and difficulties, and work therapeutically with families to ensure the child can thrive.
Specialist Mental Health Nurse, Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) Practitioner (in training)
Salena Evangelista is a skilled and compassionate Registered Mental Health Nurse with over 17 years of experience in both NHS and private settings. Specialising in the assessment and treatment of mental health conditions in young people and adults, Salena focuses on clients who have experienced developmental trauma and adversity.
At the core of Salena's practice is her dedication to building strong and empathetic relationships with her clients. She offers person-centred care tailored to each individual's unique needs and works at the client's pace. Salena emphasises the strengths and individuality of her clients, helping them nurture and enhance their existing support systems.
As a passionate and experienced mental health professional, Salena continually develops her expertise in working with young people and their families to navigate the impact of trauma and adversity. When collaborating with Salena, clients can expect a compassionate, understanding, and supportive environment that fosters healing and growth.
Occupational Therapist, Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner
Cathy qualified as an occupational therapist in 1996. She has primarily worked in community-based learning disability, paediatric and brain injury services - in practitioner and managerial roles, as well as in recent years being involved in the delivery of postgraduate specialist practitioner training. She has a special interest in developmental trauma, which emerged from working with children with social, emotional and mental health disorders in specialist schools and residential care settings. Cathy is an Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner, holds a Postgraduate Diploma in SI, and has Level 1 training in Sensory Attachment Intervention. Cathy has undertaken training in Attachment, Neurodevelopment and Psychopathology through the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust.
Cathy currently works in independent practice, case management, and provides some specialist mentoring and supervision to other therapists, alongside her work for Blossoming Minds.
Speech and Language Therapist
Ruth has always had a special interest in the most complex communicators and has had opportunities to develop specialisms in autism, alternative and augmentative communication, selective mutism and most recently supporting the language skills of those who have experienced trauma. Ruth's role with Blossoming Minds has led her to undertake specialist training and to develop her skills in working within a multi-disciplinary team who understand the impact of early trauma. In September 2022, Ruth took a part time permanent role at a specialist education provision for students who have experience of social, emotional and mental health difficulties. This has given her the opportunity to work within an education team to support students to develop their language skills, and to support staff to understand the deficits in language development associated with early trauma. Ruth has also had the opportunity to co-chair the developmental trauma CEN for other speech and language therapists working in this area and, whilst this professional network is in it’s early stages (first year), it already has a strong following.
Jan has nearly 45 years experience in office administration and was a personal secretary for 25 of those. Latterly she has devoted time to supporting a family business with these skills and is an easy fit to come on board Blossoming Minds as Personal Assistant to our Director, Michelle.
Jan is super excited to be joining our team in this support role and understands though lived experience the challenges of parenting children with mental health difficulties. She says that growing her emotional learning over the years is always rewarding and tries her best to live with compassion, empathy and kindness.
Alongside this role she has an even more important one as Grandma ‘Moo Moo’ to four little ones. This means she is well versed in dealing with children from little ones through to adult. She will be your initial contact person and is there to help in anyway possible.
Trauma Informed Practitioner / Youth Support Worker, Managing Director
Ben has recently completed the Level 5 Diploma in Trauma Informed Schools and Communities with TIS-UK, and is offering flexible, relational and long term youth support to Blossoming Minds. He has always had a background in working with young people, having spend many years as a Youth Hockey Coach, but this had almost always been something he did voluntarily, rather than for work. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Ben decided on a career change and left his job as a General Manager within a local leisure service, and embarking on the TIS-UK Diploma and gradually building up his experience. He works part time for Blossoming Minds, and part time for a specialist Youth Service called Pioneers Project. Ben is really enjoying the emotionally rich and engaging work he is doing with young people, and feels privileged to have this opportunity.
Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Emma is in her third and final year of doctoral training with the University of Plymouth to become a Clinical Psychologist. Emma has worked in mental health and learning disability services since 2013. Prior to her doctoral training Emma worked in adult forensic services and, predominantly in Child Learning Disability Services. During this work, it was always important for Emma to work relationally and consider attachment in the context of her work.
Emma has always been interested in working with young people who have been adopted. Emma’s learning and interest in adoption, attachment and developmental trauma has deepened throughout training and she was left feeling inspired to work in this area following a teaching session from Michelle in her first year of training. Shortly after this session, Emma sought a placement with Michelle for her whole third year. Emma will be splitting this year in two as she will be going on maternity leave from February 2023 and will return to the team in January 2024.
Working with children and families is where Emma has always really enjoyed working and hopes to continue to do so once qualified. Emma is very much looking forward to working with the team, getting to know the families and continuing her learning.
Adele qualified as a Music Therapist with distinction from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. She has experience working with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities including Autism, Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities, and Brain Injury, and also has experience working in Adult Mental Health.
Through the non-verbal medium of music, Adele aims to provide a space in which individuals can explore, process, communicate and express their needs and emotions. She strives to meet children where they are and aims to support the children through therapy by providing a secure and appropriate space for them to do this. She enjoys using a variety of musical interventions with instruments such as the saxophone, guitar, piano and percussion instruments in her practice to support the child.
Adele enjoys working as part of a multidisciplinary team and is looking forward to joining the team at Blossoming Minds to provide holistic care and assessment to help support those she is working with. She strives to work in a person-led framework, putting the individually of the children at the forefront of her work.
Adele is registered with the Health & Care Professions Council, UK, and is a member of the British Association for Music Therapy.
Dr Jessica Black
Jess feels privileged to be part of the Blossoming Minds team, to work with a diverse and highly-skilled team and to continue working with children and families who have experienced trauma and adversity. During the first placement of her Clinical Psychology training, and under the supervision of Michelle (our clinical director), Jess discovered a passion for working with children and young people. Jess was drawn to working with children because of the insight and unique perspective they so often possess, alongside the opportunity to be share in their stories, and the fact that no single day is ever the same. She qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2017 and has been working with children and families in CAMHS and Pediatric Psychology ever since. This has involved completing psychological assessments and working collaboratively with young people to achieve their goals, working with multidisciplinary teams and working very closely with parents and carers. During this time, Jess has also become a parent for the first time which has provided a new perspective on children, emotions, parenting and family relationships.
Certified DDP and Theraplay Practitioner
Jen has a background in social work and has worked with children and young people who have experienced trauma for over 20 years, and previously managed a Local Authority Post Adoption service. Jen has undertaken training in Sensory Attachment Intervention (SAI) and has developed a particular interest in this area. She has worked closely with occupational therapists for the past 8 years developing support services for children who experience challenges with sensory regulation.
Mental Health Nurse and Therapeutic Life Story Therapist
Sophie is a dual trained Paediatric and Mental Health Nurse. She first qualified in 2010 working on children's medical and surgical children's wards in London before deciding to pursue her passion for Mental Health care. Sophie has worked across inpatient/community CAMHS settings and most recently in a school for young people with additional Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs.
Sophie has three young children and an older step-daughter, recently moving into independent practice to manage her work around her family. She believes in working flexibly with families to meet individual's needs at their own pace.
Sophie is passionate about Trauma Informed Practice. She has completed
training in Therapeutic Life Story Work and is currently undertaking training in Internal Family Systems therapy.
Sophie believes in the importance of young people and their families' stories being heard, in offering space to help process, understand and manage difficult experiences.
Sophie is excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Blossoming Minds team, to work with skilled clinicians who share a passion in giving families the best possible Mental Health support.