Dr Michelle Blundy
Clinical Psychologist, Certified DDP practitioner, Director of Blossoming Minds
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 growing family. 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 first came to mental health over 28 years ago when she worked with adults who required substantial support in order for them to live independently. In 2003 Salena enrolled on the Mental Health Nursing degree through the University of Plymouth. After graduating in 2006 she worked in a secure hospital in Lancashire supporting women who had experienced significant trauma through their lives. After gaining competencies and experience working as a qualified mental health nurse Salena then went on to work in a CAMHS inpatient unit in Leeds. The inpatient setting offered development and skills in group work and a range of evidence based psychological interventions, and this is where she developed an interest working with young people and children which she has continued in her nursing career. In 2008 Salena moved back to her home county of Cornwall where she worked initially in a school setting and then for the NHS as a CAMHS crisis worker. Salena works at all times to support the young person, working creatively, curiously and playfully by collaboratively engaging families/carers and the young person's wider network. She has always felt privileged to sit alongside people and be included in their stories and experiences. In January 2021 Salena is due to commence Non Violent Resistance (NVR) training which she is hoping to use in her work with families through Blossoming Minds.
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. At the time of joining the Blossoming Minds team, Cathy is undertaking 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 worked in the field of communication for over 20 years. After leaving college, she had the opportunity to work with adults who have physical and learning disabilities, mental health problems, and/or behaviour difficulties. This experience gave her a valuable insight into living with a communication difficulty. Ruth's early experiences of finding a way to communicate with people who really struggled to get their message across inspired her to become a speech and language therapist. Following on from this, Ruth has worked in a range of settings focusing on children’s communication, including mainstream schools and special schools. Ruth finds working with children and their families thoroughly rewarding. Early intervention is crucial, but the current financial climate of NHS Speech and Language Therapy Services is often unable to respond quickly, due to the demands of large caseloads. Ruth offers quality speech and language therapy services in a way that benefits the individual child and the needs of their family. She uses therapy techniques that are evidence based and uses a solution-focused approach.
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.