Who are the SOFIA therapists?
There are three of us delivering the therapy in SOFIA: Victoria, Lucy and myself.
We are all experienced Speech and Language Therapists who have specialised in working with people with post-stroke aphasia. We have also received specialist training in Solution Focused Brief Therapy. Part of this training was at BRIEF, a leading centre in the approach. I also led part of training here at City, University of London, sharing what I have learnt from the preliminary studies. Professor Alan Simpson and Dr Chris Flood, mental health nurses, also contributed to the training, in particular, exploring ways to respond when someone is in distress. The final part of the training involved working with the members of the Aphasia Advisory Group, who enabled the therapists to practice therapy techniques and gave helpful feedback.
The therapists on the project receive specialist monthly supervision from Kidge Burns, a leading expert in the approach. We also have a strong belief in the value of peer support: sharing ideas, having a chance to talk through how it’s going and enjoying each other’s company.
Lucy and Victoria are combining their work for SOFIA with busy NHS roles. Lucy works for the Royal London Hospital, part of Barts Health NHS Trust, and Victoria works for the community neurology service, East London NHS Foundation Trust. I am combining delivering the therapy with running the project – which I find keeps me very busy!
Clinical supervision: Kidge Burns
We are lucky to have Kidge Burns as our clinical supervisor on the project. Kidge is a Speech and Language Therapist who worked for many years at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. She is a leading expert in Solution Focused Brief Therapy with a particular interest in using the approach with people who have long-term health conditions. She has written widely on the subject, including ‘Focus on Solutions: A Health Professional’s Guide’ (revised second edition, published by Solutions Books, 2016). She has also trained many Speech and Language Therapists and other healthcare professionals on how to use the approach, and is now part of Solution Focused Trainers, an accredited provider of Solution Focused Training. Since 2013 Kidge has been part of the United Kingdom Association for Solution Focused Practice Accreditation Party.