I am a Qualified Social Worker holding a MA Degree in Social Policy and Social Work.
I have been working in Child Protection, Juvenile Justice and in Refugee Affairs in the UK, Hungary, India and the Philippines. I have more than 15 years of professional experience in working with disadvantaged youth from different marginalized groups such as street children, children affected by HIV, Gipsy youth, unaccompanied refugee minors, victims of human trafficking, juvenile offenders and victims of child prostitution.
I started feltmaking in 2007 as a hobby and over the years it became my passion and I became committed to establish SocialFelt - Craft, Touch and Care to provide psychosocial support through this beautiful art.
During my career in Social Work I have been working in cross-cultural settings in Europe and in Asia, where at times language and culture was a barrier in effective intervention and I became involved in searching for culture sensitive methods to deal with trauma, rehabilitation and healing in a non-verbal way.
Working with asylum seeker unaccompanied minors and victims of human trafficking in the UK, I soon realized that there is a gap in social welfare and mental health services, where professionals are less likely to be prepared to work with people from different cultures, especially if not speaking the same language. Most of the times there is no resource or access for adequate professional interpreters assisting in counselling or other therapies, or the person in need of help feels ashamed to talk in the presence of the interpreter about her/his problems due to cultural reasons. In the same time, Western-type psychotherapies might not be suitable to help people from cultures where expressing individual feelings and views are not appropriate.
Targeting the above mentioned issues, I started a research on craft therapies and I started developing the ‘Felt Therapy’, a method using feltmaking as a creative therapy in Social Work. I would like to introduce felt and wool as a culture sensitive therapeutic tool for healing, as a medium for rehabilitation of deprived and/or traumatized groups and communities, and to achieve positive social changes.
‘Felt Therapy’ is an alternative approach to cross-cultural counselling, psychosocial rehabilitation, self-expression and empowerment. The project focus primarily on women empowerment, especially adolescents and young adults, who are victims of human trafficking and (child) prostitution, unsafe migration, torture or gender based violence, forced marriage, domestic violence, war crimes, forced labour and slavery. The therapy is community/group based but can be practised individually, participants can engage in different levels.