Meet the Inspire Others interdisciplinary team
Ellie Ewbank is a Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist who works with clients with acquired brain injuries at Headway groups and also works with mental health difficulties in private practice. She continues to have a passion for working with people with long-term conditions, and never fails to be motivated by the resilience of the clients she meets.
It is when faced with life’s biggest challenges that we can learn the most about who or what matters most to us, and how we can pursue that.
To Ellie, the inspire others project was an opportunity to get involved in something innovative and creative to help others. She values the authentic voice of the project; enabling those that have been on a journey to share their story and be a source of inspiration, hope and support for others.
Richard works as a Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist in Independent Practice. He uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as his main therapeutic model. Values (engaging in meaningful activity) are a key part of this model. His own values include creativity, connecting and collaborating.
Richard was struggling to find meaningful vocational activity for a client following their brain injury. They weren’t keen on traditional voluntary work. The client had been inspiring in their return to important activities to them and their team knew that this would be very helpful for others to hear about. During his sleep, his brain came up with the idea of building a website from scratch with others to share inspiring stories from people with neurological conditions. Ellie, Jane, Jude and Zoe agreed to join him with the idea.
Richard keeps being inspired by the people he works with and the potential for all to make gradual steps towards what matters to them, that ultimately build a life that is rich and meaningful.
Jane is an occupational therapist working in the NHS and as an Independent OT, specialising in neurological rehabilitation. From her early days, working with people who had experienced significant neurological injury or disease, it was apparent that this was where she saw herself working professionally. She has always felt stimulated by the unique stories of those she works with, which has underpinned her ambition to develop and grow professionally. Amidst the dynamic complexities that are often at play a personal value was realised for her to always strive to see that person as wonderfully unique and whole, not simply broken down into the individual components that are perhaps not working as they were. Collaboration to formulate a road plan together towards what matters to the person is hugely rewarding.
Richard cast the vision for Inspire Others and it immediately resonated with Jane. The importance of not only creating examples of others that have walked a similar path but to launch a project, not sure of its final destination, allows space and room for it to be shaped by those who connect in some way with that network. Stories are powerful and being immersed in someone else’s story may unlock an area in our own story that helps to refresh, envision and energise. It is hoped that Inspire Others will provide a safe place for stories to be shared and journeys to be celebrated.
Jude Berraondo is a Speech and Language Therapist who has worked with clients with acquired neurological difficulties since she qualified in 2005. She knows that recovery after a brain injury requires a team that truly puts the person with brain injury at the centre of everything and works with them towards their personal goals. She knows that every hard won, magical moment of goal achievement has hours of quiet dedication behind it, and many ups and downs. When Richard asked her to be part of the Inspire Others project, she was thrilled to have the chance to tell the often-untold stories of the journeys that clients go on – a journey they did not ever expect to have to take, but from which we can all learn so much.
Zoe is a Neuro Specialist Occupational Therapist working in Independent Practice. She is privileged to be able to support clients along their diverse life journeys and is truly inspired by their resilience and determination. It is important to her to be able to empower these clients to enable them to make choices, engage and participate, and gain greater autonomy and sense of accomplishment.
Many clients that she works with are seeking a new vocational pathway and often share a common value of wanting to be able to help others. She understands that an individual’s journey is unique but the twists and turns along the way are a common theme. She enjoys the opportunity to work collaboratively, with other therapy professionals and clients together, and values the opportunities that the Inspire Others website hopes to offer in providing a safe space for support as well as networking, continued learning and understanding, and of course ‘Inspiration’.