The International
School of Storytelling

Supervision Workshop

Using material drawn from the work experience of participants we will explore the challenges of working with story through experiential learning, creative exploration through storytelling and art work and discussion.

This course will be lead by Sarah Deco therapist, analyst and storyteller and Doreen Pattenson Social worker and consultant for sharing stories...

Working with stories in care work can be emotionally challenging as well as rewarding. The particular stresses and strains created can be hard to spot and our judgment as well as emotional and physical resilience can sometimes be undermined. Research has shown that good supervision can help improve job satisfaction. This also of course gives a better outcome to the individuals and groups we work with. We will explore the functions of supervision and where to find support to enhance our own emotional resilience.

This will be a practical experiential day exploring the emotional and psychological pressures involved in working as storytellers in the health and wellbeing field. This may include work in care homes, physical and mental health provision, with refugees and asylum seekers and children with special needs. 

Two senior practitioners from different areas of the caring professions offer their insights and experience in how to maintain a healthy relationship to one’s work in this important and developing area. 

There will be help in identifying the warning signs that may indicate the need for more support. There will also be space for participants to explore and develop new insights into their current work practice using creative storytelling and art making.

Sarah Deco is an art therapist and group analyst with many years experience in the NHS and Social Services working with families and in adult psychiatry. She was a senior lecturer on the University of Hertfordshire postgraduate training in art therapy for several years and offers supervision and consultancy to professionals working within forensic services and the NHS. She is also a storyteller and founders of the North London Traditional Storytelling circle.

Doreen Pattenson s been a social worker since 1990 working in Local Authority and as a manager in a hospice environment. Having trained with Hertfordshire University, the Tavistock and Portman Clinic, and Middlesex University she has specialised in Palliative Care of adults and children. Doreen provides supervision to staff in a variety of settings, delivers training courses, and has experience of a wide range of inter-disciplinary groups working across the NHS, local authority, hospices, and other support and care organisations. She acts a s social work consultant with Sharing Stories for Wellbeing.

It is possible to book accommodation and meals at Emerson College during your course. Please do so directly with them by using their online booking system, at the following link Scroll down to find your course and you will be able to find all the options and prices and make a booking. The costs are NOT INCLUDED in our tuition fee.

If you prefer accommodation in the village of Forest Row, (20-25 minute walk), please email for a list of available accommodation