I’ve a PhD in cognitive development psychology, working with people with Williams syndrome, from UCL & the MRC Cognitive Development Unit. My supervisor was Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith.

I was commissioned by Channel 4 Education to write a research report on Mental Health & Happiness in Teenagers, leading me to reframe self-determination theory as resilience psychology, the foundation of mine and Coney’s theory of change through play by and with individuals. This led to a BAFTA-winning project, Nightmare High, for and with young people about resilience in the face of big life changes.

I’ve been mentored in Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy by Barbara Cala-Lesina, and with my playful jedi master Bernie De Koven I designed A Game Of Legacy as one part of his own playful legacy.

I’m an honorary research fellow at University of Bath Spa and collaborating with impact fellow and Coney associate Dr Astrid Breel in co-developing better approaches for impact frameworks which:
• are fun, meaningful, and relevant for the people taking part.
• prioritise understanding impact better, then designing impact better, then measuring impact better.
• are emergent from the complex interactions of people’s values, rather than prescriptive

A Magic Trick is a demo of our approach for sparking change through play.

I offer playful coaching for individuals and teams as The Coney Doctor.