Who We Are
Neuro Dramatic Play® was coined and developed by innovative international arts practitioner Dr Sue Jennings. It is an attachment-based intervention that focuses on the early playful relationship between ‘mother and unborn child - mother and newborn child’. Through play and drama, it emphasises a combination of basic trust, security and ritual, with stimulation, exploration and risk. Ritual and risk form the basis of children feeling safe in the world.as well as a desire to explore it. Neuro Dramatic Play® enables people to become more playful and to think ‘outside the box’. It encourages people to be more independent and self-reliant. It affirms people’s identity and self-esteem, and the building of social relationships. It is an ideal approach for working with children who have been traumatised, neglected or abused.
Here at NDP Ltd we work with a number of like-minded partners and organisations. You can read about us all below.
Advisors & Teaching Staff
professor SUE JENNINGS
Professor Sue Jennings PhD is an anthropologist, therapist, performer, and author. She is Visiting Professor at the University of Derby, Honorary Fellow of the University of Roehampton, and Professor of Play - awarded by the European Federation of Dramatherapy. She has been a pioneer of Dramatherapy and Play Therapy in the UK and overseas, establishing training programmes in UK, Greece, Romania, Czech Republic and Israel.
Professor Jennings' paradigm ‘embodiment-projection-role’ is integrated into education and therapy world-wide. Having worked as a clinician in psychiatry, forensic settings and special education, she has focussed her recent practice and research on early years development and developed ‘Neuro-Dramatic-Play’ as a basis for attachment and empathy.
She emphasises the importance of ‘play from conception’ for healthy emotional and social growth. Her doctoral fieldwork was with a tribal community in the Malaysian rain forest, which she believes underpins all her childhood theory and therapy. Sue is a prolific author with over fifty publications on theory and application to her name. She believes passionately in ‘playing for peace’ with a rule of ‘no guns in the playroom’.
Caroline Essame is an art therapist, occupational therapist, educator and play specialist with over 30 years’ experience in play and creativity based work in educational and hospital settings in England, India, Malaysia and Singapore. She is an international speaker and trainer and the founder of a social enterprise focused on play. Her masters thesis in education is on the role of teachers in play-based learning and she is author of "Fighting the Dragon, Finding the Self- why art and play are important in early childhood".
DR FRASER BROWN
Dr Fraser Brown is the first Professor of Playwork in the UK, and teaches on the BA (Hons) Playwork degree at Leeds Beckett University He is the specialist link tutor for the postgraduate play therapy courses run by the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy. He has presented at conferences across the UK and around the world, and has produced several key texts in the field of play and playwork. He is the Chair and Co-Founder of the Aid for Romanian Children charitable trust, and a member of the Executive Board of the Association for the Study of Play (TASP).
He is well-known for his research into the therapeutic effects of playwork on a group of abandoned children in a Romanian paediatric hospital. His wide-ranging research interests include the impact of deprivation on children’s play behaviour, the assessment of play value in children’s play spaces, and the role of play in the Montessori system of education.
After studying Politics at the University of Leeds, he spent three years as a playworker on an adventure playground in Runcorn. He then managed a range of projects for the North West Play Association. For two years he was District Leisure Officer in Middlesbrough and subsequently held posts with the National Playing Fields Association and Playboard. Before joining Leeds Beckett University, he was Director of the playwork training agency Children First for ten years.
JAFF CHOONG GIAN YONG
Jaff is a counsellor who is registered under the Board of Counsellors, Malaysia. Since obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Psychology, he has practised therapeutic play in his job for the past 10 years in educational and hospital settings (including juvenile schools, orphanage homes and prisons).
In 2016, Jaff completed his Master of Counselling from Open University Malaysia, and currently works as a university counsellor as well as being the director of NDP Consultancy in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. He is also a specialist career consultant in the Education Fair and a radio guest speaker. Jaff works as a volunteer in a community clinic that supports mental health and family issues with disadvantaged people.
Recently, Jaff started to integrate mindfulness and play into marriage and family therapy which has become his continuing research. Jaff is multi-lingual, speaking Malay, English, Mandarin, Hockkien and Cantonese. His counselling and therapy practice has a foundation in approaches drawn from Adler, Jung, Person-Centered, Cognitive-Behavioural, and Gestalt.
Ali Chown is a former specialist advisory teacher for pupils with social, mental health and emotional needs (SMHE). She has been a lecturer at Foundation Degree level in Child Development and Behaviour for Learning and has been the academic dissertation supervisor for students completing their MEd.
Ali is an experienced play therapist who has been pioneering play therapy in the outdoors. To advance this cause she has authored Play Therapy in the Outdoors - taking play therapy out of the playroom and into natural environments published in 2014 by JKP and, more recently A Practical Guide to Play Therapy in the Outdoors - working with Nature published by Routledge earlier this year. Both books have been of interest to a wide community including student therapists, forest school practitioners, supervisors and those working in early years.
Ali has worked with a variety of client groups including those with profound and multiple learning difficulties, young people excluded from school, and those in public care. She currently works as a play therapist in a Dorset primary school, for the Family Counselling Trust (Dorset) and as a trainer and supervisor.
Ali is the director of Phoenix Play and is working with other play therapist to establish a co-operative of those working in the outdoors in order to foster greater collaboration and to share best practice.
Originally a research scientist and educator in Australia, Elizabeth Huxtable began her journey into complementary therapies 30 years ago. She is a qualified masseuse and Reiki practitioner, with many years of experience using a variety of modalities including energy psychology techniques such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Emotion Code.
As a musician and singer, Elizabeth developed an interest in how music and sound can be used for healing and energy balancing. This led her to study harmonic overtone singing in Australia. Later, while studying Sound Therapy at the Globe Sound and Consciousness Institute in San Francisco, she tapped into the healing power of her voice and began toning sounds with healing frequencies. She brings these frequencies through her voice during group sound meditation sessions and in private sessions.
What differentiates Elizabeth from other sound therapists is her voice and also her specially matched set of Alchemy crystal singing bowls. They are tuned to musical chords to create powerful blended sounds that easily induce altered states of consciousness in the listener. She also uses Energy Chimes, xylophones, crystal harp, gong and tuning forks. She is highly sensitive to vibrations and energies in people and places.
Kelly Hunter is a British film, television, radio, stage and musical actress, a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. She is a Laurence Olivier Award nominee and Radio Academy Award and TMA Awards winner.
The daughter of the actors Maria Charles and Robin Hunter, Kelly Hunter grew up in London and attended the Lady Margaret School in Parsons Green, followed by the Arts Educational Schools in London, which she left when she was 16. Her sister is the stage manager Samantha Hunter. She was married to the theatre director Simon Usher with whom she has two sons, Albert Usher (born 1996) and Charlie Usher (born 1998). She is the Founder and Artistic Director of Flute Theatre, a company which produces the works of William Shakespeare for interactive audiences. She lives in South West London.