An interesting insight from child psychologist Dr. Sophie Banfield.
Dr Sophie Banfield is a clinical psychologist working with children and adolescents. Sophie specialises in assessment and intervention for those with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and in particular she helps families manage the anxiety and depressive symptoms associated with this disorder. Sophie is passionate about working with parents to foster and grow the relationship they have with their children.
How did you get interested in psychology and why children?
I always wanted to be a psychologist since I was 8 and I wanted to make a positive contribution to children’s lives. I have worked with adults but the difference I see working with children is that I can contribute to them learning skills they can use throughout their lives.
How did you communicate your ideas in the past?
I used to talk a lot but it was evident that ideas were best taken in when presented with visual information, so I started using pen and paper to communicate.
What brought you to contact Collaborative Design?
I wanted to buy a whiteboard but not any standard type. This wasn’t easy but then I found Collaborative Design. They have a large range of great whiteboards and workwalls to choose from and ultimately, I chose an Etch mini from their range.
How does that help you and your clients?
It gives a different perspective when you use a whiteboard to display your ideas. It’s a shared canvas and this is important.
Most of my clients are children and the Etch can move around the room as we talk and draw. We try to draw the same pattern or images and see the similarities. It is very interesting to see how children get more engaged and motivated to showcase their ideas while drawing. It helps us paint an idea with pictures and out of a story we draw something. It is a great to collaborate.
I also use it for planning out the session with the child which helps them learn compromising and negotiation skills.
At the end of the day, what difference does it make?
It’s great to see how exciting it is to convey a message with a picture drawn by two different people, and it helps me see things in the drawing, for example, the way the child see things, their interpretation and the difference. It also really helps the kids to understand that people don’t all think the same as them and we can have different thoughts.
Would you recommend this approach to others?
I would definitely recommend it to any psychologist or anyone that works with others and shared meaning is important. Sharing ideas through drawing and visualizing makes you interpret and understand things in a different way.