Sparkle in the Light was founded by Juliette Ttofa in 2019. Juliette is a Specialist Educational Psychologist and a Registered Sandplay Therapist with the Association for Sandplay Therapy. She specialises in the area of Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs, notably Developmental Trauma, Attachment, Adverse Childhood Experiences and Emotional Resilience.
Juliette holds a Degree in History, French and Italian, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Secondary History) and two Master of Education degrees in Psychology. She is beginning a PhD researching the role and function of Jungian Sandplay Therapy in supporting children who have a background of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) or Trauma. In addition to this, Juliette has a Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools and a Certificate in the Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups. Juliette has also attended training in Video Interaction Guidance (VIG), an approach that supports secure attachment relationships both in schools and in the home setting.
Juliette is trained in Mindfulness and the ‘Relax Kids’ approach. She has also completed various trainings in CBT and third wave CBT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Because of her interest in complex post-traumatic stress, Juliette has trained in the delivery of ‘Teaching Recovery Techniques’ to refugee children impacted by war or experiences of migration.
Juliette offers training on a range of topics, therapeutic support, and assessment and consultancy, all of which aim to promote resilience and bring about healing. She is also passionate about using the expressive arts in order to support children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Books & Creative Resources
Juliette is the author of several beautifully illustrated books about social-emotional wellbeing, resilience and mental health, including the guidebook for schools ‘Nurturing Emotional Resilience in Vulnerable Children and Young People‘, and accompanying resources including, ‘How Monsters Wish to Feel’ and a ‘Nurturing Resilience Card Deck‘. In addition, Juliette has recently published a therapeutic storybook called ‘The Girl Who Lost the Light in Her Eyes’, which comes with a guide on using the expressive arts with children who have experienced loss. A further storybook and resource about trauma, ‘The Silent Selkie‘, and guide to using the expressive arts therapeutically with children who have experienced trauma, is due to be published by Routledge in 2022.
Qualifications/ Training/ Memberships
- BA Hons Degree (History, French, Italian)
- PGCE Teaching Qualification (History Secondary)
- MEd Psychology in Education with Distinction
- MEd Educational Psychology with Distinction
- Certificate in the Theory and Practice of Nurture Groups (nurtureuk)
- Certified Infant Massage Instructor with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM)
- Diploma in Trauma & Mental Health Informed Schools (TISUK)
- Registered Sandplay Therapist (STR) with the Association for Sandplay Therapy (AST)
- Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) with BPS
- Registered Practitioner Psychologist with Health & Care Professionals Council (HCPC)
Juliette is passionate about promoting the use of psychology and nurturing approaches to support young people’s personal growth & development, as well as their emotional resilience, so that they are enabled to lead positive and fulfilling lives.
Sparkle in the Light upholds the concept of ‘The Children’s Fire‘. The Children’s Fire is a pledge to the welfare of children and challenges us to put the welfare of children before any decision we make as an organisation as follows: No law, no decision, no action, nothing of any kind will be permitted… that will harm the children. For more information about The Children’s Fire, click here.
Juliette’s areas of particular specialism include:
– Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
– Developmental Trauma
– Trauma Informed Practice
– Nurturing Approaches
– Parent-Infant Attachment
– Attachment Needs
– Understanding Self-Harm
– Using the Expressive Arts Therapeutically
More recently, Juliette has become interested in promoting grassroots ‘relational activism‘ in order to build resilient children and communities. She is committed to championing the value of relational approaches in her work in the local community and in advocating for the needs and rights of vulnerable young people. For more information please see the Training page.
Supervision & Professional Development
Juliette receives ongoing supervision for her therapy role and work as an educational psychologist.
Juliette considers that growth and healing is an ongoing journey and possesses a strong commitment to her own personal development. She has completed individual psychotherapy and uses bodywork, energy healing, acupuncture, the expressive arts, meditation and yoga to maintain her own wellbeing.
Juliette has an enhanced DBS disclosure certificate and is fully insured.
Background & Experience
Juliette has over twenty years’ experience working with vulnerable children and young people and a long-standing interest in developing an insight into the complex issues surrounding developmental trauma, attachment needs and emotional resilience.
After the experience of teaching disadvantaged students in France for a year as part of her degree when she was just twenty, Juliette was inspired to complete her initial teacher training and begin a career as a history teacher in an Oxford secondary school in 1999. She quickly developed an interest in supporting the most challenging and vulnerable students in her care and decided to leave teaching to pursue a career in psychology.
In particular, she was curious to better understand how school staff could help young people with emotional needs to engage in education. She undertook two Masters Degrees in psychology and focused her research dissertations on how schools could support young people who self-harm, and later, how schools could promote the resilience of disaffected young people at risk of exclusion. This led onto her interest in the key protective factors that buffer vulnerable young people from adversity and risk, and increase their long-term emotional resilience.
Juliette began her career as a psychologist working as an assistant educational psychologist in Newport, South Wales, for a year. Part of this role involved supporting research into the effectiveness of Nurture Groups in disadvantaged areas of the city. Alongside this work, she completed a certificate in the theory and practice of Nurture Groups. This was formative in developing Juliette’s awareness of the role of attachment-based, nurturing approaches in the healthy development and resilience of vulnerable children.
During her ten years as a Local Authority educational psychologist for Worcestershire County Council, supporting vulnerable students with a wide range of additional needs, Juliette continued to develop a specialist interest in early child development and the importance of secure attachment relationships between children and caring adults for long-term resilience. After having her first baby, she was motivated to research the importance of nurturing touch and face-to-face interaction in attachment development so received backing to train as a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with the International Association of Infant Massage.
Following this, keen to share these insights with other parents and carers, she developed an early parenting training package for Children Centre staff that taught the building blocks of parent-infant attachment (‘Together Time’), which was commissioned by Worcestershire Children’s Centres in 2007. More recently, Juliette has carried out initial two-day training in Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) and is keen to use this approach to support positive, attuned interactions, both in families and in schools.
In 2014, Juliette began working for Gloucestershire County Council’s educational psychology service. Juliette was given the role of specialist senior educational psychologist for social, emotional and mental health in 2016 and in this position she led on developing workforce training in trauma informed approaches, attachment development, resilience, emotional literacy (ELSA), self-harm, sensory approaches and effective therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive behavioural therapy and Sandplay Therapy.
Why Sparkle in the Light?
Juliette believes that we all have an innate and unique creative spark (or spirit) that runs through us and connects us all to each other, and to the natural world and cosmos. Given the right environment, we have the ability to access this creative energy and life force, and allow it to sparkle to its full brilliance, which is our natural state of being.