Hi, I’m Sarah Allen,
I am a 36 year old Occupational Therapist (OT), Play Therapist and Community Art Counsellor, and I work mainly with pre-primary and primary school aged children.
I’m originally from Liverpool, England, UK but I’ve been volunteering in Gauteng, South Africa for several years now mainly working with children who have experienced trauma (sexual, psychological, physical abuse, loss, bereavement etc) in underprivileged communities and child care centres.
It’s hard, but I love to see the light come back in a child’s eyes or to have a breakthrough developmentally.
I’m passionate about emotional development and I love to share what I have learnt and continue to learn.
I wrote and illustrated ‘Sometimes I feel...’ initially for my own practise but I’ve been amazed at how other people wanted it and how it’s begun to take off.
The story behind Sometimes I Feel...
I have to be honest, Sometimes I Feel happened almost by accident. I was working with children in South Africa and I wanted to explore feelings and emotions with them. However, I couldn’t find a book that helped children learn about different kinds of emotions and how to express them, that was also multi ethnic and culturally appropriate to Africa. So I created my own, I took feedback from the children I was working with and used how they described different feelings, I then drew pictures that I felt fitted in with what was being said and the book was born, initially for use in my own practise but then people started asking me where I got it from and how they could get a copy. I realised that it wasn’t just me having this difficulty but other people were too, so I turned my book into a resource for educators, counsellors and parents to use with their children.
I started with the book to use for discussion and exploration. I then felt that the flash cards would really assist in having a display on the wall, to use as a tool for checking in and being a tangible object for children to take to their adult to express how they are feeling.
After such positive feedback and how much I enjoyed creating it, I am starting look to produce other products that I could use in my work, that would assist children to learn about and express their feeling and that would be beneficial to other therapists, parents, educators as well...and that is how Sometimes I Feel started and is still my main objective going forward.
Clearly there is a need to a resource like this to help adults discuss emotions with children and for children to be able to express how they are feeling at any given point.
I can’t change the world but I can change the world for that one child...and I believe you can too!
I’d also love to hear your experiences, things that have worked for you or things that you are struggling with and I will help where I can. You can do that through the Contact page
For an introduction to myself and "Sometimes I Feel Emotional Development" please view my podcast "Introducing Myself".