Mary Smail Psychotherapist SW2

Mary Smail

Dramatherapy, Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems Approach, Assertion/Self Esteem training, Spiritual Be-friending.  

If  you feel ...


depressed or struggling with low self worth

up against a brick wall

held back by inner critic attacks

conflicted by different parts of yourself which seem opposed

concerned about relationships

resentful of someone and unsure how to forgive

wondering about sexual orientation

wanting to be more creative

concerned about dyslexia or dyspraxia issues

wanting to think through a professional/work situation

wishing to explore spirituality or consider God-questions

hurt through misunderstanding in a  church situation

without someone who really  matters

in a grief or bereavement process

wondering about what happens when a Soul dies

dealing with areas of dying (your own or someone who you care about)

meeting the aging process of your parents or of a loved elder

if you are asked to "cheer up" when you feel down

if you want to work more cognitively with ideas around confidence, self esteem and assertion

if your mother or father is a clergy person and you feel confused or angry

then I am ready to meet you to see if we can work together to tell your story as you would like it to be.


I will provide a safe room and confidential time for you to bring what ever issue you would like to explore. New opportunities usually come to us through what seems most difficult. The gift is to trust that there is more than we see - the Soul story may not yet have had any space to be heard and recognised. 

In their book, The Book of Forgiving, Mpho and Desmond Tutu talk about people needing to tell their story over and over again until it can be understood sufficiently to articulate what has held inside, locked away.   If we can then forgive  people who have hurt us, we move out victim role and are no longer defined by what has hurt or frightened us. For more on this see    Or... come to SoulWorks and talk!

The work can be focused and short term or it may need a longer on-going timescale.  We will work with whatever you bring. The work of Carl Jung, James Hillman,  Marian Billy Lindkvist and Richard Schwartz are the greatest inspirers of the way I work. 

I am trained and registered both in Psychotherapy (talk therapy) and as a Creative Arts Therapist, (Sesame Dramatherapy).  This means I can offer the option to talk, or to use a more imaginative, symbolic approach which some people prefer. For people who wish to explore a more embodied approach, I am trained to offer Movement with Touch and Sound - a non-verbal attunement to what the body needs to tell its story, which is relational and safe because you are in charge. 

I  draw heavily on the Inter Family Systems and Self led therapy approach, having completing the on-line IFS Inner Circle training. IFS is an innovative approach which enables the client to learn how to listen to, and befriend differing inner parts and attitudes as if they are characters, each with a valid perspective.   People come to understand their inner critic, the shamed or frightened child, the addict, the procrastinator, the melancholic, the ambitious each in a new way.  When these are understood in their own right they can be viewed with compassion and curiosity and integrated so that there is unity inside, and less of the pulling in different ways which all humans experience.  All parts are welcome in this way of working.    

 As I am an Assertion Trainer it may be that we work to build up your self-esteem and confidence, giving you everyday skills to cope with relationship, work and life in general.  This can be done as a course in itself.  We work with:

  • What assertive behaviour is
  • The Low Self Esteem/ High Self Esteem cycle and how it shows in the body
  • Self Esteem Rights
  • Where the Inner Critic comes from and how to ask it to take a rest
  • What's my life like and what roles I play?
  • How to use my anger
  • Saying No
  • Preparing for change and the self-nurturing kit
  • Making conversation


I am also presently training in Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) which uses bi-lateral stimulation to coordinate the implicit and explicit hemispheres of the brain together and is highly effective with trauma.

My practice also specialises in working with what I call “The Deathlands” This means I am prepared to accompany people through the physical and spiritual issues involved when meeting Diagnosis, Bereavement, the Dying Process and the notion of the Afterlife – what does or does not happen next


I am registered to practice with the United Kingdom Council of Psychotherapists and with the Health and Care Professions Councils and am answerable to both these bodies, regularly reviewing my practice to ensure good practice.

Creative Therapy with Mary Smail