Samphire Southwest Consultancy

School and Family Support

About Mike

1 August 2016

I have known Mike for just over two years in my capacity as both parent and parent governor at a Special School in Exeter, Devon. I am also an adoptive 

parent, chair of a local authority adoption panel, and contribute to training events for new and existing adoptive parents.


Our school is a local-authority maintained special school for children with a range of additional support needs including emotional and behavioural challenges, autism and attachment difficulties and Mike worked there for 10 years as the senior member of the Pastoral Team until he left this summer.


Mike was my son's key attachment figure at the school and used to meet regularly with him to provide pastoral and emotional support with a range of issues including help with managing his friendships and emotions, and understanding his recent autism diagnosis. Mike was also the main liaison point between myself and the school in these issues. At all times I found Mike to be very open and supportive, completely trustworthy and reliable, with an excellent and growing understanding of attachment issues, autism and the impact of early development trauma. Mike's knowledge and understanding of the Dan Hughes PACE-based approach to dealing with emotional and behavioural issues was invaluable in supporting my son. Mike's abilities to be empathetic with children and curious about their behaviour enabled them to confide in Mike about the challenges they faced, knowing that they would be accepted by him, and supported to identify appropriate strategies for responding.


As a parent governor and member of the Inclusion Working Group, I also worked with Mike to organise and run training for staff in understanding PACE and practical strategies for dealing with the impact of early development trauma and to set up a support group for adoptive parents. Mike's work at school in this area enabled other members of staff to become  more confident and skilled to respond to the needs of my son and children like him. Mike's calm, gentle (yet firm when needed) sensitive and understanding manner, combined with his experience and pastoral skills, gained the confidence of both new and experienced staff, at both front-line and managerial level. It also enabled parents to be able to talk to him openly and honestly about some of the challenges they faced, both at home and in liaising with the school. Mike was often able to help parents resolve these issues, acting as an important bridge between the parents and other members of staff if and when tensions arose.


I would be delighted to recommend Mike in his new consultancy role supporting schools in understanding the impact of early development trauma on children, and believe that schools would be very fortunate to have Mike working with them.


About Nicole

Nicole has been my Hypnotherapist for over a year now. She has a very calm approach and always makes me feel relaxed and at ease. The Hypnotherapy has helped me to grow as a person, confronting some inner fears, overcoming some issues and setting positive goals for the future.... Nicole is a great therapist.



For full range of testimonials ask Mike or Nicole.