Coming from a medical family, Louise loved the scientific basis of her original training in speech pathology and therapeutics. Yet, she also yearned for an artistic element in her work. During her late twenties and thirties, she lived for six years with children with learning disabilities in an intentional community school, The Sheiling Camphill, Ringwood, inspired by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. There she observed how children with different disabilities seemed to complement each other. She also saw how much art, drama, poetry and the rhythm of life on the educational and residential settings supported the children’s attention development and learning.This gave her a passion for working with children with different skills, creating spontaneous community through storytelling…
Louise also lived with adults with LD for six years, and moving with two of them to Middlesbrough, worked in the NHS, practising her storytelling therapy with children with hearing impairment in schools, and a wide range of speech and language problems in clinical settings. Other SLTs in South Tees noticed the progress that Louise’s students were making and requested the first training from her.
In 1994 Louise trained on the first storytelling course at The International School of Storytelling, where she is now an associate teacher. She also completed a four year training in Creative Speech and Drama, working part time as an SLT at a school for children with social and emotional behavioural problems to help fund her studies. With the help of some of the most challenged children and the new insights gained from the art and craft of storytelling, drama and poetry recitation, she further honed her skills as a specialist storyteller.
Subsequently, while working back in the NHS, Louise researched her techniques, under the guidance of Brighton Sussex Medical School Postgraduate Department. She was invited to share her findings with The SLT Special Interest Group in Autism in London.
Louise has since been invited to run trainings and demonstration workshops in Nova Scotia, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Australia and New Zealand. She is a regular guest tutor on SLT trainings at Greenwich Medway and St Mark and St. John Plymouth Universities.
Louise Coigley has been sharing her magical interactive storytelling approach with our speech and language therapy students for several years now. She presents an effective and truly engaging approach to working with children with speech, language and communication needs. Every year a new group of SLT students are excited by Louise’s infectious enthusiasm and embrace this dynamic, innovative way of working. I believe that these students will be more confident and effective therapists, once they qualify, thanks to Louise’s teaching.
Dr Julia Stewart EdD, MRCSLT
BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
University of St Mark & St John
Invited presentations/workshops by Louise :
- 2017 Workshops at Brent Early Years Conference, January; Presentation at Luton SEN Conference March; Chairing SLT through Storytelling CEN at RCSLT -January/April/June; Advanced Practioners Day for attention autism; Day 3 of attention autism training with Gina Davies; Voicing Imagination workshops ( specialist vocal and gesture skills to support inclusive communication) venue and dates tbc
- 2016 Training for schools in Hastings with displaced children, Hastings Storytelling Festival Nov 2016; Lis’n tell invited workshop for GPs and Counsellors at Emerson College UK Sept 2016; Lis’n tell Part 1 at The International School of Storytelling UK August2016 ; Feb-March-April: Training for The Storytelling Guild of new South Wales, Sydney, Australia; Lis’n Tell Part 1 for Speech Pathology Australia; Raise Your Bar/Imagine Better Lis’n Tell workshop for young people with learning disabilities, Christchurch New Zealand; training for Children’s Librarians, Christchurch; workshop with children with autism and refugee children – using Lis’n Tell to support their integration into mainstream Porirua NZ; Lis’n tell Part 1 for SLTs, Carers, Parents and Support Workers, Christchurch NZ; Lis’n Tell Part 1 for counsellors, librarians, SLTs, storytellers and others hosted by In the Belly of the Whale School of Storytelling, Paekakariki NZ; One woman storytelling show: The Foible and Fables of Miss Coigley ( adventures of a speech and language therapist) NZ
- 2015 Lis’n Tell Workshop for families: The Fragile X Society Conference, Birmingham, UK
- 2014 Presentation: National Autistic Conference, Reading, UK
- 2014 Workshop: The Professional Association of Teachers and Students with Specific Learning Difficulties Study Day, ‘Language and Learning’, Sussex UK
- 2013 Presentation: The Professional Association of Teachers and Students with Specific Learning Difficulties Study Day, ‘Language and Learning’, Sussex UK
- 2012 Therapy Ideas – Presentation: The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, London UK
- 2012 Lis’n Tell workshop at The International School of Storytelling Festival, Emerson College, Forest Row, East Sussex UK
- 2012 Lis’n Tell workshop at The Steiner School Michaelmas Conference, St Michael School, Feltham, London UK
- 2011 Workshops at Phoenix School Day Conference on Autism, London UK
- June 2011 Open Workshop at The Children and Families Research Centre, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
- June 2007 (paper submitted and accepted) Presentation at The Australian National Speech Pathology Conference Sydney, Australia
- May 2007 Lis’n Tell workshops for The Waldorf Education Movement In partnership with The Association for Early Childhood Educators (Singapore)
- 2007 Presentation at the South West Region Early Childhood Conference UK
- June 2006/5 Lis’n Tell workshop: ‘Communication + Interaction Matters’: Kent County Council UK Conference for Speech Pathologists, Teachers, Parents and Assistants
- 2005 Interactive Talk “Lis ‘n Tell: principles of practice and core techniques”, for the Division of Public Health and Primary Care Academic Meeting, Sussex Medical School UK
- 2004 Interactive Presentation of Lis ’n Tell at the Sure Start Annual Conference, for Speech Pathologists and Early Years Professionals at Exeter University, UK
- 2004 and 05 Lis’n Tell workshops for students with learning disabilities and professional multi- disciplinary groups, for the Alexander Society in Nova Scotia, Canada.
- 2004 Workshop: Speech Language and Communication Event, East Sussex County Council, UK
- April 2003. Presentation for specialists in autism: Newcomen Centre, Guy’s Hospital, London UK
- February 2003 Workshop: ‘Storytelling, an Essential Ingredient of Life’ – promoting health in the local community, The Silver Birch Trust, Canterbury UK
- March 2002. Presentation: “Story Works: How a structured, flexible approach through Storytelling inspires motivation for learning speech and language.” for the National Association of Professionals working with Language Impaired Children annual conference, Oxford University UK
- January 2002 Presentation: “The Stories We Live By”, at the first national conference on Narrative Therapy Learning to Listen, Helping to Tell: storytelling and narrative approaches to speech and language therapy conference at Connect, the Communication Disability Network, London, UK.
- October 2001 Keynote Speech: ‘Stimulating Speech and Language through Storytelling’: Special Educational Needs Conference, Morden, UK
- April 2001 Presentation: Storytelling, a Meta-Cognitive Approach”, at ‘Sharing Communication‘, the National Conference of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists UK
- September 1999 Presentation: ‘Storytelling –therapy through speech and language’, North Eastern Speech and Language Therapists Association UK
- 1994 Workshop – North Tees Speakwatch Team UK