A Harefield woman is among a new breed of therapists encouraging grown men and women to stop working and start playing – specifically with Lego.
Jane Anderson, from Shelley Lane, has been a neuro-linguistic programming practitioner for five years, but over the past 14 months has been concentrating on a new form of therapy for adults which is almost child’s play.
Mrs Anderson, 48, uses Lego to help top business executives make positive changes in communication and also during problem-solving for teams and individuals.
It is called Lego Serious Play (LSP) and it is sweeping the nation’s boardrooms, with Google and British Airways just two of the big name companies who use the therapy for team building and staff counselling.
“We believe that everyone has something unique and valuable to contribute, yet in many meetings, 20 per cent of people speak and 80 per cent listen,” she said.
“LSP enables everyone to participate and solve problems. It’s amazing – you could give everyone around the table the same building bricks and say ‘build a tower’ and you get a whole range of towers, none of which look the same.
“That shows that everyone has something different and valuable to offer. It also helps groups to focus on particular problems or issues to come up with solutions in short periods of time. You see chief executives really relaxing – they aren’t constantly checking their mobiles in the meeting.”
Mrs Anderson works in partnership with consultancy company Brightlife, and runs her own private coaching sessions – including with St Mary’s Church in Church Hill, Harefield, and with teachers at Harefield Junior School, in Park Lane.
She also uses the techniques with her youngest son Edward, nine, who is dyslexic.
“Building with Lego helps people to express things through building and working together in a way they often can’t with words or in writing,” she said. “When you are building with Lego you are using both sides of your brain – so it is a creative way to stimulate thinking.”