Our Founder, Kate Berry

SketchBetter classes include three elements; Positive Education (including meditations,

gratitude practices and drawing visualisations), Art & Design Education (including theoretical

& practical artistic skills), and peer-reviewed independent creative time.

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.1  Positive Education is an approach to education that blends academic learning with character & well-being. Preparing students with life skills such as: grit, optimism, resilience, growth mindset, engagement, and mindfulness amongst others. Positive education is based on the science of well-being and happiness.

 

Founder's Story

Hi, My name is Kate. Here's how I sketched myself better.

Age 17, I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa and Clinical Depression. Whilst I overcame Anorexia within 10 years, Depression stuck around for over 20 years. Every time I went to the Doctor I was given the same solution - anti-depressants. They kept me alive but they didn't make me well.

 

March 2012 - RELAPSE

In 2012, age 28, during a panic attack, I faced a decision: to learn how to get better or, to take my life. I chose the former. I began researching and came across the science of Positive Psychology, and the meditative practices of Yoga and Mindfulness. I learnt about Character Strengths and realised I was not using my top strengths - a love of learning and creativity. So, I reignited my passion for Art and began drawing. This practice soon developed into a new discipline of drawing out my feelings as they arose. I drew artwork that captured my relationships with Anorexia, Bulimia, Anxiety and Depression - the team of abusive life partners I'd never asked for - and the suicidal ideation that had become so engrained in my everyday.

 

In 2014, I exhibited my artwork at a local county art fair and described my work to visitors as a process of sketching myself better. 

In 2015, I moved to Kingston Upon Thames, and took a job as a Teaching Assistant in a primary school.

In 2016, I began an MSc in Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology, and ran children's art classes with Cass Art, designed to build children's confidence through creativity.

March 2019 - RELAPSE

In 2019, I learnt through therapy that I had a Personality Disorder. I committed to and financially invested in private therapy and received an extensive course of Schema Therapy with clinical psychologist Dr Farah Khalid. Depression is an illness like any other, that effects millions of people. It has symptoms and causes. Underneath my depression there was more going on than I'd ever realised. Whilst I'd always thought the bullying from my childhood was the cause, I learnt that there was not a single event that had triggered the depression, but a long-standing set of schemas that I had developed in early and middle childhood.

 

As it turns out I had been living with and trying to manage 6 schemas or life-traps:

1. Abandonment

2. Failure to Achieve

3. Dependency & Incompetence

4. Subjugation

5. Self-Sacrifice

6. Unrelenting Standards