Speaker Biographies



Claire Collins

Claire Collins has worked for 11 years as a bereavement counsellor and integrative psychotherapist.  Currently, she works as bereavement coordinator and clinical supervisor the Marie Curie Hospice Hampstead and a clinical supervisor at Camden City Islington and Westminster Bereavement Service.  She is a Schwartz Round Facilitator, and a member of The Association of Bereavement Service Coordinators.  Previously, she has worked in corporate banking, higher education and as a Spanish teacher.  She is studying for a Master’s Degree in Professional Learning: Counselling and Psychotherapy, and is researching therapists’ attitudes towards incorporating theoretical perspectives of grief and loss into their clinical practice.


Bob Heath

Bob Heath was the resident music therapist at Sobell House Hospice in Oxford, UK for 10 years. He has worked extensively in Palliative and Bereavement care both as a clinician and a lecturer/teacher and also has many years experience working in Mental Health and Special Educational settings. He has published work in various books and journals and continues to work as a therapist and supervisor in End of Life Care, Community Mental Health and private practice.

Bob has presented his work at a wide range of events including The Hay Literature Festival and Medicine Unboxed and continues to offer and facilitate training courses and workshops for therapists and health care practitioners. 


Martin Howden

Martin Howden is an Executive Coach and writer who brings 26 years of leadership in business and 14 years of executive coaching to his work in helping individuals and teams to flourish in a wide variety of organisational contexts. He and his 10-person Associate team focus on supporting people and organisations seeking to make a positive difference in the world. He works in the UK, Europe, USA and Africa.


Dr Viv Lucas.

Viv qualified in Medicine from Leicester University in 1983. He went into palliative care with a background of anaesthetics and general practice training. He was medical director of the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth Garden City from 1993 until 2016, since when he has worked as a locum consultant in palliative medicine for the West Norfolk Integrated Palliative Care Service. He has wide ranging experience in palliative care in hospice, community and hospital settings. He has an MA in medical humanities from the University of Wales, Swansea, and remains interested in the relationship between medicine and the arts and humanities. He has presented on aspects of music in healthcare and is an amateur singer/songwriter. Viv is also interested in the relational aspects of palliative care and has published papers on empathy and placebo effects in palliative care.

Viv is currently president of the palliative care section of the Royal Society of Medicine and patron of the East and North Herts Branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association. 


Olwen Minford

Olwen Minford is a Registered Nurse, Health Visitor, Bereavement Counsellor and Integrative Psychotherapist. She has extensive experience in Palliative and End of Life Care gained over twenty years in a variety of roles within nursing, psychotherapy and education. She was a steering group member of RCN Pain and Palliative Care Forum (2011-2015).

Olwen is especially interested in using the arts in therapy, healthcare and education and in 2014 was awarded a Winston Churchill travel fellowship to research ' Improving communication training and compassionate care using the arts' in North America and Australia.  In 2016 Olwen was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

In 2017 Olwen contributed a chapter to the book ‘Spirituality in Hospice Care’, edited by Andrew Goodhead and Nigel Hartley, on ‘Exploring spiritual pain through the arts-A Psychotherapist’s Perspective’.

 At the time of writing she has been working in Primary Care with Health Education England, and as a psychotherapist in The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London. 


Michèle Wood

Michèle Wood qualified as an art therapist in 1987, works as an art therapist and clinical supervisor, and has researched and published extensively. She has an international reputation as a leading authority in art therapy in palliative care, having co-edited the first book in this field ‘Art Therapy in Palliative Care: The Creative Response’ in 1998, and contributed chapters to the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine. Twenty years on Michèle is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge International Handbook of Art Therapy in Hospice and Bereavement Care.


Michèle is Senior Art Therapist at the Marie Curie Hospice Hampstead, London and a Principal Teaching Fellow at the University of Roehampton, for the rest of the time. Michèle is a National AHP Clinical Expert, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a Winston Church Fellowship in 2015. She is a Schwartz Round Facilitator, and co-ordinates her profession’s Special Interest Group for art therapists working with those who have life-limiting and terminal conditions.


Relevant publications

Wood, M.J.M. (2015) 4.11 the contribution of art therapy to palliative medicine. In: Cherny, N., Fallon, M., Kaasa, S., Portenoy, R.K. & Currow, D.C. (eds.) Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine (Fifth Edition). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp.210.

Wood, M.J.M. (2015) 'Art therapy, cancer and the recalibration of identity'. In: Liebmann, M. & Weston, S. (eds.) Art Therapy and Physical Conditions. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Wood, M.J.M. (2015) 'Art Therapy: Digital Devices, Tablet Computers, Palliative Care, Chronic Illness'. Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow's report:    

 http://www.wcmt.org.uk/fellows/reports/art-therapy-digital-devices-tablet-computers-palliative-care-chronic-illness .






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