Meet the Talking Mats Team

team June 2017
 We are a team of experienced Speech and Language Therapists and Social Workers and have combined our clinical experience, gained through our work in the NHS, and our programme of research at Stirling University. We are happy to offer telephone or email advice and support on any aspect of our work.

Dr Joan Murphy – Consultant
I am a Research Speech and Language Therapist and founder of Talking Mats. In September 2018 I changed my role with Talking Mats and I am now working as Talking Mats Consultant rather than Director. I worked with people with acquired communication difficulties with the NHS for many years and began working at Stirling University in 1989 as a researcher. Since then I have led a number of research projects and have a wide portfolio of publications. Together with my colleagues, I have developed Talking Mats into a well-respected communication framework, which is used worldwide with a wide range of people.


Lois Cameron – Director
I have worked with Joan developing Talking Mats since 1998. I am a Speech and Language Therapist and for the last 10 years managed the service for adults and children with learning disabilities in Forth Valley NHS. I also held a research post with the University of Stirling. Since the 1st of September 2011, my energies are focused on improving the lives of people with communication difficulties through my role as a Co-director of Talking Mats.


Karen Macphail – Office Manager
I have been working with Joan and Lois at Talking Mats for over 9 years. Initially I was employed by Stirling University before we took the leap to become a Social Enterprise. I have never looked back and very much enjoy being part of this wonderful team. There is plenty of versatility and challenges in my role with no two days the same. I take charge of all our training and ensure the office runs smoothly even through mad March!



Margo Mackay – Talking Mats Associate
I am a Speech and Language Therapist in Forth Valley NHS supporting young people with Additional Support Needs in Secondary Schools. I have completed a research study looking at the usefulness of Talking Mats when helping young people set their educational targets and have developed a Talking Mats resource based on the findings. In December 2012 I was appointed as Talking Mats Associate for 2 days per week and will be focusing on extending the use of Talking Mats in Education.



Rhona Matthews- Talking Mats Associate

I was delighted to be appointed as an associate with Talking Mats in October 2104. I have worked both as a speech and language therapist and a physiotherapy support worker with children who have complex disabilities. I am passionate about supporting children to express their views and think through decisions. It is always great to see people leave a training feeling empowered, because they have a practical tool to make communication easier.


Nicki Jan 2016
Nicki Ewing – Talking Mats Associate
I was delighted to join the Talking Mats Team in January 2016. I have worked as a social worker in adult services and most recently as a planning and commissioning officer for people with learning disabilities. I  became an accredited Talking Mats trainer in 2013 and am passionate about how Talking Mats can help staff to improve the quality of life for people with communication difficulties by ensuring that they have their voices heard.

Pauline Jan 2016

Pauline Smith – Resources Co-ordinator
I joined the Talking Mats Team in July 2014.  I am responsible for making up and dispatching orders, as well as organising training materials.


Paula Douglas – Admin Assistant 
Paula qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist at University College London in 2002. She worked with adult inpatients in Ayrshire and Arran before moving to work in the community in Dumfries. She had career break to raise her family and we are delighted that she is now part of our office team




Eileen Abbess – Non-executive Director
I became aware of Talking Mats through conversation with Joan. I was intrigued by the framework and wanted to see how I could use Talking Mats in business to facilitate feedback and enable self-reflection. After completing the training I kept in touch with Talking Mats and now support Lois and Joan as a non-executive board member. I am a freelance programme manager specialising in business transformation and strategic risk.


Noni Cobban – Non-executive Director
I am a Trustee of Alzheimer Scotland, was convener for six years and chairs the Service Audit Committee. My interest in working with people with dementia came from working for many years as a professional in health and social care in Scotland with an emphasis on community based care services. I also had experience at a personal level with my mother. I am a non-executive chair of Stewartry Care Ltd and a non-executive director of Highland Home Carers Ltd – both these companies are social enterprises and are employee owned. These roles have been important in developing skills and knowledge in corporate governance which I think will help my contribution to the board of Talking Mats.

Current Licenced Accredited Trainers

We are delighted to have over 100 Accredited trainers from all over the world. Click here to see the current list. If you are interested in becoming an Accredited trainer and have previously completed a Talking Mats training course, please contact us for further information.