The Therapy Services team provides a wide range of supportive interventions for children and young people, their families and carers, and the professionals who support them.

We welcome enquiries about our interventions to help referrers consider which might be most helpful to the situations identified.

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  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy based interventions

    ​Delivered by qualified educational psychologists (EPs) with additional training from short-courses, interventions based in CBT are available to children and young people. CBT-based approaches can be provided individually or as part of a group.

    Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a talking therapy that can help people manage their problems by changing their way of thinking and behaving. It is has a strong research evidence of effectiveness, including for anxiety-related difficulties. CBT helps to break down problem behaviour into separate parts – notably thoughts, physical feelings and actions.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry

    Educational psychologists are registered with the HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council). They all have first degrees in psychology and significant experience working with children and young people, prior to beginning their post-graduate professional degrees. Many are additionally qualified and experienced as teachers.

  • Dramatherapy (individuals and groups)

    ​Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy in which all of the performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. Dramatherapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their trainings in theatre / drama and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes.

    The therapy gives equal validity to body and mind within the dramatic context. Stories, myths, play-texts, puppetry, masks and improvisation are examples of the range of artistic interventions a Dramatherapist may employ. These will enable the client to explore difficult and painful life experiences through an indirect approach.

    For more information, please visit The British Association of dramatherapists.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Therapeutic Life Story Work

    ​Different from traditional Life Story Work, Therapeutic Life Story Work (or TLSW), pioneered by Richard Rose, is a defined approach, designed to introduce the past as markers for the present. Once these are understood, the child is supported in considering how to move on to make significant changes, as a result of a far deeper understanding and awareness of how their history has been negatively impacting on their present.

    By supporting the child’s awareness of this and the influences it has upon their present, there is an opportunity to change, move forward and develop a positive sense of self. TLSW directly involves the child's primary carer throughout the process, working as a triad with the TLSW practitioner.

    It is designed to strengthen the relationship between the child and their parent or carer through exploring together the child's history. The Therapeutic Life Story Model consists of three stages:

    1. The Information Bank
    2. The Internalisation
    3. The Life Story Book
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  • Foster to Adopt Transition

    ​The purpose of Theraplay Informed Parenting during introductions of a child is to promote connections to build relationships with the adoptive parent. Through Theraplay based parenting it will allow the adopters to build a relationship with the child in the way it should have been built using the four dimensions of Theraplay:

    1. Structure
    2. Nurture
    3. Challenge
    4. Engagement

    Adoption involves huge long-term gains for children, but the transition from foster care to adoption for children with a history of developmental trauma can raise complex difficulties.

    Although it is widely recognised that support from fostering to adoption is essential, there is often little guidance for understanding this key transition in a child’s life.

    Preparing children to move

    Our Theraplay approach is focused on supporting the child to make use of their main attachment figure through the process (initially the foster carer and then the adopter).

    The central aim of the adults is to be able to mediate the emotions for the child rather than the child having to manage alone. There will be two Theraplay Practitioners to facilitate the transition, and support both the foster carer, adopter and child during the process.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Marschak Interaction Method (MIM)

    ​The Marschak Interaction Method (MIM) is a structured technique for observing and assessing the overall quality and nature of relationships between caregivers and child. It consists of a series of simple tasks designed to elicit behaviours in four primary dimensions in order to evaluate the caregivers' capacity to:

    • set limits and provide an appropriately ordered environment (Structure)
    • engage the child in interaction while being attuned to the child’s state (Engagement)
    • meet the child’s needs for attention, soothing and care (Nurture)
    • support and encourage the child’s efforts to achieve at a developmentally appropriate level (Challenge)
    • the child’s ability to respond to the caregiver's efforts

    The MIM is conducted in the Theraplay intervention. However, it can be used as a standalone assessment.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Teacher or Key Worker / Teaching Assistant and Child MIM

    ​The MIM (adapted) can also be used between a teacher or key worker/ TA and child. The MIM will increase the teachers understanding of the child and their ability to work with that child, but also will increase a reflective capacity and, therefore, help with their understanding of other children they work with.

    This would include follow up sessions between the Theraplay practitioner and teacher to provide support and guidance. Made up of 8 sessions, including the intake interview, MIM, analysis and feedback, with 4 out of the 8 sessions being supported by the Teacher or Keyworker.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Motivational Interviewing

    ​Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a psychotherapeutic approach that helps to move an individual away from a state of indecision or uncertainty and towards finding motivation to making positive decisions and accomplishing established goals.

    It is an individual approach and is provided by qualified, and additionally trained, educational psychologists.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry

    Educational psychologists are registered with the HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council). They all have first degrees in psychology and significant experience working with children and young people, prior to beginning their post-graduate professional degrees. Many are additionally qualified and experienced as teachers.

  • Moving on through play (MOTP)

    The purpose of MOTP is to help parents following domestic abuse (DA) with the following:

    Build a relationship with their child

    The relationship may have been affected by impact of DA: emotional impact and lack of emotional availability or attuned responses to their child; disruption and trauma means inconsistent in care and attention; impact of abuse may have been to undermine parent in their role as a parent; impact of abuse may have been for perpetrator to criticise parent, sometimes encouraging the child to join in criticism or influence them to see parent in negative light.

    Helping parent to co-regulate their child

    The child may be having difficulties regulating or the parent may have difficulties co-regulating: child may have been traumatised by DA, may still not feel safe, may not have learnt to regulate emotion because of impact of DA on parenting, may have attachment difficulties due to DA which impact on emotions and possibly behaviour.

    Building parents’ confidence in themselves as parents

    Parents’ experience of DA can undermine their confidence in themselves generally and specifically as parents: they may have been undermined, possibly specifically as a parent; the parent or child roles may have been blurred because of distress or vulnerability of parent or because parents’ attempts to structure and set boundaries has been undermined; parent may feel guilty about the DA and subsequently about setting boundaries leading to difficulties parenting which they then blame themselves for.

    Engaging parents’ reflective function

    Themes running throughout the MOTP group.

    The 4 dimensions of Theraplay, what they are and why they help with relationship, regulation, managing children's behaviour and children's confidence. Closely linked with the 4 dimensions, emphasis on a playful approach.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Play Therapy

    ​Play Therapy is an effective therapy that helps children modify their behaviours, clarify their self-concept and build healthy relationships. In Play Therapy, children enter into a dynamic relationship with the therapist that enables them to express, explore and make sense of their difficult and painful experiences. Play Therapy helps children find healthier ways of communicating, develop fulfilling relationships, increase resiliency and facilitate emotional literacy.

    Children use play as a form of communication. So often children referred to Play Therapy do not have the words to describe their thoughts, feelings and perceptions of their internal and external world.

    For more information, please visit The British Association of Play Therapists.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling for Adults and Children

    ​Psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic counselling are talking therapies. They are used to treat emotional problems and mental health issues. As well as talking, the therapy could use a range of methods including art, music, drama and movement.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Solution Focused Coaching

    ​This intervention combines the approaches of Solution Focused Brief Therapy and coaching methodology. It is provided by an educational psychologist. An intervention for older children (aged 11 years and above), young people and adults, it is usually delivered over a small number of sessions, responding to individual need.

    The intervention is likely to require between four and six, 45 minute sessions. It works by exploring in detail the child, young person or adult’s preferred future for when the problem is solved.

    It helps identify the person’s strengths and resources that can help to bring about change and assumes that whatever the problem, the person is already doing something that works.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry

    Educational psychologists are registered with the HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council). They all have first degrees in psychology and significant experience working with children and young people, prior to beginning their post-graduate professional degrees. Many are additionally qualified and experienced as teachers.

  • Supervision and Consultation (individual and group)

    ​Theraplay Supervision is provided from a Certified Theraplay supervisor for those practicing or completing Theraplay certification.

    Supervision for practitioners

    Supervision is essential to how practitioners sustain good practice throughout their working life. Supervision provides practitioners with regular and ongoing opportunities to reflect in depth about all aspects of their practice in order to work as effectively, safely and ethically as possible. Supervision also sustains the personal resourcefulness required to undertake the work.

    We also recommend supervision to anyone providing therapeutically-based services, working in roles that require regularly giving or receiving emotionally challenging communications, or engaging in relationally complex and challenging roles (extract from the Ethical Framework, BACP 2018).

    Well-being supervisory support can also be offered to professionals experiencing secondary trauma as a result of their day-to-day working with distressed and traumatised children.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Theraplay

    ​Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun.

    Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships:

    • Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge.

    Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable, and viewing relationships as positive and rewarding.

    In treatment

    The Theraplay therapist guides the parent and child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities. The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behaviour and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy.

    Read a fuller account of Theraplay here.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry

    ​All staff providing Theraplay are either certified members of the Theraplay Institute of Chicago or are providing Theraplay interventions while under supervision from Theraplay® certified supervisors, as well as being members of their respective professional bodies.

  • Theraplay Group (in school, nursery, family groups, and residential settings)

    ​A Theraplay Group is an adult-directed, structured play group that incorporates playful, cooperative and nurturing activities that enhance the emotional well-being of children.

    Unlike other play group approaches, Theraplay learning takes place on a non-verbal level. Instead of talking about positive social behaviour, the group leaders and children do positive social interaction. Gradually, positive messages from the groups become a part of the child’s internal sense of himself.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry

    All staff providing Theraplay are either certified members of the Theraplay Institute of Chicago or are providing Theraplay interventions while under supervision from Theraplay® certified supervisors, as well as being members of their respective professional bodies.

  • Theraplay Overview for Practitioners

    ​This program is designed for professionals who would like to know more about Theraplay because they are considering adding Theraplay to their practice, refer others for treatment, or work with others using Theraplay.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry
  • Video Interaction Guidance and Video Enhanced Reflective Practice (VIG/VERP)

    Video Interaction Guidance is an intervention through which a practitioner aims to enhance communication within relationships. It works by engaging clients actively in a process of change towards realising their own hopes for a better future in their relationships with others who are important to them.

    Guiders are themselves guided by the values and beliefs around respect and empowerment. These include a belief that people in troubled situations do want to change, a respect for what clients are managing to achieve in their current difficulties, and a conviction that the power and responsibility for change resides within clients and their situations.

    Typical demographic

    It is most typically used for interactions between children of any age and adults, either parents or professionals, although it can also be used within pairs (or even groups) of adults. When it is used by professionals to reflect on their own communication with service users it is usually referred to as Video Enhanced Reflective Practice (VERP). In both versions, its aim is to give individuals a chance to reflect on their interactions, drawing attention to elements that are successful, and supporting clients to make changes where desired.

    Read a fuller account of VIG here.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry

    All Video Interaction Guidance accessed through this team is provided by staff who have completed VIG training delivered by AVIGuk-accredited trainers and are supervised by AVIGuk accredited supervisors (Association of Video Interaction Guidance – UK).

  • Art therapy

    ​Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses a variety of materials or media as a mechanism for expressing feelings. The aim of art therapy is to engender change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe supportive environment.

    It is a three-way process that focuses on the relationship between the client and therapist and image or object created in session. The image making process can bring to consciousness thoughts and feelings that were previously unconscious and engaging in this process can help empower an individual and over time begin to build a dialogue through pictures and possibly words that can stimulate thought processes and reflection.

    The therapy is person-centred and works at the pace and need of the individual, the therapist is especially sensitive to the presentation of the client and their history noting the influence of their primary formative relationships. Art therapy is not an art class and individuals referred to art therapy do not need to have previous experience or skill in art.

    ​Make a referral or enquiry