It is my practice to meet with parents/carers first before meeting with the child about whom you have concerns. This is called a Parent Information & Support Meeting and this allows me to gather background information as well as work out which therapeutic approach suits you and your child best. After this meeting you will also receive a follow up email containing tips and suggestions for you to start using at home as part of your parenting strategy, these are aspects of what I call Therapeutic Parenting.
The next step would be for your child to attend for a number of observation/pre-therapy assessment sessions (usually 3 sessions) after which I will again meet with parents/carers and discuss what, if any, further intervention is required.
My ethos is to have parents involved in their young child’s therapy and you will either be asked to attend weekly with your child for joint parent-child therapy or alone for regular parental review meetings throughout your child’s treatment. Together we will establish whether you and/or your child could benefit from a psychotherapeutic intervention to begin to understand the factors impacting on your relationship and/or causing the concerning behaviours.
There are a number of therapeutic approaches (listed below) and the purpose of the initial assessment session is to ascertain which of these will be most suitable for you/your child. These will be discussed with you in detail after the assessment.
- Play Therapy
- Sand Tray Therapy
- Child Parent Relationship Therapy
- Therapeutic Play sessions
- Brief Psychotherapy (for children, adolescents, young adults, parents)
- Long-Term Psychotherapy (for children, adolescents, young adults, parents)
- Attachment Assessments (I provide the MIM; SSAP; CAI)
Because everyone is an individual and as therapy is a process, which develops over time, the length of treatment will vary. Therapy may last from 4 sessions to several months to a couple of years depending on the individual and the circumstances. Generally, children respond quicker than adults in therapy due to their life experiences being more limited in that they are either in the problem or it may have recently happened. Statistically, children under 7 years show positive changes in the concerning behaviour in 12-14 sessions. Early intervention is always the best approach.
I accept referrals from professionals and parents for children/families from pregnancy right up to young adults. I also work with adults around issues of attachment history, pregnancy and/or parenting. I also work with individuals/couples considering IVF and/or adoption or dealing with conception challenges. Please contact my office regarding this or any of the symptoms below:
- Attachment Challenges
- Concerns about infant development (feeding/weaning/sleeping)
- Shyness/Difficulty making friends
- Temper Tantrums/Aggressive Behaviour
- Dealing with Separation/Divorce
- Eating Disorders
- Parent Child Bonding
- Oppositional Behaviours
Sometimes babies and young children cry a lot or cannot establish regular patterns of eating or sleeping and their caregivers cannot figure out how to help them. Sometimes babies and young children do not respond to their parents’/carers’ efforts to help them. Such behaviours and feelings often interfere with a family’s sense of wellbeing and capacity for emotional, social and intellectual development. If these problems do not resolve with time and support from parents/carers, professional assistance can be both warranted and highly effective.
We believe that a parent’s worries and upsets can impact on their child just as the behaviour of the infant or young child may create considerable challenges for the parent. Addressing either in isolation may not fully resolve the difficulties and can be only partially effective, for this reason sessions may be one to one and others will include you and your infant/young child.
Thinking and talking with a psychotherapist/attachment specialist can throw light on difficulties, which previously may have seemed confusing and can help parents and children recognise their own capacity to manage confusing situations.
Joint parent/infant or Parent/young child work will also facilitate the development of parent child communication and enable you to communicate with your child in a non-verbal way.
I also provide peri-natal psychotherapy and in utero attachment assessments with a view to identifying attachment difficulties at the earliest possible time and commencing attachment repair and recovery work at the earliest possible time. I also work with parents and children where there has been an experience of PND to repair and recover that attachment disruption.