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The therapy team is made up of professionals from a range of different backgrounds including clinical psychologists, counselling psychologists, forensic psychologists, cognitive behavioural therapists, family therapists, art therapists, drama therapists and psychological practitioners. The team is also supported by assistant psychologists.
All therapists have completed training in their specific area of therapeutic intervention and are skilled in psychological assessment, formulation and intervention for children, adolescents, adults and families. They also have skills in working with the system or organisations around the individual, evaluating and developing services, research, and providing psychological training and consultation.
All therapists are registered with their own professional body, where necessary. All psychologists are registered with the Health Care Professionals Council.
Many of our therapists are trained in a variety of therapeutic approaches and integrate these in their practice. This breadth of experience and training within the therapy team allows for multi-disciplinary perspectives to be shared, ultimately providing a more holistic approach that can meet the needs of children and young people with wide ranging and complex difficulties.

The common therapeutic approaches used within the team are outlined below:

Attachment-based Approaches

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

DDP is an attachment-focused therapy developed by Dr Daniel Hughes. DDP can help children who have experienced hurt, abuse, or neglect in their early years within a caregiving relationship. DDP aims to help those affected through enabling them to engage in more securely attached relationships with the people caring for them. The approach is strongly grounded in attachment theory whilst also drawing on trauma informed principles, systemic ideas and an understanding of neurobiology.

Theraplay®

Theraplay is offered to children and families to support building and enhancing attachment relationships, self-esteem, trust in others, and engagement. It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parents or caregivers and a child and is personal, physical, and fun.

Nurturing Attachments

DDP is an attachment-focused therapy developed by Dr Daniel Hughes. DDP can help children who have experienced hurt, abuse, or neglect in their early years within a caregiving relationship. DDP aims to help those affected through enabling them to engage in more securely attached relationships with the people caring for them. The approach is strongly grounded in attachment theory whilst also drawing on trauma informed principles, systemic ideas and an understanding of neurobiology.

Cognitive Analytic Therapy

Cognitive Analytic Therapy, is an approach that focusses on the way a person thinks, feels and acts, and the events and relationships that underlie these experiences (often from childhood or earlier in life). As its name suggests, it brings together ideas and understanding from different therapies into one user-friendly and effective therapy. At its heart is an empathic relationship between the client and therapist within the therapeutic boundaries, the purpose of which is to help the client make sense of their situation and to find ways of making changes for the better. CAT is about developing a trusting relationship between child and therapist, identifying current difficulties, looking at the underlying cause, understanding how the child has learned to survive in their relationship and the coping strategies they have developed that might be harmful, and exploring ways of relating to others differently.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
and associated approaches

CBT is a type of talking therapy. CBT is based on the concept that thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical sensations are interconnected. It highlights that negative thoughts can lead to being caught up in a vicious cycle. CBT aims to help people deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts. Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT focuses on improving current problems, rather than focusing on the past. CBT has a good evidence base for a wide range of mental health problems in adults, older adults, children and young people.

There are a number of further approaches that have developed from CBT, these tend to be known as ‘third wave CBT approaches’:

Mindfulness

Mindfulness-based approaches are used to train people to become aware of their thoughts, behaviours and emotions. The core principle of this approach is to systematically develop the skill of being present with internal and external experiences and addressing them in a way that is spacious and considered.

Dialectical Behaviour therapy (DBT)

DBT is an evidence-based form of CBT for teenagers and adults who experience significant trouble managing their emotions, thoughts and behaviours. Dialectical means there is more than one way of looking at a situation, and when different perspectives are considered together they can create a new way of seeing a situation.

Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)

CFT involves identifying and being sensitive to self and other people’s distress, offering kindness and warmth and supporting courage to tackle suffering. CFT identifies high levels of shame and self-criticism that people often present with and so seeks to provide ways to challenge and remove these. This is achieved by increasing compassion for one-self, compassion for others and receiving compassion and kindness back from other people.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

ACT combines acceptance and mindfulness strategies, together with commitment and behaviour change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. Unlike CBT, ACT does not challenge distressing thoughts or aim to come up with a rational perspective. ACT uses defusion techniques to minimise the attention spent on these thoughts. Psychological flexibility means contacting the present moment fully as a conscious human being, and based on what the situation affords, changing or persisting with behaviour in line with one’s chosen values.

Creative Therapies

Art Therapy

Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses a mix of talking and art making. It is a non-directive approach that encourages young people to explore experience, thoughts and feelings at their own pace. Using art materials and image-making allows for safe exploration and builds tolerance for difficult feelings and experiences. Art Therapy practice draws on eclectic theories, but has a strong base in the psychodynamic, which means that unconscious processes that drive behaviour are considered and reflected upon. Using art materials provides an opportunity to experiment safely, build self-knowledge and feel in control. Using creative materials can help process thoughts, regulate emotions and build tolerance for frustration and more difficult feelings. The resulting artworks can provide a bearable focus to promote reflection, to view the journey and to mark both continuity and change, helping to solidify a sense of identity and raise self-esteem.

Dramatherapy

Dramatherapy is a creative arts psychotherapy. It is an active, experiential approach to facilitating social, emotional and behavioural change for individuals and groups. The practice is underpinned by psychological theory and is applied using a theatrical framework. Dramatherapists use an array of techniques including but not limited to; drama, movement, story, metaphor, role play, imagination, art and games to meet therapeutic goals that have been identified by client and therapists together. The process dynamically works with unconscious and conscious material that arises from and within the art form. Dramatherapists work with children, adolescents and adults that may be experiencing a range of difficulties. The therapy space provides an opportunity to safely externalise these difficulties whilst building on individual strengths.

Other Therapies

Systemic Family Therapy

Family and Systemic Psychotherapy looks at enabling people in close relationships to better understand and support each other. It provides a space for family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on family strengths, and work together to make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.Read our systemic family therapy case study >

Narrative Therapy

Narrative therapy suggests that we all hold stories (narratives) about ourselves that influence our sense of who we are, which in turn guides the way we engage with ourselves, others and the world around us. We tell ourselves these stories and others tell stories about us, some stories are repeated frequently and become our dominant narratives, whilst others are forgotten and subjugated. For individuals who have experienced significant adversity, chronic trauma, or who are disenfranchised within society their dominant narratives are often fraught with negativity, self-doubt and disillusionment. Narrative therapy aims to help people identify and explore their dominant narratives whilst simultaneously developing new narratives and drawing out subjugated narratives that may stand in opposition to those that are more dominant.

Non-Violent Resistance (NVR)

NVR is a systemic family therapy, which supports young people and their an attachment-focused therapy developed by Dr Daniel Hughes. DDP can help children who have experienced hurt, abuse, or neglect in their early years within a caregiving relationship. DDP aims to help those affected through enabling them to engage in more securely attached relationships with the people caring for them. The approach is strongly grounded in attachment theory whilst also drawing on trauma informed principles, systemic ideas and an understanding of neurobiology. The approach is strongly grounded in attachment theory whilst also drawing on trauma informed principles, systemic ideas and an understanding of neurobiology

Eye Movement Desensitisation and
Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is an evidence- based therapy used for trauma symptoms. It can be used to help people recover from various distressing events, difficulties such as flashbacks, upsetting thoughts or images, PTSD, complex trauma, anxiety, depression, etc.

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Discover Steven's Journey
at Meadows Care

Steven was 14 years old when he came to Meadows Care. His family had been involved with children’s social care for a long time due to concerns that Steven’s physical and emotional needs were not being met at home. Further, there was a lack of supervision within the family home and indicators that Steven may have experienced sexual abuse…

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