We use our training and experience in attachment and trauma to help children and families with their relationships.
Our therapists are trained in DDP, Theraplay and Family Therapy and therapeutic life story work, which are attachment and trauma-based interventions.
We recognise the importance of building relationships with families and the value of delivering work in a setting they feel most comfortable. This may be in our therapy rooms, in the family home, school or other familiar settings – some of the work can be delivered online or over the phone – often the work develops into a mixture of these options. Families often find it supportive to have a regular check-in before and after sessions.
We also recognise the importance of the therapist building a strong trusting relationship with the parent before any work with the child can begin. This can take time as we sensitively work with them on gaining a better understanding of their own attachment history and how this can impact on parenting their child.
By supporting parents and carers to remain emotionally engaged and available to their child, therapists help them to recognise that the child/young person’s behaviour is a form of communication of how they are feeling. When parents are able to remain attuned and empathetic towards their children over time, the children begin to trust and negative behaviour patterns gradually reduce.
When therapeutic parenting may be useful
- Children who have suffered early life trauma and significant adverse childhood experiences (ACE can develop emotional, social, or cognitive impairments. These children often go on to have emotional or behavioural difficulties and so need to be parented differently, or therapeutically, so that their specific needs are met.
- Trauma can affect brain development. Many traumatised children function at an earlier developmental level than their chronological age suggests.
- Traumatised children may struggle to develop regulatory skills needed for learning and social relationships.
- Some children react powerfully to sensory triggers related to their trauma by becoming hyper-aroused or dissociating. These reactions often occur below the level of conscious awareness.
- If adults involved with traumatised children are unable to manage their own emotions, this can escalate children’s distress.