Our primary focus of support are the key adults around the child or young person. We enable mentalisation and understanding of developmental trauma and the causes of the anxiety and stress being communicated through the behaviour being displayed, which in turn supports empathy and curiosity for change. By addressing disrupted neurodevelopment through strengthening the key adult-child relationships and emotional containment, we help children and young people develop resilience, agency, self-efficacy and learning capacity and get back to a path of progress towards the goals of adult life.
In this sense our approach aligns with the social constructionist and ecological model of understanding presenting needs, rather than the medical model (which locates the ‘problem’ within child). We do not offer diagnostic assessments but rather a psychological formulation of presenting needs and strengths of the individual child or young person and of the systemic support around them. We explore attachment, resilience, emotional and behavioural regulation, executive functioning, communication, construct of self, sensory integration and dissociative responses. We use dynamic and solution-oriented assessment approaches to formulate next steps towards therapeutic repair, this then informs the targeted intervention that is needed in order to empower a process of change over time using trauma informed and trauma responsive strategies.
We do not see children and families within a clinic setting. Instead, we believe that working within the contexts or domains the child lives and learns in allows us to gather important information by observing in real life settings. This generates authentic (or meaningful) interventions towards therapeutic repair delivered through a co-constructed approach.
Following a thorough review and analysis of previous reports and intervention, including discussions with key practitioners currently involved with the child or young person, a bespoke psychological formulation is completed exploring all the systems around the child. This aims to identify any pieces of the developmental trauma jigsaw that are missing and provides a comprehensive formulation in order to move from stuck to unstuck.
Our approach to therapeutic repair is to strengthen the systems or web of support around the child. Strategies employed are informed by our psychological formulation and as such are person or family centred to build on existing strengths, whilst also enhancing areas of need. Central to our belief is that developmental trauma informed, trauma responsive and nurturing relational approaches are crucial in empowering change over the long term.
The focus of our work in educational and wider settings is to develop knowledge, skills and capacity and promote confidence and resilience in the professionals working hard to support families in need. Our approach is respectful, non-threatening, non-judgemental and acknowledging of the many political, societal and personal reasons why families find themselves in crisis.