Therapy Services

Therapy Services

Our multidisciplinary therapy service is led by a Consultant Child Clinical Psychologist. We also employ therapeutic social workers, play therapists, teachers, paediatric occupational therapists and mindfulness therapists. We can undertake a range of specialist clinical assessments including neuro-developmental assessments of children. Our team is trained in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) (Dan Hughes model), Theraplay®, Mindfulness and Sensory Integration. Our therapeutic approach involves parents and children together; and promotes the development of healthy attachment relationships, integration of unresolved past trauma and improved regulation capacity. We aim to promote parental understanding and insight in order that parents are confident in responding to their child’s emotional needs.

As an agency we have grown from a foundation of responsiveness and flexibility. We ensure that we are proactive in building on what works for people and changing what does not. Ultimately we aim to offer a service that people find helpful.

Assessment of Therapeutic Needs

We offer therapeutic interventions based on a comprehensive and wide reaching assessment of the needs of the family. We use multiple methods of assessment and invite children and parents to take part in interviews, questionnaire methods and structured observation of interactions between them.

This includes gaining an understanding of:

  • The presenting needs and strengths of the family.
  • The impact of the early experience of maltreatment on the child's attachment relationships, emotional regulation and emotional well-being.
  • The impact of attachment experiences and behaviour on the capacity of parents to parent their children with confidence, empathy and joy.

To find out more about Assessments at Adoptionplus, click here.

Neurodevelopmental Assessments

The effects of neglect and abuse have recognised effects on several areas of a child's development and day to day life; this can include motor development, attention, planning, cognitive ability, learning, memory and sensory processing. Our comprehensive assessment conducted by a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Paediatric OT can help clarify what these needs are. These assessments can also be helpful in providing robust evidence of what the child's needs are in school, and how they can be supported. We provide comprehensive assessment reports and will liaise and feed back to those concerned including decision makers involved in a child's care, including schools, educational psychologists, GPs, paediatricians and mental health services.

Please click here for more information about Neurodevelopment Assessments.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

DDP draws on extensive attachment research, which actively involves the parent in the treatment with their child. This therapy encourages the child to rely on the parent, rather than themselves, for their attachment needs to be met. Through actively accepting the reasons why the child believes they are unlovable, the parent can offer the child the experience of empathy and attunement when they need it the most. When this happens, there is a reduction in their difficult behaviours, greater closeness and more openness to being parented and cared for.   See the DDP Institute website for more information on DDP for parents and professionals: http://ddpnetwork.org/

Founder of DDP, Dan Hughes, talks exclusively to Adoptionplus

Theraplay®

This is a structured approach which promotes the relationship between child and parent through fostering warm, structured, nurturing and engaging interactions. Parents are central to the therapy and this model teaches them how to help their child engage in a more loving relationship with their parents, how to use challenges to build competence and self-esteem and how to infuse their interactions with the sheer fun of joyful play.

Please click here for more information about Theraplay.

Founder of Theraplay®, Phyllis Booth, talks to Adoptionplus

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)

Recent research has demonstrated that living with children who have attachment difficulties can be uniquely stressful. In particular, when attachment difficulties are present, parenting stress is likely to be high and adoptive parents are more likely to be self-critical and struggle to make good judgements about what might be causing their child to have difficulties. Mindfulness is an evidence based treatment for several conditions including parenting stress, which combines ancient wisdom with new science. It is a health enhancing intervention in its own right improving compassion and the capacity to be in the present moment. These qualities are considered to be vital to maintaining an openness to a child with attachment difficulties. We offer mindfulness where needed as an intervention for families seen in our therapy service, for prospective parents, for groups of parents unconnected with us and for professionals working in the adoption field who wish to explore the benefits of mindfulness.

Birth Relative Counselling

Adoptionplus has been offering Birth Family Counselling services since early 2004. We recognise the impact on birth families who lose their children to adoption. Our service aims to ensure that birth families receive the support they need in order that they can start to heal and move forward with their lives. As an agency we understand that adoption has lifelong implications for all involved.

All of our qualified counsellors have a variety of experience and training that helps us offer a responsive and flexible service. As well as person centred and psychotherapeutic models, we also ensure that our counsellors are aware of current research and best practice in the fields of trauma and attachment.

We recommend that all referrals to our service start with a Developmental Trauma and Attachment Assessment. Following this we will tailor a bespoke therapy package to the specific needs of each family.