The starting point for any referrals received for children will be to undertake a clinical child assessment.
The assessment is a blind assessment undertaken with little or no background information on the child in order to be able to get a clear picture of how the child is experiencing the world. This is usually a two hour process consisting of a number of activities and techniques designed to assess the cognitive, emotional and social functioning of the child.
The assessment has a specific focus on identifying any indicators of disrupted attachments or traumatic experiences that may be impacting on the child’s development and behaviours. Once this section of the assessment is complete then information is gathered from the parents / carers / agencies. There may also be a need to undertake a family observation and / or a family sculpting to fully assess the interactions and relationships. This varies dependent on the individual needs of the child and family.
As a result of the assessment a clear therapeutic plan then can be developed that is tailored to the specific needs of the child. Reports are available on request. The assessment can also be utilised by agencies and courts in developing care plans or informing assessments of the needs of the child / family.
There are a number of therapeutic interventions available that are specific to the needs of the child. Different techniques are used to help the children to express their feelings and explore their emotional states; explore and process traumatic events; form positive interpersonal relationships and help with their emotional, cognitive and neurological development.
The therapeutic approach is integrative and creative designed to meet the need of the child at that time in order to help them heal. Every child is an individual and this is the ethos behind any plan of therapeutic intervention. Parents are closely involved in the process in order to provide effective support outside of the therapy room that will further facilitate the child’s journey towards healing.