Is your child or teenager struggling with issues related to trauma, grief, anxiety, depression, or major life changes?
It may be that you have noticed changes in your child's behaviour and you want a greater understanding of what they are trying to communicate, as well as ways you can support them.
As a young person, you may be struggling with particular thoughts, feelings and relationships and you want to gain a greater insight into what is happening and why you are feeling this way.
Sometimes the most powerful and robust changes can happen by supporting the adults and networks around a child to become more attuned and sensitive to meeting a young person's needs.
You may be struggling with how to 'parent' during these trickier times and want to unpick the intricacies of your relationship with your child/adolescent. It might be helpful to understand how your own experiences of being 'parented' are influencing family dynamics.
I am a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist registered with the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) and fully insured, working in the South West region. I’m here to support you and your child/adolescent with a space to think and explore the problems you are currently facing.
WHAT IS PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Psychotherapy is built upon the notion that all individuals have a conscious and unconscious mind. Our unconscious mind is where we keep feelings and memories that are too painful to be addressed consciously. The main work in psychotherapy is the development of the relationship between the therapist and young person to encourage and build trust. This becomes an important tool for exploring and resolving difficulties and conflicts, which stem from and are buried in the unconscious mind, bringing them into consciousness. Over time this understanding can be internalised by the young person so that he or she can begin to understand their own feelings and behaviour. Left untreated children and young people may respond to people and situations in ways they cannot comprehend nor control.
What happens in a session with a child or adolescent?
Psychotherapy sessions are for 50 minutes and vary in how many times a young person is seen in a week. The sessions happen with the same therapist, in the same room and at the same times each week. The timings of these sessions are important as they create a consistent, containing environment. This provides the opportunity for the young person to build a level of trust where they feel able to think about and share sensitive information. This requires a level of commitment and consistency; if an appointment is arrived late to for example, this unfortunately means not making up the lost time.
The young person is able to use their sessions as they wish, exploring the environment and the objects within it. This can be either through verbal communication, non-verbal communication, play, drawing, painting, even sitting in silence if they wish. Although some young people come with an idea of what it is they need to talk about, most do not.
Each session remains confidential between therapist and young person, unless there are concerns for the young person's/therapist's/another person’s safety. Information would then be shared with the appropriate sources. Key themes that take place during the sessions will be shared at reviews to reflect upon developments or progress in the therapy and young person.
More information for parents and carers can be found here -
"The emotional regulation in relationships is the very mechanism through which the brain and mind grow in ‘normal development’, and through which change happens in psychotherapy".
GET TO KNOW ME
I am a fully qualified Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist. This means that I am trained to use the relationship I build up with my clients and my observational skills to understand their difficulties, make sense of these and help the client to gain more of an insight into why they feel and behave the way they do. I work with children, adolescents and their families/carers and professionals.
I have a passion for working with children and young people. I have worked in a range of settings before qualifying as a psychotherapist. These include: schools; learning disability units; residential foster care homes; supporting families in their homes with their children; and, in a paediatric hospital unit. Additionally, I have worked for over 7 years in the NHS, the last few years spent working part-time within CAMHS in Southampton.
I have an interest in working with looked-after and adopted children and those who have experienced early trauma. I recently completed my clinical doctorate which explored the therapeutic needs of unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors.
QUALIFICATIONS & TRAINING
Professional Doctorate in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with University of East London (UEL).
PGDip in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in association with UEL.
BA(Hons) in Childhood and Youth studies from Exeter University.
ACP (Association of Child Psychotherapists) membership no: 4590
The Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists (TSP)
ACAMH (The Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health) membership no: 10708
The Complex Trauma Institute
“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength”
I began my private practice in 2018, taking a brief break in 2020 for maternity leave. I work across the South West of England and currently work from bases in Southampton and Salisbury.
During the pandemic consultations and face to face sessions were moved online via Zoom. Conducting sessions this way may be a suitable option for you and this is something which can be discussed during your initial consultation.
- Adolescents and young adults (up to the age of 25)
- Consultations to parents/carers
- Parent and child together
- Supervision for individuals or groups
- Training to services and groups
WHAT DO I WORK WITH?
My training and experience mean I can work with a variety of presentations such as:
- Behavioural concerns
- Developmental delay
- Sleep difficulties
- Gender dysphoria
- Consequences of child abuse (emotional, psychological, and physical)
- Early Developmental Trauma
- Looked-after/adopted young people
- Mild-Moderate self-harming behaviour
- Learning difficulties and disabilities
- Mild eating disorders
- Psychosomatic disorders
My standard rate is £70 per session. Fees may be higher when working with organisations and services.
Assessments are a minimum cost of £300. This includes three assessment sessions, a review/planning meeting, and a brief summary letter if required. Any additional assessment sessions are charged at my standard rate.
Report fees will be negotiated depending on content, type and time taken to prepare.
Supervision sessions are £45 per hour.
Training fees will be negotiated depending on topic, length of time required and travel costs.
HOW TO MAKE A REFERRAL
After an initial phone consultation, where we can talk through your concerns and the presenting difficulties, if suitable, we can then arrange an initial meeting. During this meeting we can explore further what kind of support you are looking for and contemplate an assessment period.
An assessment would span over 3-4 appointments to assess if the therapy is appropriate. Depending on the need/severity of the difficulties, this period of time will help to decipher if further sessions are required and how they will be structured (fortnightly/once a week over a few months, to three times a week for a lengthier period).
Alternately, we may decide that parent/carer consultations are the best way forward. These may be done in person, via Zoom or over the phone.
Each session will remain confidential between the therapist and the client, unless there are concerns for the young person’s/therapist’s/another person’s safety or an escalation of risk.
Bessel Van Der Kolt
“The parent-child connection is the most powerful mental health intervention known to mankind.”
The Psychotherapy Practice
2 University Road
You can contact me either by phone or email to discuss your concerns or with enquires. The initial phone consultation is free and we can decide what are the best steps to take forward. There is no obligation to set up an appointment at this stage; I understand that sometimes making the first contact can be difficult and I am happy just to begin by talking things through with you.
“I am very grateful for the work you did with my son and helping him to discover himself – thank you so much for all your hard work”
Mother of 8 year old client
"Thank you for everything, you have helped me trust again"
10 year old client
"Thank you for helping me through everything. I am truly grateful. Thank you for helping me learn to see that I am normal and that I deserve love"
14 year old client
"I will miss playing with you and I feel sad to say goodbye"
7 year old client
“I have enjoyed the level of understanding and support both me and my wife have received. The things we have learned have been such a positive thing for both us and our children"
“I am able to recognise my own weakness and stop and think before I react. As well as being able to recognise my son’s triggers”
You may require more immediate help and support, or prefer to seek it else where. The following information may help you with this.