Our Therapists

Our children engage in meaningful, regular, long-term individual therapy. 

About our Therapists - We use therapists who are experienced and highly qualified professional practitioners with different areas of specialism but all are experts in childhood trauma, neglect and abuse.

We ensure that all therapists have the statutory and professional registrations to practice, relevant to the therapeutic input they provide, as well as the necessary supervision and support structures to ensure they maintain the high quality of their practice. We regularly review the provision of these therapies over the whole of ATC, as well as reviewing the input provided to each child as described above.

Copies of qualifications, membership of professional bodies and clinical supervision dates are kept and monitored by the Principal.

Our therapists provide direct therapeutic intervention with our children and, where appropriate, their families.

How Therapy works - All of our children are assessed by one of our qualified therapists.  The therapist conducts an assessment for up to six sessions that includes a thorough consideration of the child’s history and contact with the professionals and family as appropriate.  This assessment informs the child’s programme and placement plan. 

If the therapists assess that it is appropriate, they then work on a weekly basis with the individual child. All of our children engage in individual weekly therapy at some point in their programme and for 90% of them this is throughout the duration of their placement.

The therapists provide reports for reviews and they also meet regularly with the teams working with the children to inform their practice and support the therapeutic process.

At Appletree Treatment Centre, therapists can accommodate individual weekly hour long sessions for all the children who are placed with us.  They have also been able to offer family/foster family work, filial work, twice-weekly sessions and longer sessions when children have required it.

Therapists work creatively and non-directively.  This is important for our children, as their trauma has usually begun pre-verbally. 

For this reason talking therapies or cognitive behavioural therapy would not work for this group of children, they literally do not have the words for what has happened to them.  They need to play, act, draw it out and the therapist needs to contain and help them interpret their trauma. 

Therapy cannot take place “in a vacuum”.  The therapists have consultation with the teams and work with the House Tutors as they would with parents or foster carers with regular communication and ideas or concerns shared both ways. Confidentiality about the details of the therapy is preserved but themes and ways in which the team can support the therapeutic process are shared.  It is supported by our therapeutic childcare, which has been reviewed as meeting the standards for therapeutic childcare as set by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Psychologists. 

Therapy available - Our team of experts includes therapists who are qualified in using a range of approaches, methods and techniques.

Play therapy, Drama therapy, Art therapy, Music therapy  - Therapists are able to offer attachment work and help with emotional self-regulation. They conduct mental health assessments and work with children who disassociate. They are particularly skilled at working with sexually abused children or young people displaying sexualized behaviour, and/or those who have been at risk of sexual exploitation.

This breadth of expertise enables us to ensure that we have the resources to best match every child’s specific needs.

Speech and Language therapy - We have a speech and language therapist who assesses all the children and recommends programmes for them.  This is because early trauma often leads to language deprivation (our children have not had stories, songs, rhymes, conversation shared with them). 

All of our children are initially assed by our speech and language therapist. When a child is assessed as needing speech and language therapy our fully qualified Speech and Language therapist delivers the therapy or devises a programme for one of the team to deliver, as is most appropriate. 

Occupational therapy - We use occupational therapists who can help us address the result of sensory deprivation (being left in a cot or strapped in a pushchair for hours on end).

Filial therapy - Helps to promote attachment between parent / foster carer and child. We have filial therapists who specialise in developing attachments with adoptive/foster/birth family and work with the parent and child together. 

Family therapy  - We use family therapists to ensure that once the child moves to their family there is the best chance of success. 

EMDR - helps children process intensive, unwanted images (flashbacks) and eye movement de-sensitisation and reprocessing therapy for trauma.