Mission, Values & Statement of Purpose

Chrysalis Associates is a centre of excellence in the provision of attachment based therapy and education. We are passionate about maintaining a high level of knowledge and expertise within our staff team to enable us to provide a dynamic and effective service to our clients.

At the heart of our company are the people who work in it. We care for and value our team enabling them to grow and develop professionally and personally. We provide high levels of supervision and training and actively promote a healthy work – life balance.

Chrysalis Associates’ integrity underpins its principles in the provision of a reliable service which interacts with clients and professionals in a sincere and genuine way. We provide a transparent and evidence based service thereby providing accountability for our service users and to our commissioners.



Statement of Purpose



Aims & Objectives

Services Provided



Summary of Complaints Procedure

Monitoring and Evaluation

Appendix 1



This statement of purpose has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Standards and Regulations and will be a useful source of information for staff, service users, and external agencies.

The statement of purpose will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, at least annually, and modified if necessary.

Upon request arrangements can be made for the Statement of Purpose to be translated, explained or produced in a different format to suit the needs of staff, service users or commissioning bodies.

Chrysalis Associates, registered with the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (OFSTED), operates within the requirements of the following primary and secondary legislation and guidance:

  • The Adoption and Children Act 2002 and associated Regulations and Guidance
  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Data Protection Act 1998
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • The United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child
  • The Care Standards Act 2000
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children

Other relevant Legislation and Regulations and Guidance issued to Local Authorities, which highlights good practice relating to services


Aims & Objectives

Chrysalis Associates are a multi-disciplinary therapeutic team of professionals who specialise in the assessment and treatment of developmental trauma and attachment difficulties. We offer services to children, their carers and families as well as to organisations working to promote young people’s wellbeing.

We aim to provide services of the highest quality which are evidence-based, timely and effective by;

  • Ensuring that all therapeutic provision is supported by research.
  • Ensuring that all our staff are trained in the relevant therapeutic models
  • Ensuring that all our staff receive supervision on a monthly basis
  • Expecting all our staff to undertake regular training to keep their skill base up-to-date.

Always keeping children and families at the centre of everything we do by;

  • Providing them with information leaflets
  • Providing information about our complaints procedures.
  • Asking the children and their carers to fill out feedback forms at the end of Therapy
  • Undertaking consultation and feedback exercises with children and their families.

We aim to ensure that all our services are accessible and suitable for all regardless of race, colour, religion, nationality, sexuality, age or disability by;

  • Ensuring one of the Directors acts as Equality and Diversity lead.
  • Ensuring all staff undertake Equality and Diversity training
  • Monitoring the diversity of all the referrals we receive.
  • Using feedback forms to monitor our service provision
  • Ensuring our information is available in different formats

We aim to ensure we keep children safe by;

  • Ensuring one of the Directors acts as Safeguarding Lead.
  • Having a robust safeguarding policy that all staff are aware of.
  • Regular safeguarding training for all staff.


Services Provided

We offer services both to individual children, to their carers and families, and to organisations working to promote young people’s wellbeing.

We offer a range of therapeutic interventions including:

  • Trauma and Attachment therapy
  • Post-adoption support
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Theraplay
  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
  • Psychotherapy with young people
  • Individual and Couple Therapy
  • School Liaison
  • Parent Mentoring & Parent support programme

We also offer:

  • Trauma and Attachment Assessments
  • Assessments to inform Adoption Planning
  • Psychological assessments
  • Psychometric testing

For professionals and organisations we can offer:

  • Training on attachment and complex trauma
  • Clinical Supervision and staff support (for individuals or groups)
  • Consultation
  • Consultancy on Team and Service development

What sort of issues do we work with?

  • Attachment difficulties & Disorders
  • Complex Developmental Trauma
  • Adapting to changes (loss, separation, etc
  • Post-traumatic reactions
  • Behavioural Difficulties

With whom do we work?

  • Adoptive Families
  • Foster families
  • Children and Young People in Residential care settings
  • Local Authorities
  • Private Fosteri ng Agencies


The assessments provided by Chrysalis Associates are specifically tailored to the needs of the child and family. The commissioning organisation or family is welcome to contact Chrysalis for an informal discussion of their needs. Prior to a referral being made, the family and/or professionals involved are offered a free consultation session with one of the management team to explore the issues in more detail and ensure Chrysalis is the right service to meet the family’s need.

Once a formal written referral has been received, Chrysalis will provide an outline costing and proposal for services. Once funding has been confirmed, the family is contacted to arrange an assessment appointment.

All children and young people will receive a pre-therapy assessment in order to create an individual therapeutic package.

The pre-therapy assessment comprises of:

  • Intensive review of relevant reports, school records, court documents, chronologies
  • Parent Stress Index (PSI)
  • The PSI is a questionnaire completed by a carer to identify their view of their child and the level of stress that parenting the child causes them.
  • Marschak Interaction Method (MIM)

The M.I.M. is a structured observation technique designed to assess the quality and nature of child-carer interaction to identify how the child reacts to the carer’s attempts to:

  • Structure the environment and set clear, appropriate expectations and limits.
  • Engage the child in interaction whilst being attuned to the child’s state and reactions.
  • Respond in a nurturing way to the child’s needs, including being able to soothe and calm the child when needed.
  • To provide and respond to challenge in an appropriate way.
  • Trauma Symptom Checklist for Young Children (TSSYC)

The TSSYC is a standardised, parent/carer report test of trauma symptoms and evaluates acute and chronic posttraumatic symptoms and other psychological sequelae of traumatic events in children.

  • Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning (BRIEF)

Executive function describes a set of cognitive abilities that control and regulate other abilities and behaviours. We use the BRIEF to assess the executive functioning in the home and school environment. The BRIEF is useful in evaluating children with a wide spectrum of developmental and acquired neurological conditions.

  • Children’s Problems Checklist (CPC)

This is used as an aid in the evaluation and assessment of children and is intended as a survey measure to identify relevant problems and is essentially a structured information-gathering instrument.

  • Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL)

The CBCL evaluates behaviour and social competency of children and identifies difficulties in the following areas: Affective Problems, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Problems, Anxiety Problems, Oppositional Defiant Problems, Somatic Problems and Conduct Problems


Additional Assessment tools routinely used by Chrysalis Associates:

Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children, fourth edition (WISC-IV): This is an assessment of a child’s intellectual and neurological functioning. This involves completion of a number of subscales and the resulting score pattern are indicative of different areas of neurological processing, and the verbal and performance ability. The assessment takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, and depending on the child would usually be administered over two sessions.

Weschler Memory Scale (WMS): This is an assessment of a child’s memory processing ability. The WMS assesses a child’s short and long term memory, and overall memory capacity for both verbal and pictorial memory. The WMS is linked to the WISC-IV, and are often completed in conjunction to give a fuller neurological picture of potential damage. The WMS takes approximately 90 minutes to administer and must be completed within one session.

Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: This is an assessment of a child’s ability to identify that what is inside their head, is different to what is inside other’s heads. It also assesses a child’s ability to think flexibly and to adapt to differing rules set by adults and altered by them.

Bene Anthony Family Relations Test: This is an assessment of a child’s view of the dynamics within their family. The assessment identifies the feeling that a child has for family and friends and their perceived emotions that they receive from these people.

The assessment also identifies a child’s view of themselves and the level of nurture and protectiveness that they receive from family and friends.

  • Child Depression Scale

This is an assessment of a child’s level of depression and their self concept. The child rates themselves on their self esteem, ability to experience pleasure and sense of guilt and preoccupation with illness. The parent also scores the child on the same scales and these results are compared to identify how able the parent is to judge their child’s emotional state.

Following on from the pre therapy assessment, a therapeutic plan will be drawn up in conjunction with the family and the commissioner. Our therapeutic packages draw from the following interventions;

  • Theraplay
  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
  • EMDR
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

More information on each of these interventions can be found in Appendix 1 of this document.



Chrysalis Associates is a limited company, the Board of Directors consists of;

Sarah Terry – Registered Manager

Sarah Allkins – Responsible Individual and Managing Director

Dr Jacqueline Lynch – Director of Finance and Clinical Lead

Dr Helen Freake – Personnel Director, Equality & Diversity and Research & Development Lead


Sarah Terry – Registered Manager

Sarah has over 20 years experience working in Health & Social Care, including the statutory and voluntary sectors. She qualified as a social worker in 1995, obtaining a MA/DipSW at Leicester University. She has undertaken additional training in the following therapeutic models; Theraplay as developed by Phyllis Booth and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy as developed by Dr Dan Hughes and EMDR. She is also trained in the administration of the Attachment Style Interview and has completed Family Futures 2 year ‘Attachment and Adoption’ course.


Sarah Terry

Chrysalis Associates,

48 Wostenholm Road,

Sheffield, S7 1LL

Tel: 01142 509455

E-mail:  sarah.terry@chrysalisassociates.org



Sarah Allkins – Responsible Individual and Managing Director

 Sarah is the Responsible Individual has over 10 years experience working in Health and Social Care, including statutory and voluntary sectors. She holds a BA (Hons)/DipSW and has completed the Open University course ‘Managing Health and Social Care Services’. She has undertaken post qualification training in the following therapeutic models; Theraplay as developed by Phyllis Booth and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy as developed by Dr Dan Hughes and EMDR. She is also trained in administering the Attachment Style Interview, The Story Stem Battery devised by The Anna Freud Centre and The EASIE Programme [Exercise and Sound in Education]. Sarah has also been a specialist foster carer for 8 years, caring for children with significant attachment difficulties.


Sarah Allkins, Chrysalis Associates,

48 Wostenholm Road,


S7 1LL

Tel: 01142 509455

E-mail: sarah.allkins@chrysalisconsortium.co.uk


Dr Jacqueline Lynch: Director of Finance and Clinical Lead

Dr Lynch is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with over 15 years experience. She holds a BSc in Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and has under taken additional training in: Drama Therapy, CBT, Narrative Therapy, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Theraplay, Group work with Children and Adolescents and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing [EMDR]. She is also trained in the administration of the ASI.


Dr Helen Freake: Personnel Director, Equality & Diversity and Research & Development Lead

Dr Freake is a Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years experience and holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, a BA in Social Science and a Post-graduate diploma in clinical supervision. She has also undertaken additional training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy; Theraplay and EMDR.



Additional Staff


Rachel Johnson – Finance Manager

Rachel has over 9 years’ experience of office management, para planning, financial & accounting, managing a large team of advisors. Rachel previously worked for St James’s Place a large invest bank within the financial services industry.


Julie Morewood –  Administrator

Julie has had over 20 years experience working as a PA, Secretary and Office Manager and holds RSA1 – 3 in Word Processing & Audio Transcription.


Matthew Clark – Theraplay & Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Practitioner

Matthew has a BSc in Psychology and is currently undergoing a DcPsych in Counselling Psychology and Integrative Psychotherapy with Middlesex University.  He has also worked with vulnerable adults and children in number of settings over a 4 year period. This work has included working within an acute mental health ward, residential care for children with disabilities and employment within CAFCASS working directly with children undergoing public and private law proceedings.  Matt has trained in Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and EMDR.


Janet Drake – Trauma and Attachment Therapist

Janet has a B.Ed and a CQSW and has 10 years teaching experience and 20 years experience working as a social worker in both health and social care with 9 years experience as an adoption social worker. She has undertaken additional training in the following therapeutic models, Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, EMDR and NVR.


Sarah Bryan -Trauma & Attachment Therapist

Having originally qualified with BHSc in Occupational Therapy in 1996, Sarah has since worked in the NHS, predominantly in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Settings.  Sarah has a range of experience in assessment and treatment of developmental issues and has specialised in working with attachment and trauma issues.  She is experienced in the application of sensory processing strategies to enhance the development of regulation.  Post qualification Sarah has completed training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Theraplay, Sensory Motor Psychotherapy, The Alert Program for Self-Regulation and EMDR.


Ian Hutchinson -Trauma & Attachment Therapist

Ian attained his Bsc Philosophy and Sociology before gaining 10 years experience, working with children of all ages in a variety of special educational needs settings.  Following this Ian gained a further 5 years experience of therapeutic work with a Looked After and Adopted Children’s team.  Ian also holds a Masters in Art Psychotherapy Practice and is currently an Associate Lecturer on the Sheffield based course. He has completed training in Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.


Lisa Fletcher – Consultant Trauma & Attachment Therapist

As a Consultant Family and Systemic Psychotherapist Lisa has over 17 years experience working in Health, Social Care and Post Graduate Education.  Lisa is a qualified Family and Systemic Psychotherapist and holds an MSc in Systemic Psychotherapy, a Diploma in Systemic Psychotherapy, an MA/DipSW in Social Work and a BSc in Sociology. She has undertaken post qualification training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Theraplay and EMDR.


Mikenda Plant – Consultant Trauma & Attachment Therapist

Mikenda has over 20 years experience working in Health & Social Care. Mikenda is a qualified Family & Systemic Psychotherapist and holds a BSc in Management Science and an MA/DipSW in Social Work. Mikenda is a certified Dyadic developmental Psychotherapy Practitioner and has undertaken post qualification training in Theraplay & EMDR.


Rachael Hillyer – Trauma & Attachment Therapist

Rachael is a qualified Counselling Psychologist and holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology, a Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.  She has undertaken additional training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Theraplay and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR).


Sharmi Gowri-Kriszyk – Trauma & Attachment Therapist

Sharmi has over 10 years experience working in the field of Mental Health, including the statutory and voluntary sectors.  She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and is a qualified counsellor who has obtained her MSc and Professional Diploma in Counselling Psychology. She is trained in CBT, Psychodyamic and Client-Centred Approaches, Couples Therapy, Individual and Group Therapy with adults, children and adolescents. She has also undertaken additional training in the following therapeutic models; Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and EMDR.


Marion Cavan – Trauma & Attachment Therapist

Marion has a BHSc (Hons) degree in Occupational therapy.  She qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1996 and since then has work within children and young people’s services in a variety of settings including Early Years, Health, Education and in private practice.  She has worked extensively with children with a range of complex developmental difficulties including both physical and learning disabilities as well as in a residential setting for young adults with moderate/severe autism and challenging behaviour.  For the past  6  years Marion has worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and a specialist deaf CAMHS service.


She is experienced in the application of sensory processing strategies to enhance the development of regulation, assessment and treatment of developmental issues and play-based attachment work.  Marion has undertaken postgraduate training in Sensory Integration, Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.


Peter Court – Trauma and Attachment Therapist

Peter qualified with an MA(DIPSW) in 2001. He has over 14 years experience within a variety of social work settings. 3 years were spent working with adults with substance misuse problems, followed by 11 years working with children, young people and families through different organisations.

More recently Peter has spent over six years as an adoption support social worker. As well as supporting families, Peter facilitated the Family Links parenting programme and delivered training to prospective adopters.  Peter has undertaken additional training in the following therapeutic models: Theraplay, NVR, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy.


Rebecca Smith – Assistant Psychologist

Rebecca has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and has worked as an Assistant Psychologist for a number of years.  This has been within a range of settings supporting vulnerable adults and children, which has included community Forensic CAMHS teams and secure units. She has also conducted research projects for young people at risk of offending and families that fall within the remit of the ‘Troubled Families’ government agenda.



Evangel Kehinde – Assistant Psychologist

Evangel has recently graduated from Warwick University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology. She has worked with children and young people for the past four years. Evangel has experience of working in a residential home with children in care.


Summary of Complaints Procedure

Chrysalis Associates has a formal Complaints Procedure, which is made available to all service-users at their first point of contact. A simple child-focused form is also available for children.

If the complainant, the staff member involved and their Manager are unable to resolve the dissatisfaction, then the formal Complaints Procedure will be implemented without delay.

Complaints may also be directed to:

Ofsted National Business Unit,

Piccadilly Gate, Store Street,


M1 2WD

Tel: 0300 123 1231


Email:  enquiries@ofsted.gov.org Website:  www.ofsted.gov.uk


Where a child or young person wishes to make a complaint Chrysalis Associates will seek to support them and provide them with the appropriate information to facilitate the process of their complaint. If the matter cannot be resolved through the organisations informal or formal Complaints Procedure, a child or young person may contact:


The Office of the Children’s Commissioner,

Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street,



Free phone 0800 5280731

Email: advice.team@childrenscommissioner.gsi.gov.uk

Website: www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk


Coram Voice (Formerly Voice of the Children in Care)

Free phone 0808 8005792

Email: info@coramvoice.org.uk

Website: www.coramvoice.org.uk


National Youth Advocacy Service,

Free phone 0808 8081001



Stage 1: Informal Complaint

A service-user can tell the people who run the service about their dissatisfaction.

If a service-user is not happy about the service that has been offered, he/she will be able to tell the person who is working with them. That member of staff should then tell their manager or supervisor about the complaint and also explain how they have dealt with it. This helps us to make sure that the matter has been handled properly. The manager will keep a written record of the complaint, because it is necessary for Chrysalis to take an overview of all concerns and complaints, so that we can ensure that we offer the best possible services.

If the service-user feels that the person he/she is working with cannot help them with the matter, or if he/she is not happy with the answers they give, then he/she should contact the registered manager.

The manager can be contacted:

  • by telephone
  • by letter
  • by asking to see them

The registered manager will look into the matter and, wherever possible, the outcome of the investigation will be provided within ten days. If the service user is not satisfied with the outcome at this stage the registered manager will support the service user in putting their concerns into writing. This then moves on to a Stage 2 complaint.

Stage 2: Formal complaint

All formal complaints must be put in writing to the Responsible Individual.  In Chrysalis Associates, the Responsible Individual is a Director, who is removed from the day-to-day management of clinical work. The Responsible Individual can be contacted:

  • by letter addressed to the Responsible Individual at Chrysalis Associates, 48 Wostenholm Road, Sheffield, S7 1LL
  • by e-mail: sarah.allkins@chrysalisconsortium.co.uk

A service-user can ask a friend, family member, or advocate to help them think through what he/she wants to complain about and how he/she wants to share their views.

The Responsible Individual will let the Complainant know within three working days that their complaint has been received.

The Responsible Individual may:

  • telephone the service-user and ask for more details
  • arrange to meet with the service-user to discuss their concerns
  • talk to other people who are involved

The Responsible Individual will look into the matter and, wherever possible, the outcome of the investigation will be provided within ten days. If the service user is not satisfied with the outcome at this stage the matter will move on to a stage 3 complaint.

Stage 3: Review Panel

Under these circumstances, the complainant will then be considered by a Review Panel. The review panel comprises of our clinical lead, personnel officer and responsible individual and the panel will formally respond in writing within 28 days. The written response will also be sent to the commissioning agency.

Stage 4: Independent Review

The Independent Person is someone who is not responsible for the service that is being complained about and is not employed by Chrysalis Associates. The Independent Person will look into all the circumstances that led to the complaint and may interview the Complainant or other members of staff, may look at all the records concerning the matter being complained about, and will then recommend what should be done.

The Independent Person will aim to complete the Investigation within twenty-eight days. The findings and recommendations of the Independent Person will be given to the Responsible Individual, Complainant and commissioning agency.

Sometimes Investigations take longer than twenty-eight days. If this happens, the Complainant will be informed of the outcome as soon as possible.

If the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the Investigation, he/she should tell the Responsible Individual within twenty-eight days.

Our independent person is

Dr Sue Goulding

35 Brick House Lane

Sheffield S17 3DQ

If the Complainant is still not satisfied he/she can contact:

Piccadilly Gate
Store Street
M1 2WD


Telephone: 0300 123 1231

Other independent advice can be obtained from other organisations, such as The Citizens’ Advice Bureau, which may be able to help; the local MP may also give independent advice.

If a complaint is made about one of the Directors, the independent person will be involved immediately to ensure due process is observed.


Monitoring and Evaluation

Chrysalis Associates strive to ensure that its services are effective and efficient, and continually monitors and evaluates its operations and administrative procedures. Systems currently in place ensure that the services provided by the Chrysalis are effective and the quality of those services is of an appropriate and high standard.


The organisation is committed to seeking feedback from service-users in order to inform future service provision and to assess the efficiency and quality of its service provision. We do this by;

  • asking the children and their carers to complete a feedback form at the end of their therapy
  • running consultation forums for children and their carers

In addition we are aiming to;

  • develop a user group

The complaints procedure is readily accessible to all service-users, including children and is highlighted to service-users at the first point of contact with Chrysalis.


In the recruitment process, the views of potential applicants are sought where job description, person specification and information packs are sent and no application is received from the potential applicants.

Exit interviews are carried out with all staff leaving, where practicable and with their agreement, and their views taken into consideration.

In addition, we monitor the quality of our intervention through;

  • Regular supervision with a team of peers.
  • Regular clinical supervision with the Clinical Lead.
  • Annual PDR’s for all staff.
  • Ensuring all staff can evidence training in all the interventions they use.
  • Commissioning external supervision from certified practitioners in the therapeutic interventions we use.

We monitor the effectiveness of our intervention by;

  • Undertaking a pre and post intervention assessment.
  • Offering follow-up appointments 3months, 6 months and 12 months post therapy.
  • Providing post therapy feedback forms for the child, carers and referrers to complete.
  • The Research & Development Lead co-ordinates all this information and it is fed back to the Directors and is used to review and plan service delivery.


This Statement of Purpose was reviewed by Sarah Allkins and Sarah Terry on 01/07/16

Sarah Terry – Registered Manager


Sarah Allkins – Responsible Individual


Appendix 1

Information about our Therapeutic Interventions


Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, developed by Daniel A. Hughes over the last two decades, differs from traditional non-directive approaches to child therapy in its involvement of the child’s carer throughout the therapy sessions.

It is a treatment approach to trauma, neglect, loss and/or other dysregulating experiences that is based on principles derived from attachment theory and research, and also incorporates aspects of treatment principles for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy involves creating a safe setting in which the child can begin to explore, resolve and integrate a wide range of memories, emotions and current experiences that are frightening, shameful or avoided.

Safety is created by ensuring that this exploration occurs with nonverbal attunement, reflective (non-judgemental) dialogue, along with empathy and reassurance. As the process unfolds, the child is creating a coherent life-story (or autobiographical narrative) which is crucial for attachment security and is a strong protective factor against psychopathology. Therapeutic progress occurs within the joint activities of co-regulating affect and co-constructing meaning.

Nonverbal attunement refers to the frequent interactions between a parent and infant, in which both are sharing affect and focused attention on each other in a way such that the child’s enjoyable experiences are amplified and their stressful experiences are reduced and contained. This is done through eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and movements, voice tone, timing and touch.

These same early attachment experiences, which are fundamental for healthy emotional and social development, are utilized in therapy to enable the child to rely on the therapist to regulate emotional experiences and to begin to understand these experiences more fully. Such understanding develops further thought engaging in a conversation about these experiences, without judgement or criticism. The therapist will maintain a curious attitude about the memories and behaviours, encouraging the child to explore them to better understand the deeper meanings in their life and gradually develop a more coherent life-story.

The primary therapeutic attitude demonstrated throughout the sessions is one of playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy (PACE). For the purpose of increasing the child’s safety, their readiness to rely on significant attachment figures in their life, and their ability to resolve and integrate the dysregulating experiences that are being explored, a person who is an important attachment figure to the child, their parent/carer, will be actively present.

The role of the parent/carer in the child’s psychotherapy is the following:

  • Help the child to feel safe
  • Communicate PACE, both non-verbally and verbally
  • Help the child to regulate any negative affect such as fear, shame, anger or sadness
  • Validate the child’s worth in the fact of trauma and shame-based behaviours
  • Reassure the child that their relationship remains strong regardless of the issues
  • Help the child to make sense of their life so that it is organised and congruent

More information about DDP can be found at www.danielhughes.org.

Further details about the evidence base for DDP can be found in the following articles:

Becker-Weidman, A. (2006) Treatment for children with trauma-attachment disorders: Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, March, 2006.


Theraplay® is an attachment therapy developed by Ann Jernberg and Phyllis Booth in the 1960’s. The primary focus of the Theraplay® model is the parent child relationship, including adoptive parents and foster carers. The aim is to strengthen or re-establish the parent -child bond following loss, trauma or separation. Theraplay® is a useful therapeutic model for children with a variety of social and emotional difficulties, as well as acting as a useful preventative tool to strengthen the parent-child relationship in the face of increased risk factors.

Theraplay® involves emotionally attuned, interactive, physical play, with nurturing touch as an integral part of the therapist, child, carer interaction. The focus of the therapy is based in the here and now, rather than on an analysis of past trauma experiences, interpretation of play or pretend play. It is geared to the child’s emotional level, and therefore may often include games usually played with younger, pre-verbal children.

Within the play the therapist takes charge of all the games, and teaches the carer to do likewise. The goal is to teach the child that adults can be in control as part of a positive, mutually enjoyable relationship, where the parent/carer and therapist work to engage the child in an emotionally healthy, fun manner.

The starting point for Theraplay® is the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM), an assessment of the parent/carer – child interaction. The parents/carers and child are presented with a selection of games aimed at analysing their interaction patterns. These patterns are analysed within four parameters: Challenge, Structure, Nurture and Engagement. The analysis is used to guide the direction of the therapy treatment plan, which is then developed in consultation with the child’s parent/carer.

Further information can be found at www.theraplay.org

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, EMDR

EMDR was developed by Dr. Francine Shapiro, Clinical Psychologist, in 1987. Whist trying to resolve a number of distressing personal issues Dr. Shapiro noticed that the emotional impact of the traumatic memories was lessened after a period of bi-lateral stimulation to the brain.

Further research has identified that trauma or phobias can, for some, become lodged within the brain in a manner that makes them irresolvable. As a result the brain acts to understand the experience by continually replaying the trauma in an attempt to help it adapt. This results in symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, preoccupations with the incident and constant rumination. The physical consequences of this include hyper vigilance, exaggerated startle response, sleep difficulties and a heightened sense of arousal and anger, which the brain seeks to avoid. As the toll becomes too great to bear, the person/child is at risk of emotionally detaching from reality.

Dr. Shapiro identified that if the memory of the incident(s) is recalled, and at the same time the brain is bi-laterally stimulated (using rapid eye movements), it will allow the brain to re-experience the trauma and the related cognitions that may be hindering and distressing them in the present. Once the trauma has lost its emotional impact and the person has become desensitised to the pain of the memory it is possible to link the memory to a more positive cognition using the same technique (reprocessing).

EMDR has been shown to be both effective with adults and children, and can be used alone to manage recovery from a single traumatic event or from a simple phobia. It is also a useful tool to be included into therapeutic packages with clients who have experienced more chronic trauma histories. The advantage of using EMDR with children is that it can be a relatively speedy model, does not rely on good verbal skills, and can be integrated into a dyadic intervention with both child and carer/parent.

Further information about EMDR can be found at www.emdr.com










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