We offer the following assessments and therapy interventions to the families we work with.
Multidisciplinary family assessment
We recommend that all new referrals begin with a comprehensive family assessment.
The Family Place offers whole family attachment and trauma-informed assessments and will meet with siblings and their parents/carers together so that we can get a full picture of what is happening for the family as a whole in addition to gaining an understanding of the needs of each child and adult in the family.
The assessment is always multidisciplinary (involving more than one specialist practitioner) and includes completion of detailed questionnaires, gathering history information, two sessions with parents/carers (pre and post the assessment day) and an extended in-person assessment session for the whole family. During the assessment session we facilitate different play activities including the MIM assessment (from Theraplay) in order to get a detailed understanding of the issues and relationships. We write a draft report which is shared with parents/ carers to discuss before finalising and making clear recommendations for next steps.
Our aim is always to be thorough and supportive. Many families feedback that they find the assessment process itself very helpful.
Together and Apart Sibling Assessment
Our comprehensive ‘Together or Apart’ assessment is designed to inform decisions about whether siblings should or should not live together and is usually commissioned by social services during the planning phase for families.
Therapy Intervention (for parent, child and whole family)
Most of our therapy interventions will draw on a combination of TheraplayⓇ, DDP, sensory work and creative therapies.
We work with parent/carer-child dyads and can also work as a team with whole families. We often work as a therapy team with sibling groups. This kind of therapy team package is often popular with parents of sibling groups as it means they can attend less frequently with all children being seen.
DDP (Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy)
Parent Only or Parent and Child
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (founder Dan Hughes) is a parent-child therapy which focuses on the relationship between carer/parent and child. The underpinning attitude is the use of PACE – playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy, to help the child or young person feel safe to begin to explore some of their experiences and develop new meanings. Sessions start with preparation for the parents/carers, with the young person joining when all agree the time is right. The work can be parent only.
TheraplayⓇ is a parent-child therapy that is playful, physical and fun. It is a non-verbal intervention and is based on simple play activities which help deepen relationships. It can be helpful for a wide range of ages and difficulties and is accessible to all.
TheraplayⓇ interventions start with a play based observational assessment called the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM) followed by a predictable sequence of child-parent/carer sessions, with some parent/carer only review sessions.
Therapeutic Parenting Support
In all of our therapeutic interventions, therapeutic parenting support will be provided as part of the package of support. Sometimes it can be helpful for this support to be provided on its own so that parents/carers have a predictable time with a trusted practitioner to talk through concerns and develop their therapeutic skills.
Therapeutic Life Journey Work
The team are skilled and trained in delivering Therapeutic Life Journey work. This package of work includes a range of different elements.
It would begin with detailed history gathering, followed by a sequence of child-parent sessions to explore the child’s experiences and help them make sense of them. There would be creative direct work with the child using a range of techniques, work to help the child make sense of their narrative and a process of drawing together a written document that is accessible to the child or young person.
Music therapy is an established clinical practice and is offered as a specialised method of creative communication. Music therapists work with a very wide range of difficulties and the child or young person does not need to be able to play any kind of instrument or believe they are musical.
It can be particularly powerful for children and young people who find verbal communication difficult.
We can currently provide music therapy at our Clyro base.
Art therapy focuses on the sensory experience of making art and encourages the use of imagination, giving space to emotional issues which may be causing confusion and distress.
Using art materials naturally facilitates bonding between children and adults, giving an alternative to words to help communication and connection.
We can currently provide art therapy in Clyro, Driitwich and Caerphilly.
Play Therapy helps children explore their feelings, express themselves and make sense of difficult things that have happened to them. The children we see use play to communicate their thoughts and feelings, especially when they find it difficult to express themselves using words.
Sensory Integration and Regulation Work
Our occupational therapists are experienced and highly trained and use a wide range of play based motivational activities and sensory resources/ equipment to facilitate improved levels of arousal and regulation.
This supports children to be better able to engage in the functional activities required for everyday living and development e.g. learning, playing, relationships, sleeping, eating.
Our service also provides BUSS intervention and our specialist OT work is most applicable for children with clear sensory processing difficulties.
BUSS Intervention (Building Underdeveloped Sensorimotor Systems)
The Family Place is delighted to team up as a formal partner organisation with BUSS Model (www.bussmodel.org) and intervention. This was developed by OT Sarah Lloyd and described in detail in her book, Building Sensorimotor Systems in Children with Developmental Trauma : A Model for Practice (2020).
BUSS combines a neurosequential understanding of trauma and attachment processes, with sensory integration theory to assess any gaps within the child’s foundation systems. Using playful games and activities and the loving, nurturing relationships that the child has with their parents/carers, the child is taken back through critical patterns of movement and parent/carer interactions that have been missed at earlier stages in development.
The key principles of the BUSS model are relationships, playfulness and movement. The BUSS model is designed specifically to help children whose systems are underdeveloped as a result of early adversity.
By Your Side Transitions Intervention
By Your Side is a trauma-informed approach to providing therapeutic support to children who are transitioning from one placement to another.
It combines Theraplay® with DDP-based narrative work to provide helpful ritual and consistency as well as supporting the child to understand what is happening to them. The same practitioner is involved throughout, forming a bridge for the child. It is suitable for a range of contexts including the move from foster care to adoption, a change in foster placements and transitioning children home to birth parents.
By Your Side was developed in 2012 and has been successfully used to facilitate multiple complex transitions. We have also found creative ways to manage long-distance transitions using some online work.
Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)
Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) is a short term intervention that focuses on one adult with one child and their interaction using attuned principles. The VIG guider takes video of the two together and then edits the video to show attuned moments between adult and child.
Four sessions are typically provided and three of these are a shared review of video that is taken of the adult interacting with their child. This brief intervention can be very helpful if parents/carers are feeling disconnected with their child and would like some insight about what may be going on.
It is a strength based approach so the focus is on looking at moments where the relationship is going well and building on these.
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing)
EMDR is a structured trauma therapy that supports the child or young person to focus on a trauma memory while at the same time there is a bilateral stimulus (this could be looking from side to side or tapping). This process would be highly supported by the practitioner and helps to reduce the vividness and emotions of the trauma memory.
This is a well-researched method which has very positive outcomes. It is mainly suitable for young people who can talk about their memories with emotion.
Brief DDP Informed Parent Intervention
This parent intervention provides a DDP-informed session (3 hours) with parents/carers followed by a practical report.
The aim is to bring together the key history and themes in an intensive session and work in partnership with parents/carers to make sense of what may be going on and think about practical ways forward. The clinician facilitating the session will be trained in DDP.
We believe strongly that being outside in nature is naturally healing and whenever possible we try to provide support outside or while doing activities.
We have a small team who have specialist additional training in outdoor therapeutic work and provide outdoor therapy work for families who can access the Clyro base.