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How we help professionals and agencies

We can help the families you represent with a powerful programme of ASF-compliant therapeutic support and education. We offer both tailored one-to-one therapy and revelatory therapeutic group work. At every step, we work with you to create positive outcomes for children by empowering the family dynamic and improving placement stability.

Our individual therapeutic services can also be offered online to ensure uninterrupted support and flexibility for your families whilst the coronavirus health crisis continues to limit any direct personal social contact.

Our team has extensive experience in social work across different local authorities so we understand the challenges you face, alongside the how and why of your work.

All of our therapeutic programmes include initial consultations with the referring social worker and the family we are working with, alongside timely progress and evaluation assessments which will include specific recommendations for further work if required.


Our therapeutic services  

DDP sessions

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) brings together attachment theory, what we understand about developmental trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, attachment and caregiving, intersubjectivity theory and child development.

Deborah Sharratt offers our DDP therapy programme for families, working with both parents and children. Available as a 10-session package in person or online.


- Contact Deborah for more information about our DDP packages

- Learn more about DDP and attachment theory


Theraplay is a child and family therapy for enhancing attachments, self-esteem, trust and joyful engagement. It is based on natural patterns of healthy interaction between parent and child, and is personal, physical and fun.


Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: structure, engagement, nurture and challenge. Theraplay sessions create an active and emotional connection between child and parents, so that the child may become seen as worthy and lovable and that relationships feel positive and rewarding. 

Liz Stirrat is our Theraplay practitioner and offers a Theraplay-based therapy programme for children and young people, both in person or online. 


Our approach adheres to the practice model and principles in accordance with the Theraplay Institute. 


- Contact Liz for more information and to discuss pricing

- Learn more about Theraplay

PACE parenting programme (online only)

Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy is PACE. Developed by Dan Hughes, PACE is a way of thinking, feeling, communicating and behaving that aims to make the child feel safe. It is based upon how parents connect with their very young infants. With safety, the child can develop the confidence to explore, just as young toddlers do who are securely attached.

We offer one-to-one online PACE parenting sessions for families, which can be booked in a programme block of 10 sessions.  Each session will be 60-90 minutes long.

The programme will look at attachment theory, empathy and attunement, how to create a positive family atmosphere, how to look after yourself as the adult, providing structure and supervision for children and using PACE to manage challenging behaviours.

- Contact Deborah for more information and pricing plans

- Learn more about PACE


Psychodynamic Counselling for parents

The aim of Psychodynamic Counselling is to bring the unconscious mind into consciousness - helping individuals to experience and understand their true, deep-rooted feelings in order to resolve them. It takes the view that our unconscious holds onto painful feelings and memories, which are too difficult for the conscious mind to process. 
Unlike our attachment-based therapies, the parent is at the centre of the work, not the child. This can benefit parents who have their own loss or trauma to resolve. Their current feelings of crisis may have been triggered by adopting a child with early life trauma but this is not the root cause of the parent's struggle. 


Anne Cunningham is our Psychodynamic Counsellor. Sessions are offered as a 20-session minimum package, given the in-depth nature of this therapy, available both in person and online.


- Contact us for more information and pricing plans

- Learn more about the practice of Psychodynamic Counselling 

Therapeutic Life Story Work

For children living in alternative families their life history is often fragmented, leaving them lost, with a confused identity and no sense of belonging.

Therapeutic Life Story Work from Families Empowered is a powerful intervention that helps children to talk and learn about their life experiences with the help of a trusted adult. 


We work carefully to support children in the creation and acceptance of their own unique narrative.

- View our Therapeutic Life Story Work flyer

- Contact Deborah for more information and pricing plans

Parenting assessments

We provide expert attachment-focused parenting assessments to consider how well carers, parents, prospective adopters or prospective Special Guardians will be able to meet the physical, social, educational and emotional needs of the children both now and throughout their childhoods. 

Assessments examine the extent to which there is an understanding of the child’s specific needs, including any abuse and trauma they may have experienced alongside whether they will be provided with safety, stability and appropriate boundaries whilst in their care.

We offer Viability Assessments and Full Parenting Assessments.

- Read more about our parenting assessments

- Contact us for more information

- Download a referral form

Nurturing Attachment Groups

Our Nurturing Attachment Groups (NAGs) are revelatory group programmes designed to support, guide and develop insight for parents and carers of children who experience attachment difficulties following trauma and abuse. 

Based on attachment-led research, and underpinned by Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) and PACE, we breathe real-life into theory through practical discussion, videos and meaningful activities all facilitated by experienced professionals and DDP practitioners. 


NAGs can accommodate parents, carers or guardians from up to 12 families in each group. The groups can also be oriented to support SGOs, adoptive parents or foster carers for a responsive, pragmatic approach that represents excellent value.

- Download our NAGs information flyer for more information.

Read our case studies and testimonials to learn more about the NAGs experience

- Request a call from one of our team for more details and pricing plans



 Adoptive Parent 

Sean's adopted son was often really challenging to parent but Sean didn't think he really needed help. Then he met Families Empowered and realised this kind of support was exactly what he needed. Sean discovered how to move beyond traditional parenting models and respond to his child's early life trauma to build a happier family all round. 



 Special Guardian 

Lucy took on two of her great-grandsons when their parents' struggles with drug addiction exposed their serious neglect. As the boys grew older, their behaviour became increasingly difficult and Lucy's relationship with them and their school was very troubled indeed. Find out how she shifted approach and turned a corner.



 Special Guardian 

Susan is the Special Guardian for her granddaughter as well as her niece's daughter - both sets of parents struggle with drug addiction.

It's been a rocky road but learning about attachment difficulties and exploring her own parenting style therapeutically have transformed their family life.  

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