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How we can help your family

We’ve helped families of all shapes and sizes to rebuild trust, deepen relationships and improve behaviours. Focusing on understanding your child’s experience of the world that shaped them and your role within this, our therapeutic approach often involves working through you to help them.

We are warm, empathic and experienced therapists who provide a judgment-free space to explore the things you are finding challenging and to develop the insight you need to adapt and evolve your family dynamic.  

We offer individual one-to-one therapy sessions both in person and online. We work in partnership with your social work team.

 

We want to help families like yours feel stronger, happier and more stable. Take a look at our case studies and testimonials to see how family life can change for the better.

Have a read through our understanding attachment and trauma section for a quick overview of what we mean by attachment theory before you look at the therapeutic programmes that we offer.

If you are supporting a child you have adopted or you are a Special Guardian for a child in your family, you may be able to access funding from the Adoption Support Fund to cover the cost of our therapeutic services. This needs to be applied for by your social work team but we can help you with advice on how to approach this.

DDP therapy sessions

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy was originally developed for children who had experienced emotional trauma, abuse or neglect. It is a powerful therapy that brings together what we understand about attachment theory, neurobiology of trauma and child development.

 

DDP explores a child's ability to form secure attachments, helps parents and carers to understand and respond to their child's unique circumstances and teaches children emotional regulation, trust and new ways of understanding life experiences. The therapist works with both the parents and the child to rebuild and repair the relationship.

Deborah Sharratt is our DDP therapist and offers sessions both in person and online. 

Contact us for more information and pricing plans

- Learn more about DDP and attachment theory

Theraplay®-Informed Therapy

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 and Jo Hines offer Theraplay®-informed interventions for children and young people, both in person or online. 

Contact us for more information and pricing plans

- Learn more about Theraplay®

Theraplay® is a registered service mark of The Theraplay® Institute, Chicago, IL, USA

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 us 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 us for more information and pricing plans

Nurturing Attachment Groups  

Nurturing Attachment Groups (NAGs) have been described by our parents, carers and guardians as ‘life changing’. An inclusive, non-judgmental space to explore, reflect and understand, you will develop your own practical parenting toolkit with the support of group leaders and the other group members. 

 

NAGs help to combat the loneliness and sense of hopelessness that many of you feel when a child who is living with trauma is a part of your family. Meeting people who can truly understand what you are coping with is a key part of the group’s purpose. 

 

Together we will look at:

  • understanding why your child is behaving as they do

  • the impact of their early experiences on their development

  • why trust matters

  • how to adapt your parenting to their needs and manage behaviour effectively

 

NAGs provide a full year of therapeutic guidance, insight and consultation from our experienced team delivered through 3 modules, each made up of 6 group sessions held weekly, alongside personalised support for you and your family.

 

NAGs can be accessed via your local Children’s Services team. Speak to your family’s social worker to find out more or contact us. 

Meet some of the families we've helped

Take a look at one of our case studies, or have a read through our testimonials.

We may have changed the names to protect an individual's anonymity, but these are all real families, just like yours. 

Find out more

- Learn more about us and meet our team

- Read more about developmental trauma and attachment theories

- Request a call from one of the team

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 Lucy 

 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.

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 Sean 

 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. 

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 Susan 

 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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