Growing up is not always easy, there are times when help and support are needed. Adversity happens, loss, trauma, stress, bullying, relationships, health or low confidence, adapting to the world around, all these can challenge the youth of today.
Children & Young people deal differently with these challenges and can present their worries in many different ways.
Change in Behaviour
Low Mood or Depression
Low Self Esteem
Physical Health Worries
Lack of Social Skills
Breakdown in Relationships
At The Link we see many of the above issues facing children & young people and offer a variety of therapeutic services to help them to find their own solution to the challenges they are facing. We want to help children and young people understand their own emotions, what the cause is and equip them with the skills to overcome them and be who they want to be.
We will always begin with a Therapeutic Assessment, to ensure that our service is the most appropriate to provide support and if so recommend one to one sessions based upon need using the practices listed below;
(If we feel our service isn't the most appropriate for need we will refer to another provider with a report of our assessment to ensure support is accessed as soon as possible.)
The Link provides therapeutic assessments for children and young people before any therapy is undertaken, to ensure our service is most appropriate for need.
We offer a multidisciplinary approach where the views of professionals involved and all family members are taken into account. Information is sought around family structure, history and presenting problem. A proposal is then drawn up in partnership with the therapist and family as to the most relevant form of support.
We work closely with partner organisations such as CAMHS to ensure a multidisciplinary approach is maintained throughout the process.
One to One Therapeutic Intervention
1:1 therapeutic interventions are the core of our therapeutic services, sessions have a cognitive approach and are solution focused, tailored to suit each individuals need. Sessions are usually short to medium term and can last anywhere between six to twelve sessions with regular reviews taking place with parents and guardians. Feedback is also provided to all other involved agencies. Reviews look at what has worked well and if there is anything that may need adapting if further sessions are required. Our team attend multi agency meetings as requested and a final discharge report is provided to the referrer. With parental consent, sessions can be held in a variety of locations, including school and generally last an hour.
Art therapy can help children from complex and traumatic backgrounds in a range of ways. It can help to increase concentration and attention skills, improve family and social relationships and increase a child's confidence. For many children it is the first step towards finding ways of dealing with their feelings of loss, frustration and emotional trauma so that they can start to learn to trust, love and lead happier lives. Art Psychotherapy is a non-directive and creative form of therapy. It involves using arts materials to express thoughts, feelings and experiences, in a safe environment. It is particularly appropriate for working with children and young people, as being creative and playing is a normal part of growing up. Our Art Psychotherapist at The Link, can help children and young people to use art for a variety of reasons. These include; being creative, providing a different way to communicate, expression of feelings and thoughts through non-verbal methods, thinking about loss and helping with emotional trauma. Art Psychotherapy also supports emotional regulation, aids relaxation and focus, enhances safety and containment, helps children gain clarity and reduces confusion, and increases confidence.
Psychotherapy is a non directive verbal therapy, where a child or young person and therapist meet in order to explore and gain insight and understanding of issues that are important to them. Issues may vary from distressing feelings, thoughts and behaviours, both past and present, through talking about relationships that impact on them. It also allows workers to gain a greater understanding about what motivates a child. Psychotherapy involves exploring in-depth, a child's issues in a safe, structured and confidential relationship and environment. Depending on the nature of the issues, the length of therapy may vary as individuals who seek psychotherapy generally take longer to explore and work through what has brought them to therapy and deals with deeper, often sub-conscious processes.
Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment. It's activities are directed by the adults (at first by the therapist and then by the parent). The parent is always involved in the therapy and the aim is to tailor specific activities and play to regulate the child and strengthen the parent/child relationship. Theraplay is a short-term, attachment-based intervention utilizing non-symbolic, interactional play to re-create experiences of secure attachment formation between parent and child. The interactive sequences are carefully structured by the therapist to make possible the pleasure of being together and shared enjoyment in the child's mastery. These elements of shared positive emotions may be crucial in restructuring the attachment relationship towards greater organisation and security.
Theraplay interventions promote secure attachments and therefore increase emotional literacy and self esteem; it is an approach to therapy that addresses the attachment relationship between children and their caregivers.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a talking therapy that can help manage problems by changing the way a child or young person thinks and behaves. It is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems. CBT cannot remove problems, but it can help to deal with them in a more positive way. It is based on the concept that thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap a person in a vicious cycle. CBT aims to help crack this cycle by breaking down overwhelming problems into smaller parts and showing how to change these negative patterns to improve emotional well-being. Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with current problems, rather than focusing on historical issues. It looks for practical ways to improve state of mind on a daily basis. CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions.
In addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT can also help people with: obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): panic disorder: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): phobias: eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia: sleep problems, such as insomnia: and problems related to alcohol misuse. CBT is not time constrained and is individually led, The Link offer treatment as recommended by NICE guidelines and inline with evidence based practice for anxiety and depression. Sessions are delivered in six week blocks with regular reviews involving parents/guardians and all other involved agencies.
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)
DDP is a treatment developed by Dan Hughes who has worked with adopters and their children for many years. Central within DDP is PACE ( Playful, Accepting, Curious, and Empathetic) , a way of thinking which deepens the emotional connections in our relationships with others. DDP is a psychotherapeutic treatment method for families that have children with symptoms of emotional disorders, including complex trauma and attachment disorders. It involves creating an environment in which the worker attunes to the child's subjective experiences. The worker then reflects this back to the child by means of eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and movements, voice tone, timing and touch, co-regulating emotional affect and co-constructing an alternative autobiographical narrative with the child. DDP also makes use of cognitive-behavioural strategies, the dyad referred to must eventually be the 'parent-child' dyad and the active presence of the primary caregiver is preferred but not essential.
The recommended scope of the DDP sessions is 15 sessions, this is to be made up of parent work initially and then to engage the child or young person into the therapeutic process in the hope of developing contained and trusting relationships.
The Link is a Community Interest Company or a CIC for short, which means we are motivated by making a positive change rather than making money. We believe that nobody should have to face emotional distress alone, so we provide a variety of therapeutic services, activities, training and events to support children, young people and families who are facing challenges in relation to mental health.
The Link CIC, Community Ventures Ltd, 101 The Greenway, Middlesbrough, TS3 9PA