• We offer a safe and stuctured environment where young people can begin to safely explore their experiences within a consistent psychologically containing environment.
    read more
  • While our expectation is to offer settled placements of 6 months and more, our admission procedures are sufficiently flexible to take account of urgent situations.
    read more
  • Barford education caters for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties who have found it difficult to achieve their full potential in the mainstream sector.
    read more
  • We aim to provide the best treatment for each individual child and the best support for significant adults who have the child in mind. We place the child and the adult at the centre of our thinking
    read more
    

Therapy

At Barford Child and Adolescent Therapy Services  “The child is at the centre of our thinking"

Our services

Our service is unique in offering individual psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapies to young people in care, in peaceful purpose built surroundings.

We aim to

  • Assess and provide the best therapeutic treatment for the individual child
  • Offer a safe, quiet and uninterrupted space for each child
  • To contain and understand each child’s life experiences

And help each child to

  • Make sense of their feelings
  • Develop healthier attachments
  • Develop new ways of relating
Our Young People are offered a range of therapeutic possibilities. Each is based on a psychodynamic or psychoanalytic model, which enable the child’s earliest beginnings to be taken into account when observing the way they feel, experience and act in current relationships. This type of therapy offers insights into difficulties children might experience settling into education, forming friendships, and engaging with those around them.

An important role of the therapists is to support those adults who have the wellbeing of the child in mind. We meet with the child’s keyworkers and attend care team meetings regularly. Each therapist offers consultations to all homes and educational settings to convey their psychodynamic understanding of the child, with the aim of creating more harmonious, informed relationships.
 

What is psychodynamic practice?

Psychodynamic and psychoanalytic therapies are exploratory types of therapy. We use a variety of methods, speaking, writing, drawing, painting and play to allow young people to express their inner worlds. Through these methods young people can show the therapist how they are experiencing their life in the here and now, and how they have experienced life events in their earlier years. As an association between relationships now and then builds slowly over time, awareness increases with the formation of healthier attachments and different ways of relating emerge.
 
Key to psychodynamic work is the consistency and continuity of the therapeutic relationship which can represent a new and often uncomfortable experience for young people at first. Attachment to the therapist can reveal a lot about the child’s experience of relating to others, and offers valuable opportunities to work in the present moment on these ways of relating. In psychotherapy, safety is created by the relationship between the child and the therapist.
 
The regular meetings, the therapist’s consistent and careful focus on the child’s worries and the therapist’s acceptance of the child, all add to an increased sense of security.

At BCATS we offer

Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy

Margaret Pracka, Lead therapist at Barford Children’s Services, is a Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytical Psychotherapist and Art Psychotherapist. Since 1982 she has been working with children, adolescents and adults including looked after children, with children and adults with learning difficulties, with people affected by HIV/Aids and patients within high security hospital environments. She trained at Tavistock Centre and Portman in London and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in providing specialist individual, group and organisational consultation and supervision, teaching and training across multidisciplinary teams; e.g. social workers, residential staff, nurses, art psychotherapists, child psychotherapists etc.

Art Psychotherapy

Marta Perestrello is an Art Psychotherapist with experience of working with children and young people in residential care and in schools (Mainstream, Special Needs and Educational and Behavioural). Her areas of interest are in child development and the impact of early life trauma, abuse and neglect. She is informed by psychodynamic, attachment and trauma theory, as well as through the development of neuroplasticity branch of neuroscience.

Psychodynamic and Systemic Counselling

Sharon Chapman is a Psychodynamic and Systemic Counsellor. She worked with Relate and trained at The Institute of Family Therapy and Birkbeck University of London. Her experience and training offer opportunities to understand a child’s context, early experiences and family systems.
 

Therapy Services Documents