The aims of the collaborative assessments are to support not only your child, but everyone in their community, including you. This is because we understand that the people closest – the ones who live and work with your child can suffer from secondary trauma. We’re also able to get a clear picture of the effects of trauma and pinpoint what therapy will be needed in the future.
For the assessments to be effective we’ll look at the history of your child, carry out observations at home, school and during therapy sessions. We’ll also talk with you, any other carers involved with your child, social workers and school staff to make sure the process is as smooth as possible.
Creative Life Story Work
The Creative Life Story Programme is a fun way for you and your family to put together a narrative of your child’s life, from their origins to the present. This will help your child to put into sequence and perspective the experiences that they have had along the way. It also serves as a positive way for them to have a genuine sense of belonging to both birth and adoptive parents and share their feelings.
Your child’s well-being is so important to us. That’s why school consultations are great – they allow us to make sure that your child is included in normal daily school life. We want your child to feel connected and inspired to participate and reach their fullest potential.
The consultations are an opportunity for us to help school staff really understand what you and your family are going through.
They’ll be able to empathise with your child from a therapeutic perspective and we’ll all be able to design a care package that works well for your child and meets the expectations of school community.
Therapeutic Network Meetings
Parenting a traumatised child can be isolating for all kinds of reasons. One of the worst is lack of understanding from the people closest to you. The ones you care about and look to for support. It’s not that there’s no love – it’s just that dealing with this kind of difficulty on a daily basis puts a strain on everyone. The effects of secondary trauma can make life feel chaotic.
At Catchpoint, we can provide Therapeutic Network Meetings so that you, your family and friends can sit down and talk openly.
Everyone will be on the same page and united in their understanding of the strategies they will use to support each other and be stronger together.
Catchpoint’s Collaborative Assessment focuses on:
- The attachment relationship between child and parents or carers
- The relationships and behaviors of the client if an adult or not within an adoptive family
- Support needs of the family
- Therapeutic needs of the child
- Behaviors of the child at home, at school and in a clinical setting, exploration, training, and strategies alongside therapy for the family and client.
- A variety of training formats can be added to assist with the assessment relevant to the need.
The Assessment is conducted in collaboration with existing support services and professionals already involved with the child, family or client and includes, where relevant, observations at home, in school and in a clinical setting. The report offers recommendations of therapy for the child and support for the family and educational settings. A follow-up parent/professional meeting is usually recommended to agree a programme to meet the needs of the child and family. The collaborative assessment may differ if the client is an adult or not living with family and can be tailored to the needs of the individual.
The focus of therapy is the quality of the primary attachment relationship to bring about recovery from the effects of early trauma, adverse childhood experiences and key developmental stages. We help build positive attachment patterns and security to the family, placement and in life. The therapy allows and encourages the body and mind to react as humans were intended to do, many of the emotional receptors will be confused due to trauma and attachment difficulties. This also applies to looked after children, non-adoptive families and adults experiencing symptoms of trauma and/or attachment difficulties.
Through directive and non-directive art, play, psychoanalysis, and creative mediums including therapeutic life story work parents/carers are encouraged to attend therapy to aid the child’s healing and complete the bridge between mind and body. The role of the parent or carer is to engage and allow the therapists to guide so they do not need to feel pressure of being in charge, this is the role of therapists in the room who will explore and discuss fully within consultations and pre therapy so parents, carers and clients know what to expect.
It is also vital that multi-disciplinary working is necessary to ensure the child, client and family are always receiving the correct support. Sometimes it is necessary as part of the healing to work separately with the parent or carers and child if this is assessed as a need. We can also provide training delivered in person, remotely and through external specialists as a collaboration. Zoom and remote therapy is also an option should in person contact need to be avoided or to suit the client and family.
Unprocessed trauma is worked through in line with neuroscience and integrative skills brought together from highly qualified professionals who continue to undertake specific training in this field. The Catchpoint model challenges the child’s controlling and rejecting behaviors at the same time as modeling calm emotional regulation and non-anxious presence for the parents all of which is handled professionally. Acceptance and non-judgement inform the therapy to encourage trust and a safe space for all.
Parent, carers and clients can access support in-between sessions via telephone or electronic communication and with therapists where feedback and ongoing parallel working is encouraged. Sessions can become intense and triggering as the unprocessed trauma is worked through, this is expected and a part of the process for healing which is why therapists work closely with clients and families to ensure support is available before and after therapy. Time is spent towards the end of the session in focusing on regulating the client, so they leave in a non-heightened state. However, therefore ongoing support is identified as necessary because complex trauma and attachment are wide and complicated subjects. The strong emotions developed from them need the correct support outside of the therapy room which is built into the program.
The form of therapy will suit the client and can also include counselling, discussions, active listening, and training. It is integrated with other models of therapy with the needs, desires, and objectives of the client in mind and delivered by highly qualified integrative therapists.
Therapeutic Programmes include:
- Weekly or fortnightly therapy, which includes at least one parent and can include other family members. (Timing can be flexible to suit the needs of the family).
- Consultations with parents or the client to which the adoption support worker is welcome
- Consultations with clients/adults if adoption is not relevant, whereby other support workers are welcome if the client agrees and is it relevant
- Consultations with school staff including visits if required
- Email or telephone support between sessions
- Report and review as agreed.
- Families travelling from a distance may have 3 or 4 sessions over 2 days, or a half-day session during which the parents and children will be seen separately and together. During certain times of the year we can offer intense sessions or modify the schedule to meet the needs of families and clients.
Two therapists often start initial programs and as therapy develops it may be necessary to see one therapist instead of two. One therapist may be assigned to an individual adult undertaking therapy.
Monitoring and Evaluation Procedures
Catchpoint services are delivered in programmes arising from clear assessment which supports monitoring and evaluation. In therapy each child has his/her own outcomes agreed with the parents and reviewed regularly (i.e. at least after 10 sessions.) Reports refer to these therapeutic outcomes and are thus able to demonstrate any progress. They are also used to set new targets.
Catchpoint’s staff receive regular clinical supervision from the Clinical Lead Therapist every month at which progress is reviewed. In addition, monthly team meetings include group supervision where staff share aspects of their work. This also includes feedback on the impact of training and other types of professional development. All therapists also receive external clinical supervision in addition and staff support each other and the cases whilst working at Catchpoint.
Parents and children are invited to fill out questionnaires that monitor aspects of progress that are measurable. The SDQ forms (Strengths and difficulties) also used as an inventory behavioural screening questionnaire developed by United Kingdom child psychiatrist Robert N. Goodman. It is used by clinicians to measure and understand behaviour and emotional wellbeing.
For parents we measure the effect on them of living with a traumatised child and stability of family relationships. The children’s questionnaires measure attachment difficulties and effects of trauma. Parents are also invited to fill in evaluation forms at the end of Therapeutic Network Meetings. In addition, we plan to survey a sample of a group of service users annually; 1. Parents and Carers, 2. Children and Young People, 3. Adults, 4. Agencies, 5. School staff.
The questionnaires and tools used to measure are also adaptable for non-adoptive families and adults and made relevant to the therapy and support they receive.