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Working with local children in mainstream, special & fee paying schools...
For children, young people & parents too!
We have a huge experience of treating children & young people. Our treatments have targeted abuse, anger issues, anxiety, depression, loss, relationships, self-harm, sex, pregnancy, substance misuse and stress. Over many years of working with children and young people, our therapists have noticed these recurring themes. This list is not exhaustive. We also have significant experience with Child Protection procedures and multi-agency liaison. In terms of child counselling, some families self-refer, others are referred by agencies. We have much experience counselling Looked After Children and within this field we work with children in foster care and those in children's homes. Previously, Paul Grixti was based at the Dolphin House Children's Clinic (www.dolphinhouseclinic.com). Forum House is very suited to providing play, art or talking therapies and each offer a comfortable waiting room and staffed reception area for parents/carers/children when required. There is no age limit to the children/young people we see at our rooms. We offer counselling to individual children/young people and facilitate children's groups. In-school or home visits can be negotiated, where appropriate.
We welcome children of all ages. We have experience with a variety of presenting issues. I currently assess children and young people in Chichester, with a view to them receiving effective treatment from a Paul Gregory Associates therapist. Until August 2011, I provided peripatetic in-school counselling for West Sussex County Council, having managed the counselling services in West Sussex schools since 2003. I have experience of working with schools in Special Measures as part of their Improvement Plans. In 2003 I 'inherited' - and subsequently developed - the service in Cornfield School, Littlehampton, West Sussex. Cornfield School is a special secondary school designed to meet the special educational needs of young people with "social, emotional and behavioural difficulties" (www.cornfield.w-sussex.sch.uk). All students at the school have a statement of special educational needs. Individual child counselling was offered to all students throughout their time at Cornfield (usually 11-16 years of age). From 2006, I was able to extend the service to the behavioural unit of a nearby mainstream secondary school. This position served to greatly broaden my experience of the issues our young people might be dealing with. Our private practice was born in 2009. From 2009-2010, I took one day a week out from private practice to provide counselling peripatetically for West Sussex County Council's "Your Space" Play Therapy Service in several of the county's primary schools with children aged 4-10. In 2010, I was invited by County to offer counselling to schools as part of their restructuring after being put in Special Measures [by OFSTED]. In 2011 I was invited to offer student counselling at the Sir Robert Woodard Academy, important in its own right as the "birthplace" of West Sussex County Council's "Your Space" Therapeutic Services. At the Academy, I provided assessment and counselling for 11-18 year old students. Academies are state-maintained independent schools set up with the help of outside sponsors. Former Prime minister Tony Blair, established academies in 2000 to drive up standards by replacing failing schools in struggling education authorities (Lipsett, A. Education Guardian, Nov 2007). I also saw children and young mothers referred directly by County Councils. These include West Sussex County Council, Brighton & Hove City Councils, and Hampshire County Council.
In addition to one-to-one work, I have during this time facilitated what must be hundreds of non-directive and single-issue self-development groups. Groups might consist of 2 - 15 young people identified as exhibiting one or more of a variety of social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties and sessions last for 1 hour. Despite sometimes finding the Group dynamic challenging, members of the groups tend to find the experience stimulating and rewarding. Groups are facilitated within a similar code of ethics as that used in individual work. I have also much experience with teaching students on specifically prescribed courses e.g. anger management, assertiveness, feelings. Evidence of effectiveness can be arranged to cover the individual counselling, the groupwork and the specific-issue courses. I also provide training to staff on specific issues relating to working with children and young people more effectively.
I have been a guest lecturer/workshop facilitator at local universities, and private and charity-funded counselling organisations. I regularly deliver trainings to the staff and management of local therapeutic children's homes. My counselling experience with children supports my fully qualified and ACCREDITED member status within the BACP (www.bacp.co.uk) and a member of the Children & Young People (CYP) (www.bacpcyp.org.uk). I am ACCREDITED to provide EMDR trauma therapy to children & adolescents.
I am an EMDR Europe practitioner, qualified and accredited to work with both adults and children. EMDR and CBT (see Home Page for descriptions and links) are effective therapies for the treatment of trauma. Specific child trainings help the therapist deliver the most ethical and effective trauma-focused treatment he/she can. These therapies can be very effective when combined with play and art therapy techniques. Where clients might not have the language skills or inclination to describe their experience, a drawing or the use of models or clay can be used to access the memory, which can then be processed out using standard trauma focused protocol. Where appropriate, body sensations can be used. The location of feelings in the body is as useful, if not more useful, than any spoken [interpreted] description. Parents can often be involved too (where appropriate) in stabilizing the child through relaxation techniques and psycho-education in the preparation phase, and indeed in delivering the bi-lateral stimulation (tapping, eye movements (EMs), etc) during the desensitization & reprocessing phases. Experience with working therapeutically with children has resulted in an intervention that is both dynamic and creative. Young people can process out trauma at an incredible rate with the correct assessed intervention and therapeutic relationship. It is always a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of such a relationship.
- ensuring action plans are in place and communicated to the family and other professionals
- taking a lead role in ensuring the child's voice is heard
- chairing TAC (Team Around The Child) meetings