© 2019 Purple Therapy by Anthea Benjamin

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SERVICES FOR
CHILDREN & FAMILIES

Anthea has worked extensively with children, adolescents, adults, families and couples for over 14 years in various settings including schools, community projects and within the NHS.

Anthea has a special interest in working with trauma particularly sexual abuse, dissociation, developmental trauma, looked after children or adults who have been in the care system and /or adoption, exploring issues of identity with adults and children who have been placed trans-racially or via intercountry processes.

On this page you can find out more about the services for children and families Anthea can offer. These services include Parent Child Therapy, Therapeutic Play, Life Story Work, EMDR, Lifespan Integration, DDP, NVR and Clay Field Therapy.

 

Anthea also offers a range of adult specific services which may interest you. Visit the Services for Adults page for more information.

 

For more information on services, availability and fees, complete the web contact form leaving brief details of your enquiry. Anthea aims to respond to all requests within 48 hours.

Parent Child Therapy

 

I offer attachment focused parent child therapy building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. Sessions enhance create playful interactions, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding. The main aims of the therapy is to:

  • Help parents and children to talk to each other about the things that matter

  • Work through painful life events e.g. parents separating, trauma, loss

  • Improve the quality of parent-child, parent-teenager interactions

  • Empower parents with lovely ways of relating to their child

  • Enable parents to be more empathic, attuned and playful

  • Enable parents to feel more fulfilled in their parental role

Therapeutic Play

 

Therapeutic play is a form of therapy that uses play to communicate with and help people, especially children, to prevent or resolve psychosocial challenges. This is thought to help them towards better social integration, growth and development, emotional modulation, and trauma resolution.

The aim of therapeutic play is to decrease those behavioral and emotional difficulties that interfere significantly with a child's normal functioning. In this type of treatment, the therapist uses an understanding of cognitive development and of the different stages of emotional development as well as the conflicts common to these stages when treating the child.

Reasons for treatment include, but are not limited to, temper tantrums, aggressive behavior, non-medical problems with bowel or bladder control, difficulties with sleeping or having nightmares, and experiencing worries or fears. This type of treatment is also used with children who have experienced sexual or physical abuse, neglect, the loss of a family.

Life Story Work

 

We all have a life history made up of events, experiences and memories. When we live with our birth family we have a clear understanding of who we are and where we come from, details of our past and stories handed down within our wider family. Children who are separated from their birth families are at risk of losing this kind of information and rely on the adults in their lives to fill these gaps.

This important narrative information strongly connected to identity can impact on a child’s ability to fully enjoy their present life and future potential. I work with families offering therapeutic work alongside creating a life story book to support children and their families to help them weave together a coherent life story to understand their history and things that affect them in the here and now.

Life story work includes:

  • Attachment focused games

  • Psycho-education about issues like drug taking, alcoholism, mental health etc.

  • Creative play to recreate birth story

  • Creative life story book creation

  • Parent support in facilitating questions between sessions

EMDR

 

EMDR is an acronym for ‘Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing’. EMDR is a powerful psychological treatment method that was developed by an American clinical psychologist, Dr Francine Shapiro, in the 1980s. EMDR is a complex and powerful therapy.

 

The goal of EMDR is to reduce the long-lasting effects of distressing memories by engaging the brain's natural adaptive information processing mechanisms, thereby relieving present symptoms. During this procedure, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. This often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long held negative thoughts about the self. For example, an assault victim may come to realize that he was not to blame for what happened, that the event is really over, and, as a result he can regain a general sense of safety in his world.

Lifespan Integration

Lifespan Integration is a new technique which promotes rapid healing in adults who experienced abuse and/or neglect during childhood.

This new method relies on the innate ability of the body-mind to heal itself. Lifespan Integration uses a psychological technique called an “affect bridge” to find a memory which is connected to the current problem. The therapist guides the client to imagine re-visiting this past memory, bringing into the past whatever is needed to resolve the memory. After the memory is resolved, the therapist leads the client through time to the present using a Time Line of visual images of scenes from the client’s life. This Time Line of memories and images proves to the client’s body-mind system that time has passed and that life is different now. This “proof” occurs at a deeper level than is possible with commonly used cognitive behavioral [talk therapy] methods.

Lifespan Integration is a gentle, body-based therapeutic method which heals without re-traumatizing. In 2003, Peggy Pace published the first edition of her book, Lifespan Integration: Connecting Ego States through Time. In her book Pace describes the new therapeutic method which she developed through her work with her clients. Lifespan Integration is also very effective in the healing of various attachment disorders. This is accomplished through imaginably ‘re-writing’ and ‘re-living’ the early conditions, and integrating the new (positive) feeling states which are generated in the client-therapist dyad. After LI therapy, people find themselves spontaneously reacting to current stressors in more age appropriate ways.

Clients who begin LI therapy with memory gaps are eventually able to connect the pieces of their lives into a coherent whole. Clients who have completed Lifespan Integration therapy report that they feel better about life, are more self-accepting, and are better able to enjoy their intimate relationships.

For more info on services, availability and fees, complete the web contact form leaving brief details of your enquiry. Anthea aims to respond to all requests within 48 hours.

Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP)

Dyadic’ means ‘something about two people’. This word was used because this therapy helps people with their relationships with other people.

 

DDP specifically aims to help parents or caregivers and their child make deeper emotional connections with each other. This can be one of the hardest things for children to do who have given up on trusting, or relying on adults, because they have been let down by adults in the past who have cared for them.

Developmental’ is used because the children and adolescents who have experienced developmental trauma may have had their emotional, social or cognitive development affected. This can happen in a wide range of ways that are individual to your child’s circumstances and are sometimes hard to make sense of.

 

This therapy aims to work out whether and how your child’s development might have been affected and how you might be able to help your child’s development progress.

 

DDP therapy supports to:
 

  • Help you and your child talk about things that happen now

  • Help you and your child make sense of his or her past experiences and how these might be linked to things that happen now

 

  • Help your child understand and reduce the shame that may be underneath current behaviours, which originated in his or her traumatic past

 

  • Help your child to discover qualities of self that might elicit pride, not shame, and joy, not despair (this is done as your therapist helps you to discover these same qualities in your child that lie underneath his or her traumas and challenging, shame-based behaviours)

  • Work with you to help your child be more aware of his or her thoughts, emotions and wishes as well as his or her possibly traumatic memories (this will be done slowly and only when the time is right)
     

  • Help you all work out the most helpful ways of you parenting your child

 

  • Help you and your child build a narrative together that makes sense to all your family

NVR-informed Practitioner 

Non Violent Resistance (NVR) is a concept which draws inspiration from those who have sought to bring about changes in society in a non-violent manner; Gandhi and Martin Luther King being amongst the most famous examples.

 

The programme aims to assist the parents and carers of children who are displaying challenging behaviours. The parents are guided through a set of core principles which are adaptable to many situations. This equips the parents with confidence and self-control and enables them to address these behaviours in an effective manner.

 

At the same time, the parent focuses on rebuilding the loving parent/child relationship, which may have been lost over a period of time.

Clay Field Therapy

 

Sensorimotor approaches to art therapy centralises the wisdom of the body in therapy. Work at the Clay Field is a sensorimotor art therapy approach which accesses the wisdom of the body which can be beneficial in therapy for recovery from, childhood experiences of abuse, trauma as well as states relating to anxiety, depression and stress. Increasingly working with the wisdom of the body or the bottom up approach is considered “gold standard” in resolving trauma. Work at the Clay Field may also benefit children with developmental challenges, ADHD and trauma.  

 

Work at the Clay Field is an intricate interaction between human neurobiology and expressions of lived experiences.  This unique art therapy process provides opportunity for healing of attachment and developmental trauma. German art therapist Professor Heinz Deuser developed this approach over the past 40 years.

“The Clay Field is a flat rectangular wooden box that holds 10 – 15 kg of clay. A bowl of water is supplied. This simple setting offers a symbolic “world” for the hands to explore. There will be no art work to be taken home.” - Elbrecht (2012).

With eyes closed through the sense of touch, the hands interact with clay: digging, penetrating, smoothing, caressing, building and pushing. A bowl of warm water is supplied and the hands are encouraged to move in the clay. There is no object to create, no expectations to make something just simple to follow the innate promptings of the hands. This unique interaction between the sense of touch with the clay and the hand brain connection that stimulates an instant feedback loop. Here the hands are used as a tool of perception and this is known as haptic perception. Our hands provide a way in which our body can tell the story of what has happened and importantly what now needs to happen for recovery and healing.

 

Whatever therapy is undertaken, the approach must be able to address three dimensions of human experience, our thinking, our emotions feelings and our sensory experiences (Ogden, Minton & Pain, 2006: Trauma and the body: A sensorimotor approach to psychotherapy). Work at the Clay Field is one therapeutic approach that allows the body to speak which can give rise to insights that can profoundly aid in healing.

What happens in a session at the Clay Field?

The session duration is approximately 50 mins to one hour in duration. Accompanied by Anthea as therapist, you are gently encourage to become aware of and to allow your hands to find your unique movements in the clay.

 

Generally there is very little verbal interaction during the time however from time to time to assist you in the process Anthea may enquire with gentle questioning, or responses. With confidence in the wisdom of the human body, Anthea accompanies you through the process with your hands as your internal guide.

 

There may be if it is appropriate and desired some time towards to end of the session some speaking and exchange between yourself and Anthea. However this is not necessarily needed nor sought.

For more information on services, availability and fees, complete the web contact form leaving brief details of your enquiry. Anthea aims to respond to all requests within 48 hours.