Children who have been separated from their birth parents, for whatever reason, will have been deeply affected by their experiences. They will all have suffered loss and many will have also experienced neglect, abuse and trauma. This will affect their ability to attach to primary care givers and can cause significant difficulties in forming relationships with others.
We provide a range of support services for adopters and their children. Every adopter is entitled to advice about these services and to an assessment of their additional support needs but About Adoption does not have to provide support in response to an assessment. Access to these services depends on your circumstances but you can ask for an assessment at any time, no matter how long after the adoption.
Play Therapy uses a variety of play and creative arts techniques to alleviate chronic, mild and moderate psychological and emotional conditions in children that are causing behavioural problems and/or are preventing children from realising their potential. The Play Therapist works integratively using a wide range of play and creative arts techniques, mostly responding to the child’s wishes. This distinguishes the Play Therapist from more specialised therapists (Art, Music, Drama etc). The greater depth of skills and experience distinguishes the play therapist from those using therapeutic play skills.
Play therapy may be non-directive (where the child decides what to do in a session, within safe boundaries), directive (where the therapist leads the way) or a mixture of the two. Play therapy is particularly effective with children who cannot, or do not want to talk about their problems. The Play Therapist forms a short to medium term therapeutic relationship and often works systemically taking into account and perhaps dealing with the social environment of the clients (peers, siblings, family, school etc).
Dan Hughes, a Clinical Psychologist, created Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) as a treatment for families with adopted or fostered children who had experienced neglect and abuse in their birth families and suffered from significant developmental trauma. DDP is based on and brings together attachment theory, what we understand about developmental trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, attachment and caregiving, inter-subjectivity theory and child development. Troubled children may have had many changes in the people who look after them and find it hard to trust adults. They may believe that parents aren’t safe and can’t always be turned to for comfort and help.
They may develop insecure attachments and try to stop their new parents from becoming emotionally close to them. The therapy helps the children learn to trust. It is family-based and involves the child with his or her caregivers.