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Individual Adult Thrapy/Couple Therapy/Family Therapy/Parenting Support/Therapeutic Support for Foster Families

Adult Individual, Couple & Family Therapy


Through psychoanalytic and systemic therapy, couples and families are helped to identify and modify the unconscious patterns of behaviour that cause stress in their relationship.

Foster Families


The meaning of the word ‘foster’ is ‘to promote the development of’…


A good foster placement is not just a place to live; good foster carers act as parents do.   


Foster parents are tested beyond endurance by the issues faced by their foster children.  Counselling helps to safeguard the mental health of foster carers to enable them to create ‘permanence’ for their foster children so they can experience positive, lasting relationships.  The therapeutic space is a safe place where they can bring their anger, pain and frustration; find understanding for themselves and the children they care for; challenge personal beliefs that unconsciously affect the way they parent their foster children; share their skills and achievements, their struggles and their feelings of failure and feel appreciated for the precious work they do.


Current multidisciplinary approaches focus on safeguarding the foster children – but who safeguards the mental health of the Foster Carer?


Authorities claim that they wish to create permanence for foster children; however, permanence for children follows on from a well-supported foster-family.


If the foster parents are supported they will feel more able to provide the child with lasting relationships that go beyond the fostering years.


Mental health issues decrease with increased length of stay in the foster placement but sadly, if there has been a history of active rejection by birth parents, this makes it hard for foster children to form new attachments.


This difficulty in forming new attachments is due to difficulty in expressing emotions such as pleasure and affection.  Often, the challenge of severe conduct and emotional disturbance threatens the stability of the foster placement.







Issues Facing Leaders and their Families


Pastoral and other leaders are as susceptible to mental health issues as any other member of society.  Indeed, the very high expectations put on you as a leader and on your children can be unbearable.  Not only do you have to cope with the normal challenges of family life but you must also bear the issues of your congregation or organisation. 


It is not surprising that as a leader you unintentionally project the expectations to which you have been made subject onto your children.  Some children are able to bear this mantle while others go to extreme lengths to throw it off, sometimes through extreme acting out behaviour.







Parenting Support for School Refusers 


There is a family story behind every child that is missing from education: a lone parent struggling to make ends meet or domestic violence; a parent or child suffering with physical sickness such as sickle cell or ADHD; or emotional pain such as depression or eating disorders.  Maybe an angry teenager is acting out his rage through offending behavior.  The story of each family is different therefore the intervention needed will also be different.

We work closely with school and family to improve attendance by providing a comprehensive home based assessment to identify the root causes of family pain; and a plan of action to address the issues.





Patterns of behaviour are determined by the care received from one’s first carers.  However, for many foster children early life experiences were fraught with difficulties at a time when the brain was being wired up for life; and it is these patterns that inform the behaviour of children in placement.


The testing of carers beyond endurance destroys trust.  The maintenance of relationship over time builds trust and leads to permanence. 




Kenrick, J. Lindsey, C. and Tollemache, L. (2006), ‘Creating New Families’ Therapeutic Approaches to Fostering, Adoption and Kinship Care, London: Karnac: 2006 pp. 1-9







It is difficult for people in leadership positions to admit that they are undergoing difficulties due to a reluctance to appear less than perfect.


However, a leader who has the capacity to show vulnerability and seek help can be a reassuring example to those who follow their lead.


Confidential counselling and support is available for you as a leader, for family issues such as relationship problems, spiritual and other dilemmas and for child and adolescent isssues facing your children.


Please call Yvonne on 07764 236676 to book a confidential consultation



A good foster placement is not just a place to live; good foster carers act as parents do.   


(Kenrick, Lindsey & Tollemache, 2006)



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