Using what works best on an individual basis ......
My name is Gela Griffiths and I have been working with children and families for over 30 years. I am a Registered Mmember of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (number 139259). I hold a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (including Person-Centred Counselling, Transactional Analysis, and Gestalt). I have also completed training in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
I have worked within the education, social care and charitable sectors, including as a Local Authority foster carer. I have personal and professional experience of the effects of developmental trauma and attachment challenges in children and young people. I have witnessed first-hand the benefits of working, and parenting, therapeutically and the difference this can make to a family - including my own!
I use an integrative approach to therapy, taking the most appropriate and helpful aspects of several therapeutic models to combine them to make my approach relevant to each individual child, client or family.
I have a particular interest in working with children who have experienced neglect and trauma and/or whom have Autism Spectrum Disorder/Condition. My approach includes parents, foster carers and adopters as integral partners in interventions and I positively support them in implementing a range of approaches both in joint sessions and in their home. I am experienced in supporting children and families with complex needs, including challenging behaviour, and can offer crisis support and home visits as well as seeing families in a purpose-built counselling room in my own home. I can also support the development of communications skills at home and school using a variety of strategies including the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).
It is not uncommon for parents or carers to suffer from secondary trauma when supporting children with challenging behaviour and complex needs and I will sensitively support parents in meeting their own needs as well as their child's so that blocks to care can be resolved and everyone can move forward positively together.
I am a Certified Theraplay® Practitioner and I use Theraplay in my work with children and families, including assessments using the Marshak Interaction Method (MIM).
Where a family have been struggling with behaviour that is difficult to understand and manage Theraplay activities are a helpful way to bring some joy back into relationships.
"Theraplay is an engaging, playful, relationship-focused treatment method that is interactive, physical, and fun. Its principles are based on attachment theory and its model is the healthy, attuned interaction between parents and their children: the kind of interaction that leads to secure attachment and lifelong mental health."
Theraplay: Helping Parents and Children Build Better Relationships Through Attachment-Based Play by Booth, P. and Jernberg, A., 2009
Theraplay is a registered service mark of The Theraplay Institute, 1840 Oak Ave., Suite 320
Evanston, IL 60201
Many children have experienced loss and/or trauma early in their lives. This may have affected their ability to develop positive, close and secure relationships with parents/carers. They may have developed a number of strategies to help them to survive these difficult times. These strategies can continue to be used by the child even when they are in a safe and loving family. Many children develop 'blocked trust' and continue to use coercive and controlling behaviour to try to feel safe rather than being able to relax and rely on their new parent/s for safety and security.
I am a Certified DDP Practitioner and beleive this approach to be especailly effective with children and families who are struggling with issues such as blocked trust and blocked care. DDP is a way of working with, and parenting, children that uses what we know about attachment and trauma to help children and families with their relationships.
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