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Therapy Approaches

Gateway Psychology draws upon the varied expertise and experience of our child psychologists and other therapists, and can use a number of therapy approaches in providing the most appropriate treatment for a child, young person or family. These approaches include:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) uses specific techniques and strategies to help people understand and adjust their thinking in order to manage difficult feelings and change unwanted behaviours and habits. It is a short-term therapy focused on clear goals that are decided together by the therapist and child/young person.

Behavioural Therapy
Behavioural therapy helps to understand why unwanted behaviours happen and why they continue. In order to replace unwanted behaviours with more desirable ones, changes are suggested and encouraged in the environment around the child and in the child’s responses to situations. People close to the child, for example, family members and teachers, are included in helping to make these changes.

Motivational Interviewing
Motivational Interviewing helps the client to think about why they are struggling to make the changes needed to resolve their difficulties. It can be particularly helpful for young people who are struggling with habits that may be harmful to their overall well-being, for example, abuse of alcohol or drugs, or any other area of life where difficult change is required.
Solution Focused Therapy
In this brief therapy approach goals and solutions are found to help the client make changes that improve life. The focus is mainly on the client’s present and future, although past strengths and resources are identified in helping the client move towards a preferred future.
Mindfulness based approaches and techniques
Mindfulness approaches help a person to recognise, tolerate and move on from difficult feelings. The techniques and skills used enable greater awareness of thoughts, physical sensations, sights, sounds, smells – often not noticed during normal day-to-day life.
Play Therapy
Play therapy sessions are child-led and, using a variety of play materials, a child is enabled to understand and make sense of difficult situations they have experienced. With the therapist’s help, confused feelings relating to those experiences can be explored in a safe, non-pressured and non- directive environment, and at the child’s own pace.
Play-based therapy and creative therapy
Children and young people frequently find it easier to express their feelings and thoughts in creative ways, rather than through talking. Therefore, in the course of therapy approaches and techniques may be used that include play and creative elements, whilst not being strictly ‘play’ or ‘art’ therapy. This may include, for example, the use of dolls and puppets, toy animals and drawing materials.
Systemic and Family Therapy
Systemic and Family Therapy sees people, not as isolated individuals, but as part of a relationship network or ‘system’.  Patterns of relationship and the roles people take within those relationships are explored. Systemic therapy can be used with individual child or young person, or together with other family members. The difficulties being experienced are thought about from everybody’s perspective.
Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)
DDP is a treatment approach for children with emotional distress resulting from early developmental trauma. This might include early separation from familiar caregivers and experiences of abuse and neglect. DDP enhances and makes use of the child’s relationship with a safe parent or caregiver to explore and resolve the difficulties resulting from these early experiences.
Theraplay is a child and family therapy that aims to improve the relationship between child and caregiver, building self-esteem, trust in others and joyful engagement. The underlying principle is that healthy carer/child relationships display natural patterns of positive interactions. [Theraplay® is a registered service mark of The Theraplay Institute, Evanston, IL, USA.]