Therapeutic parenting support for adopters and special guardians

We see parents and carers as part of the therapeutic team. Through different parenting methods and specific techniques, parents and carers can help to make a real difference to the situation facing an adoptive/SGO family. However, we know that being a ‘therapeutic parent’ isn’t always easy. That’s why we offer therapeutic parenting support sessions to help parents and carers put into practice a therapeutic approach at home. These sessions also provide support to help with the stress that can come with parenting children with early trauma.

What is therapeutic parenting?

Therapeutic parenting is a research-based approach to help children who have experienced early trauma. The aim is to encourage feelings of safety and connectedness so that the child or young person can begin to deal with their experiences. We understand that this type of ‘special parenting’ can be difficult. Individual therapeutic parenting support sessions help parents and carers put this approach into practice, and provide a safe space for talking about any difficulties they might be experiencing during the process.

Therapeutic parenting support at Gateway

Therapeutic parenting is one of the most important ways of enacting change for a child who has experienced trauma. Depending on the situation, a therapeutic parenting approach might be all that is needed to achieve a positive outcome. We offer standalone parenting support sessions for this reason.

More commonly, our therapeutic parenting support sessions are commissioned as part of a package (for example, as part of the planned therapy or with one of our group interventions).

Parents/carers might find it useful to have 1-to-1 sessions alongside our group therapeutic parenting training course (TR-UST/eTR-UST or A-ABC).

Or, we might see parents/carers individually before or alongside direct therapy work with the child.

The approach we take will usually be determined by the adoption support assessment and the assessment of therapeutic need, in addition to the parent or carer’s wishes.

Therapeutic reparenting training

Therapeutic parenting programmes can be an excellent way to understand the theory behind attachment-focused parenting, along with practical techniques for putting this special way of parenting into practice

Gateway Psychology have a range of therapeutic parenting courses available to help support parents and carers. These include our 8-week TR-UST/eTR-UST course, along with advanced-level courses to further develop specific techniques.

Upcoming events

Parenting with Theraplay (Sep 2024)

23 September - 14 October

LEAPlets (Sep 2024)

24 September - 10 December


If you are a social worker or work for a Local Authority/Regional Adoption Agency/other organisation, please get in contact with us about your client. We will talk through the situation with you and suggest a way forward.

If you are a parent or carer, you can self-refer to our service. Sessions can be self-funded.

Adoptive parents and special guardians may be able to access therapeutic parenting support sessions funded by the Adoption and Special Guardianship Support Fund. Please talk to your Local Authority or Regional Adoption Agency for more information.

Your clinician will talk with you about your situation and put together a plan based on those requirements.

If you are accessing therapeutic parenting support sessions as part of a package, parents and carers will have individual sessions alongside the agreed package of work.

Parent support sessions can work very well in a virtual environment. These are often hosted via Zoom or Skype.

We can be flexible depending on the parent or carer’s requirements, delivering online-only sessions, a mix of virtual and face-to-face or face-to-face only. Please let us know your preference when starting the sessions (or before).

No, usually children or young people won’t be present in the parenting support sessions.

The aim of these sessions is to help parents and carers with their parenting strategies and putting therapeutic parenting into place at home to make a difference for the child or young person.

Depending on the package of work agreed, direct therapy work with the child or young person may happen alongside therapeutic parenting support sessions (or not at all).

Every situation is different and therapeutic parenting support sessions will be recommended either by an assessment or requested by the parent/carer/social worker.

If parents/carers are accessing therapeutic parenting support sessions, it will because it has been identified that they will be helpful for the situation.