We provide professional advice and support using approaches that have been proven by research.
Clinical Psychology is personalised therapy for understanding and managing all emotional and psychological difficulties. Provides individual coaching in strategies for solving problems.
This is a therapy where the young person is at the centre of a system of interactions - which may be family, friends, school etc. The young person is helped by the therapist who also involves the people or institutions around them. Great for family conflicts, blended families or situations involving medical diagnoses.
Trauma Therapy & EMDR
EMDR is a therapy that has proven very effective for dealing with difficult experiences and memories that have become stuck. We treat traumatic memories of different levels - whether those are related to accidents, individual incidents, difficult life experiences, school bullying etc.
We support all forms of special educational need - formally recognised SEND as well as parental concerns.
EHCP or ECHNa processes
Attending meetings with school
Identifying sources of support
Recommending interventions for schools or nurseries
Postnatal Anxiety & Depression Service
We have a specialist in supporting parents after difficult birth experiences.
Support for postnatal anxiety or depression
Intrusive thoughts around birth
Therapy that is tailored to the individual
What is Clinical Psychology?
Clinical Psychology works with all types of emotional and psychological difficulties. Clinical Psychologists use supportive skills to provide a safe space in which difficulties and problems can be identified and shared. Then they provide specific coaching around understanding mental health needs and teach strategies for coping with emotional difficulties like anxiety.
Clinical psychology is about understanding difficulties and finding strategies to bring about changes in attitude or behaviour. It is always based on techniques that are researched and proven by evidence.
We fit our approach to each individual patient - and not the other way round. We work on the principle that children and families have a wealth of their own insight and skills - but sometimes they need help to unlock them.
We are experienced in liaising with teachers, GPs, psychiatrists, NHS services and other professionals. We provide reports and recommendations for education and health care.
We are approved by Oxfordshire County Council to provide funded support to adopted or looked-after children.
What is a Clinical Psychologist?
Clinical Psychologists have a degree and a doctorate in psychology. Our Clinical Psychologists have all gone on to years of further training and on-the-job experience within the NHS before joining us.
Clinical Psychologists are trained to offer in-depth assessments which help a parent or child to gain a deeper understanding of how a difficulty may have developed, and what can be done to make things better.
What are the benefits?
In many cases, changes in a family’s or child’s behaviour can make a huge difference, and we can help work out which changes are necessary and how to put them into practice. We build on your family's strengths and experience to solve problems.
What is it like to do therapy?
Therapy will involve trying things out, working through problems, learning new techniques and strengthening skills. Patients will be asked to go and try our new approaches and report back.
Parents may need to join in too with tasks such as completing diaries, noticing examples or supporting kids to remember things to do.
The approach will be same whether appointments are online or face-to-face. We have found that teenagers often prefer online sessions because they can do them from home and avoid travel time. Younger children may be drawing and telling stories. Older ones may practise breathing exercises and setting goals. Every session will be individual and tailored to each patient.
You are welcome to attend with your child. Some teenagers will then prefer you to leave but we will try to keep you informed about the work. You will also see the changes after a little while!
Clinical Psychologists aim for around 6 sessions to see meaningful change - some patients do fewer, some do more depending on need but we don't aim for anyone to do months and months of therapy. It is practical, active and focused on change.
What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and a Counsellor?
Clinical Psychologists provide advice and coaching in strategies. A counsellor will provide a safe space to explore difficulties but will not provide advice or strategies.
What is the difference between a Clinical Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
Clinical Psychologists provide therapy based on a first degree in psychology, a further doctorate and training in therapy. A Psychiatrist completes a first degree in medicine before specialising in mental health. They are able to prescribe medication but will often refer to a Clinical Psychologist for therapy.
Clinical Psychology in Action
A 15 year old who has noticed low mood gradually taking over and draining colour and motivation from their life. The Clinical Psychologist will work with them to understand why the low mood came along in the first place, how it became a depression that was getting in their way so much, and how to fight back against it. They might also meet with parents to feedback information that the young person wants them to hear about things they can do to help.
A 9 year old whose parents are concerned that they have developed significant anxiety about things ‘being right’ and are having to do certain rituals to make it feel bearable e.g. washing their hands multiple times, checking doors and windows are closed, tapping the bottom step every time they go upstairs. The Clinical Psychologist might work with the young person and their family to understand what is happening and how they can cope with the difficult feelings of anxiety and discomfort. They would then make a plan together for how to gradually push back at the worry and stop doing all the rituals.
A 12 year old who has such a strong phobia about sickness and vomit that they are spending significant amounts of time every day worrying about getting ill. They may check every classroom they go into for how they would get out if anyone was ill and lose concentration on school work because they are constantly checking class mates for any signs they might feel ill. The Clinical Psychologist would work directly with the young person to give them skills and strategies to manage the phobia. They mayuse EMDR to ‘unstick’ any memories associated with past experiences of sickness that are causing repeated anxiety. They might also work with the family and the school on how to support the young person when they are ready to begin to make changes and change their focus away from the phobia.
Family and Systemic Psychotherapy
Therapy for a young person including other people or groups
What is Systemic or Family Therapy?
This is an approach that works with the whole of the family (or the system) around the young person. Think of it as layers of an onion. The young person referred to us is at the centre of the onion and around them are different layers of people connected to them – siblings, parents, wider family, friends, school, other professionals or organisations.
The word Systemic is used to recognise the fact that it isn’t always ‘blood family members’ that are involved. It could be blended families, step-parents, foster parents, or sometimes even school teachers or other professionals that might attend sessions or be helped to support the young person.
Who is it aimed at?
It is aimed at any young person or family where there are issues that are getting in lots of people’s way or are making communicating and working together difficult.
What are the benefits?
Difficulties can have a huge impact on family life and make things very hard for everyone involved. This therapy works to make changes that benefit everyone at the same time as supporting the young person to change behaviour or attitude.
What is it like to do Systemic Therapy?
This therapy is delivered by Zethu online. It can involve the young person with or without other family members and those involved in the family system. It will involve Zethu asking questions and listening to points of view of everyone involved. Zethu might then make suggestions, invite you to make suggestions and discuss pros and cons of different options and support you to create a plan together.
Systemic Therapy in Action
A family with three children and two parents, where one child is constantly “acting up” and the other two children are getting frustrated and annoyed with them. The ‘difficult’ child feels resentful and angry that they always get into trouble, the other children feel that child always gets the attention and special treatment. The parents want to meet everyone’s needs. Family Therapy might help to hear and understand everyone’s point of view and help find ways for the family to work together. It might focus on strategies for bringing the siblings together and finding positive ways for the parents to give their attention.
Parents who are divorced and are trying hard to co-parent their young child, but are struggling with different parenting styles and worrying about the impact on their child. Family Therapy might help communication between them and help them identify their strengths and differences so they can work together.
Illness in the family
A family where a parent has been diagnosed with a serious physical illness. The teenage child in their life is very worried about them, but doesn’t want to add to their burden by sharing their worries with their parents. The young person has become anxious and low in mood. Family Therapy could help everyone share their concerns in a way that feels safe and supportive. It may help identify who in the family or in the wider system can provide the right support and find ways to get that support in place.
Support for PTSD, intrusive thoughts and anxiety following traumatic experiences
What is EMDR?
EMDR and associated trauma therapy is a toolkit for managing the difficulties that come from ‘sticky’ memories or feelings. A memory can become ‘sticky’ when something happens while we are under extreme stress (frightened, upset, terrified) and our brain cannot process the information about it in a normal way. Stress chemicals that we produce when we are under extreme stress change how our brains cope with and process information. So basically, the memories, feelings or thoughts associated with that very difficult time can get stuck. They can continue to pop up and bother us when we aren’t expecting them to or when we don’t want them to. And they can bring high levels of distress and can lead us to want to avoid difficult places, things or feelings so that we don’t have to keep dealing with the sticky memories again. EMDR aims to use the brain’s usual processes to ‘unstick’ the difficult memories, thoughts and feelings.
Stuck memories can involve symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that result from experiences of trauma such as accidents but they can also be of the less dramatic kind resulting from difficult experiences such as bullying at school.
(EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, which is a rather long and confusing name for a therapy that has now evolved into a treatment involving a process similar to REM sleep to separate strong emotions from memories so that they can be put away safely.
Who is it aimed at?
Children, young people or parents who have experienced a significant source of stress that has meant they have memories, thoughts or feelings that are ‘stuck’
What is it like to do EMDR?
EMDR is done in different stages, and can be in person or online. For younger children it usually involves a parent alongside the child and older children may want a parent present as an observer. It involves finding out more about the difficulties, choosing the ‘stuck’ memories and feelings to focus on, and then teaching the person a variety of strategies to feel safe and able to cope with any difficult feelings that might come up. It moves on to a couple of sessions of ‘processing’ – which is when an image or thought is held in mind while doing eye-movements (or other forms of stimulating the brain like tapping or rocking on a wobble board). The therapist will ask you questions and guide you gently through the process. This is a very powerful and effective tool for managing 'stuck' memories. It is tiring to complete sessions because of the concentration involved.
EMDR in action
Witness to Accident
Primary school-aged child who witnessed someone being run over by a car, who has developed anxiety, a stammer and difficulty going in cars or being near the location where the accident occurred. EMDR might help ‘unstick’ the memories so that although the child will never forget what they saw, they are no longer so frightened of thinking about it and the memories do not feel so difficult.
Teenager who has been repeatedly bullied and has developed anxiety around attending school. EMDR might help to reduce the anxiety. It would be used alongside other strategies and support being put in place in order to ensure the young person is safe, the school is managing and supporting the young person not to experience any further bullying and to re-build the young person’s confidence.
A mother who experienced significant birth trauma and has developed anxiety that the stress and anxiety might get in the way of her relationship with her child. EMDR might work on processing and ‘unsticking’ the most difficult parts of the memories and confusion surrounding the birth. It might help to find ways of focusing on positive future stories of coping and resilience as a parent. It may be supplemented with other strategies for focusing on building a strong relationship with their baby.
Education & Behaviour Support
Intervention and advocacy for all educational needs
What is Education & Behaviour Support?
Our Education service provides support, information and liaison for all educational needs including emotional, psychological and all SEND even if undiagnosed. We help support families to negotiate school systems and help with consistency and support between home and school. We can:
Advise schools on adjustments for particular needs
Review documentation and attend school meetings to support parents
Assist with EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan) applications
Observe in schools and liaise about provision
Support parents to understand processes and to access services
Find strategies for managing particular behaviours at school or at home
Who is it aimed at?
It is designed to support young people and families where there are developmental or mental health issues which are impacting on school, or where school is having an impact on mental health or development.
It is also aimed at supporting a child to understand and manage their emotions and subsequent behaviours appropriately.
What is it like to do Education Consultancy?
Education Consultancy is provided by Tina who is an experienced professional with a doctorate in Special Educational Needs. She will usually meet with parents first, either in person or on screen, and can then attend meetings, do school observations, meet the young person, liaise with other professionals or members of our team as necessary.
What is it like to work on behaviour strategies?
Sometimes children experience developmental stages that make things difficult from a behavioural point of view.
Tina would meet with parents on their own initially to understand their concerns and take a developmental history. She might then speak to teachers at school to get a clearer picture of what's happening there.
Helping children to recognise and regulate their emotions is a big step to changing behaviours. Tina is able to work on strategies for changing these difficult behaviours to make home or school life easier.
Education & Behaviour Support in action
Transition to secondary
A child in Year 6 who is about to transition to secondary school who already has a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum condition and the family has concerns about whether their needs will be met at the new school. The Education Consultant might meet with the parents and child first, understand their concerns, and then attend a meeting with teachers at the new school to make a plan for appropriate support.
A young person in Year 9 who is experiencing significant anxiety around attending school and whose attendance has dropped below accepted standards. The Educational Consultant would work with the young person to identify what is making the anxiety so significant, work on strategies that might make things feel easier, and communicate with school around supportive plans.
Parents of a 6 year old who is having ‘meltdowns’ and showing difficult to manage behaviour at home. Parents are not sure if what they are seeing is developmentally expected, or if it is a sign of an underlying concern that school have not mentioned. Perhaps the child is learning poor behaviour from someone at school, perhaps they are masking anxiety in school and can't bottle it in at the end of the day, perhaps they need support to manage their emotions... Tina would then work on strategies which can be shared with both home and school to support the child.
Support for parents after birth
What is Postnatal Support?
This is a service for supporting new parents with all the emotional and psychological experiences around being a new parent, including:
Difficult birth experiences
Medical conditions for mother or baby
Who is it aimed at?
It is designed to support parents who have experienced difficulty following the arrival of their baby.
What is it like to do postnatal support?
Jo has great experience in the area of supporting new parents with the emotional upheaval associated with birth. Jo works with parents online to work through worries or low mood. She is also expert in delivering programmes for managing traumatic birth experiences.
Postnatal Support in action
New parents could work together on strategies for building a strong relationship with their baby.
Focus on parenting
A mother struggling with feelings of inadequacy or low mood. Jo would focus on building coping strategies and resilience as a parent.
A mother who experienced significant birth trauma and has developed anxiety that the stress and anxiety might get in the way of her relationship with her child. EMDR might work on processing and ‘unsticking’ the most difficult parts of the memories and confusion surrounding the birth. It might help to find ways of focusing on a positive future story.
Return to School Program
We offer a program for young people who have become very anxious about attending school or who have stopped attending. This involves psychological therapy to treat the anxiety and liaison with the school to provide a structured program of reintegration.
Liaison with schools and teachers
We are experienced in going into schools to observe students, advise teachers and advocate for students. We are able to attend meetings with school or other professionals to provide recommendations and evaluate approaches.
Therapeutic Intervention to support medication
Our Clinical Psychologists are able to provide the therapy that goes alongside medication for low mood or other conditions. We liaise with psychiatrists or paediatricians who prescribe medication alongside therapeutic interventions.
We have experience with fussy eaters and those who are not eating due to worries. We work alongside a registered dietician to support young people who have limited their food options. We work to promote a healthy approach to food and nutrition.
Clinical Psychology and Systemic Therapy
Therapy £130 per 55 mins
Initial assessment of 90 mins - £260
We are also approved to provide Council funded support to adopted or looked after children.
People often start with 4 to 6 therapy appointments but the number and frequency are up to you.
Educational Support and Behaviour Advice
Initial assessment and report £170
£85 per appointment (55 mins)
School observations & meetings £85 per hour