The Caldecott Foundation

Therapy at Caldecott

Caldecott offers a wide range of therapeutic interventions, central to the care and individual needs of our young people. These include:

  • Art Psychotherapy
  • Integrative Child Psychotherapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Therapists and Psychologists consult with care and education staff and the local authority to ensure a co-ordinated approach in the best interests of each young person.  The department works alongside care staff to promote an informed understanding of childcare practice through training and reflective work.

Through creating a therapeutic relationship that offers acceptance, predictability, congruence and empathy, it is hoped that the young people can bear to relate and begin to reformulate their internal working model of themselves and others.  The confidentiality of the therapy space offers the children and young people the opportunity to risk expressing thoughts and feelings that they might have felt were overwhelming or would have dramatic repercussions if shared further afield.

Therapy with New Referrals

All new referrals to The Caldecott Foundation will be assessed by our Clinical Psychologist.  The assessment will aim to identify the support needs of the young person within the residential context and in school.  It will include assessment of the young person’s cognitive abilities as well as their social, emotional and behavioural needs.

Therapy With Our Young People

Once a young person is established within The Caldecott Foundation a referral for individual therapy can be made if appropriate.  For many young people with complex needs a talking based therapy may not be accessible and therefore we have a range of therapeutic approaches including those based in play, music and art.

Group Therapy

There will be some cases where disrupted attachments and the trauma of being separated from their birth family means the young person’s primary and dominant need is for the establishment of a secure base to develop the ability to trust where they live.  In these cases one to one therapy feels too risky or exposing for the child.  For these young people the therapy team will aim to work with the care staff to help them understand what may be confusing or troubling behaviour through group meetings and mentalisation supervision groups.

The Therapy team are also central to training delivered to staff covering topics such as Self Harm, Mentalisation, Attachment, Child Development and Developmental Disorders.

NatDiveNat Dive BA(hons) Fine Art, MA Art Psychotherapy

Nat Dive is a qualified Art Psychotherapist, having gained a Masters degree from Roehampton University. Nat has clinical experience working with both adults and children in mental health settings. Prior to training as an Art Psychotherapist, Nat has worked extensively with children and adolescents in schools, care homes and charities, both in the UK and abroad since 2003.



Integrative Child Psychotherapist

Peter HopgoodPeter Hopgood

An Integrative Child Psychotherapist incorporates psychoanalysis, transactional analysis, Gestalt, infant mother research, psychiatry, neuroscience and affective education to support the understanding of the young person within a therapeutic relationship. A range of techniques are used to support the young person’s communication including therapeutic storytelling and metaphor in addition to practical equipment such as art materials, music, puppets and a sand tray.

Peter Hopgood has a Masters degree in Integrative Child Psychotherapy from the Institute of Art in Therapy and Education as well as diplomas in the Therapeutic and Educational Application of the Arts and Group Analytical skills. Peter has worked in residential care within Caldecott for 20 years with 10 years experience as a Registered Manager within our Residential Houses.

Therapeutic Trainer

Emily CarrickEmily Carrick MA

Emily is a qualified Play Therapist and Therapeutic Trainer with 15 years’ experience of working with children and families, particularly Looked After Children. Emily has provided therapeutic training to a range of fostering providers and residential care providers in the South East of England as well as contributing to the delivery of training for Play Therapists at Roehampton University.

Emily achieved a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education for the lifelong learning sector from Canterbury ChristChurch University in 2013 and an MA in Non-Directive Play Therapy from York University (2009).

Emily is employed for one day a week as a Therapeutic Trainer to deliver aspects of the Induction Course to new employees and to develop and deliver Mentalisation Training across the organisation. Mentalisation, or helping young people and staff gain a greater understanding of their own thoughts and feelings and the thoughts and feelings of others and how these impact on interactions, is a central feature of the Caldecott Foundation’s Model of Care.

Emily has undertaken continued professional development in Attachment, Supervision, Restorative Justice, Adolescence and Life Story Work through training led by Professor David Howe, David Taransaud, Dr Dan Hughes, Richard Rose and others as well as Play Therapy by Garry Landreth and Mentalisation Training from The Anna Freud Centre.

Creative Arts and Non Directive Play Therapist

Shirley Mearing

Shirley Mearing, PTUK Creative Arts and Non Directive Play Therapist.

PTUK Clinical Supervision Cert, Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Diploma Kent University.

Shirley Mearing is a qualified, registered, Creative Arts and Play Therapist, and Clinical Supervisor, having gained both qualifications with Play Therapy UK (PTUK). She is a member of the register of Play and Creative Arts Therapists which is managed by PTUK and accredited by the Professional Standards Authority. Shirley specializes in Sand Tray Therapy and holds a Diploma in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies gained from Kent University. Shirley brings with her many years’ experience of working with children, young people and their families from within the health, education, social care and voluntary sectors.

Creative Arts and Non Directive Play Therapy is person centred with play and metaphor being the primary medium. The dynamic process that takes place between child and Play Therapist from within a trusting, safe, relationship enables the child to explore issues past and present, conscious and unconscious and uses the child’s inner resources to bring about growth and change. A variety of mediums is on offer to the child to choose from including puppets, imaginative play, creative visualization, therapeutic story, music, Mandala’s, clay, sand, paint, and other creative arts materials.

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