37 Clarendon Street
BT48 7ER

07701 037745

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37 Clarendon Street
BT48 7ER

07701 037745

About us

Child Therapy N.I. is an innovative Child Counselling and Child Psychotherapy Centre in a prime location in Derry~Londonderry and donegal.

The Child Therapist, Ciara Mc Elhinney, specialises in dealing with children and young people, aged between 4 and 18 years- working on an individual basis with the young person, with the parent(s) and child or in group sessions.
Ciara has 16 years experience working with children and young people in therapy and can also offer the service to be bought into organisations and schools.

The Benefits of Child Counselling and Therapy

Through the therapy process, children can change their personal view of events in the world and begin to develop and improve their emotional and social interactions.

Child Therapy NI will benefit children and adolescents with:-

  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Excessive anger, worry, sadness, or fear
  • Behaviour which is immature for the child’s age
  • Continued school associated problems
  • Behaviours which interfere with making and keeping friends.
  • Problems eating or sleeping
  • Difficulty adjusting to family changes
  • Abuse
  • Excessive shyness, withdrawn or low social skills.
  • Attached Depression etc.

A benefit of therapy is that children can create a therapeutic play at their own developmental level. The relationship with the therapist also allows children a sense of security when recreating emotionally stressful experiences. Children like to play. They are often unable to understand and talk about their feelings the way adults do so this makes adult therapies inappropriate. Play becomes therapeutic to children, as it gives expression to their experiences and emotions.


Sand play is “hands on” psychological work, and is an adjunct to talk therapy. It is a powerful therapeutic method that facilitates the psyche’s natural capacity for healing.

In a “free and protected” space provided by a trained sand play therapist, the client creates a concrete manifestation of his or her imagination using sand, water, and miniature objects. In this way Sand-play helps honour and illuminate the client’s internal symbolic world, providing a place for its expression within a safe container.

With sufficient time and understanding, a sand play experience can lead the client into layers of experiences that are pre-verbal and long-forgotten to the conscious mind. Through the tangible emergence of personal and archetypal symbols in the tray in a safe environment, the client moves toward a sense of balance and wholeness.
(Harriet Friedman and Rie Rogers Mitchell).

What happens in
Child Therapy?

During the initial intake session, I meet with the primary carers and sometimes child to gain a thorough understanding and history of the family and the child. I evaluate the areas of concern, needs and goals so that I can determine treatment. After listening to the family history, the child’s developmental history, current behaviours and symptoms, I then suggest the treatment, therapeutic approaches and techniques that will be used to help the child. A treatment plan will be discussed at this time and specific recommendations will be made regarding therapeutic interventions, home-based interventions for parents to work on and any further evaluation or referrals which may be needed.

What can I expect in a therapy session?

For children, sessions will consist of various forms of Play, Sand Therapy and Integrative Psychotherapy, including but not limited to:-

  • Art as a therapy the use of drawing, painting and other forms of creative expression
  • Narrative therapy-storytelling to elicit themes and emotions
  • Toys, including puppets, figurines, doll's house, etc.
  • Role plays, wood work
  • Modelling with clay and play doh
  • Music as a Therapy

Children and adolescents are often unable to use words to express themselves or to communicate emotions. They respond extremely well to being able to express themselves creatively in a safe and child-friendly setting while learning appropriate ways to manage and communicate feelings.

Training, qualifications & experience

Ciara Mc Elhinney
BSc Psych PGrad Dip Child Adolescent Psychotherapy MNCS {ACC}

  • Managing Anger Programme

  • Working with Children Certificate

  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP] skills and Life Coaching Course

  • Drug and Alcohol Awareness Programme

  • Certificate in Food Hygiene

  • Manual Handling Course

  • Certificate of Merit – Top Grade in Child Development

  • Challenging Vulnerable Behaviour Course

  • Trauma in the Early Years, Using Infant Mental Health Framework

  • Child development
  • Personal qualities element {PQE}


  • Have 16 years in the field in various organisations, Specialising in work with 4-18 Year Olds

  • Am on the Voluntary Government Register

  • Successfully completed CPD Courses

  • Have Public Indemnity Insurance

  • Am a Member of the Irish Association Infant Mental Health [IAIMH]

  • Am an Accredited Member of the National Counselling Society [NCS]

  • Possess an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate:- Access Northern Ireland

  • Have Clinical Supervision on a ratio of 1:6, once a week on a 1:1 basis.

  • Have a Full, clean driving licence and own transport.

Member organisations *

Registered / Accredited


Accredited register membership

* We have verified that at least one professional at this organisation is registered with the relevant professional body.

Other areas of counselling we deal with

I work with the Person- Not the Behaviour!

Photos & videos

  • 2016
  • sand play therapy picture
  • front of building
  • rent a room
  • therapy room
  • poster
  • local woman


Consultation and Assessment- £65

Individual Psychotherapy per sessions £65, with recommendation of six sessions minimum

Groups £40 per person or £120 per group {Sand play Therapy}

Family therapy {Attachment and bonding and better relationships} £65

Parental mediation £30 per adult. resolving the differences for the sake if the kids. putting the children first!

£30 per session
session 30mins per young person

Further information

Do not hesitate to contact me

Maps & Directions

Londonderry, BT48 7ER

Type of session

Online counselling: Yes
Telephone counselling: Yes
Face to face counselling: Yes

Practical details

Sign language: Unspecified
Other languages: I also work non verbally and in silence


Wheelchair access: Unspecified


Office hours are Monday-Saturday from 11 am - 9 pm. I will make every effort to accommodate people with busy schedules.

Types of client

Young people
Employee Assistance Programme
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