Mary Elliott MA UKCP, London Child Therapy.
I am a UKCP registered Integrative Child Psychotherapist, based in Forest Hill and East Dulwich. I have worked as a therapist offering therapy to children, young people and their families for over 10 years.
I can help children and young people who are inhibited, withdrawn, worried, anxious, sad, low, depressed, angry or oppositional. Difficulties may be connected to a wide range of experiences eg family relationships, loss, bereavement, change, divorce, separation, stress.
I work with children with complex difficulties due to trauma and abuse, and have particular experience and expertise in working with children with attachment difficulties who are separated from their birth families.
I integrate psychoanalytic, attachment, humanistic and systemic psychotherapeutic theories within my practice. My approach is empathic, attuned, playful and sensitive. I use my experience and knowledge to support children, young people and their families in a process of exploration, change and growth, reducing distress and difficult to manage feelings and behaviour.
Children can find it hard to put feelings into words. Play, art and creativity within psychotherapy helps children and young people to express themselves fully, including those things which are difficult to talk about. I help to make sense of what a child or young person shows me through their play and creativity and through their relationship with me.
By thinking about and talking about feelings children can process difficult experiences and associated feelings and reduce levels of distress. Over time children transfer what has been taken in from therapy to relationships with others, helping them seek and receive emotional support more easily.
How I work:
1. Initial consultation
I will explain more about how I work and you and/or your child can talk about your concerns and ask questions. We can both decide whether to go forward and arrange further appointments.
2. Therapeutic assessment
In these initial 2-3 meetings I want to get to know your child really well, so I can form a therapy plan to meet particular needs. I will explore the current concerns in more depth and ask about your child's development, family history and family life.
3. Therapy plan
We may agree a therapy plan for short term (3-12 sessions) or long term (a year or more) therapy, this depends on the individual assessed needs. I work with children and adolescents individually, with their families or carers, or with parents separately from their children. E.g I may be able to help parents with worries about their children in a few sessions, and with more complex needs the work might include long term individual child therapy alongside regular meeting with parents/carers and wider family/supporters.
We will review progress together regularly and amend the therapy plan accordingly.
My therapy practice is based in Forest Hill and East Dulwich, I can also work in schools in this locality.
Training, qualifications & experience
I trained as an Integrative Child Psychotherapist at the Institute for Arts and Therapy in Education and have an MA Integrative Child Psychotherapy (with Distinction).
I have worked in a variety of settings including an NSPCC specialist therapeutic service, in an NHS CAMHS service, for private fostering agencies and in private practice.
Academic & professional qualifications:
MA Integrative Child Psychotherapy with Distinction, IATE/London Metropolitan University 2008
Master of Social Work/DipSW, University of York 2001
Certificate in Counselling, University of Ripon and York 1999
BA (Hons) Sociology 2:1, University of York 1997
Continuing professional development (selection):
Fostering Changes Facilitator, Fostering Changes Training Centre 2010
Certificate in Supervision, Metanoia Institute 2009/2010
Post Qualifying Award in Social Work, Various programmes 2008
Working with Refugee Families, Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust 2003
Creative counselling, Youth Access 2000
Registered / Accredited
Being registered/accredited with a professional body means an individual must have achieved a substantial level of training and experience approved by their member organisation.
UK Council for Psychotherapy
The UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) is a leading professional body for the education, training and regulation of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Its register is accredited by the government's Professional Standards Authority.
As part of its commitment to protect the public, it works to improve access to psychotherapy, to support and disseminate research, to improve standards and to respond effectively to complaints against its members.
UKCP standards cover the range of different psychotherapies. Registration is obtained by training or accrediting with one of its member organisations, or by holding a European Certificate in Psychotherapy. Accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.
Accredited register membership
Accredited Register Scheme
The Accredited Register Scheme was set up in 2013 by the Department of Health (DoH) as a way to recognise organisations that hold voluntary registers which meet certain standards. These standards are set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
This therapist has indicated that they belong to an Accredited Register.
Areas of counselling I deal with
As an experienced therapist I offer clinical supervision to integrative child psychotherapists, professionals of other therapeutic backgrounds and the broader helping professions.
Reflective practice groups
Teachers, foster carers, social workers and other professionals often have little time to process, reflect and make sense of the feelings, experiences and behaviour of children and young people they are working with. Adults and professional systems can unintentionally get caught up in relational dynamics that perpetuate difficulties rather than facilitate support and growth. Reflective practice or supervision groups offer experience led learning, are supportive, facilitate good practice, and can improve workplace relationships. Frequency will depend on context and may range from weekly to monthly groups.
I can offer training to foster carers, teachers, social workers and parents eg on therapeutic play and therapeutic skills, understanding trauma and abuse, attachment theory and similar. I can deliver bespoke training sessions so contact me to discuss your particular needs. For foster carers I am a facilitator of Fostering Changes, an evidence based advanced 12 week foster carer training programme.
Consultation to parents, carers and professionals can sometimes be more therapeutic than working directly with a child or young person, eg when a child is unsettled or unwilling to engage with therapy. Consultation can assist teachers, foster carers, social workers and parents in processing, reflecting and making sense of the feelings, experiences and behaviour of children and young people. A network of therapeutic care will help a child to feel supported, contained, validated and understood and ensure that decisions are made in their best interests, helping children and young people to fulfill their potential.