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Deborah Shaer Child & Adolescent Therapist - Counsellor

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Therapy-Counselling Service


Examples of presenting issues

The diversity of presenting issues may involve:

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  • low self-esteem
  • depressive states and mood swings
  • body dysmorphia
  • suicidal ideation and attempted suicide
  • anxiety in general
  • anxiety related to an issue
  • Insecure Attachment
  • separation anxiety
  • loss and grief
  • social phobia
  • obsessions and compulsions
  • addiction
  • excessive fear
  • insomnia
  • difficulties with concentrating
  • confusion
  • gender issues
  • dissociative states
  • selective mutism

It may be that current circumstances have triggered any number of these issues. Hidden aspects also need to be considered, such as earlier experiences which have compromised the mental and emotional wellbeing of the child or adolescent.

Learning difficulties and special needs

Since my background includes education and also working in schools, I am familiar with the system. Usually, it is an Educational or Clinical psychologist who will do an Assessment through a referral from the school. Assessments can of course be initiated privately. Still, conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and dyscalculia can also go unnoticed and can be revealed during the course of the therapy sessions.

I chose the words plastik prizm for my company name because it relates to the brain’s plasticity. And I spelled plastic with a k because for many people with dyslexia, spelling becomes incompatible to what they are hearing.

The plastic brain

The subject of neuroscience, especially as it relates to psychotherapy provides a wealth of significant factors related to mental capacity and emotional turmoil due to stress and trauma. These are areas I specialise in. And neuroscientists have evidenced through brain imaging, the malleable quality of neuroplasticity. This means that healing can occur through the renewal of these neural loopings.

It is through caring and nurturance as well as the methods used in professional therapeutic work such as counselling or psychotherapy that are able to support these developments

Initiating a therapy consultation

The process begins with discussing the concerns about the child or adolescent and whether to start with short term goal-oriented process or longer term duration, whatever questions and concerns may arise and a therapy agreement including the fee. The parents will be provided with an information leaflet about my practice.

The therapy space

The therapeutic space allows the young person to express themselves in a way that works best. They are given choices as to whether they wish to engage with any of the art materials. This usually depends on the age of the client; for children, this will include age-appropriate play. The therapy room will have a varied selection of arts materials, toys and illustrated books as appropriate.

The therapeutic relationship

Talking, listening and the therapeutic dialogue is integral to the sessions, as is the building of trust. Feeling safe, understood, listened to and respected is central.

My clinical philosophy is primarily based on intuitive, empathic and creativity, and unintrusive ways that help the child or adolescent to reach the core of their difficulties so that healing can happen.

Collaborations with Family Mediation professionals

Deborah takes on referrals from Family Mediators clients when therapy and counselling is suggested, in cases where the child or adolescent experiences emotional difficulties as a consequence of a breakdown in the parental relationship. She works individually with the child and also with the parents in one-to-one sessions.

The benefits of this type of therapeutic involvement enables the parents to explore the issues and relationship with their child, which often places communication problems at the centre. Whilst the parental sessions may be seen as therapeutic, the essence of this work is focus-based and setting out aims and goals.

Suitable strategies are also put into place, such as Non-Violent Communication (NVC), psycho-education and CBT. If any of these approaches are applied, they are used alongside general discussion with the overall themes that help the child and the parents to access valuable tools and enhance self-awareness.

In some cases, the parents’ background history reveal patterns which continue to play out. And some of these circumstances, Deborah may refer one or both parents to a psychotherapist who specialises in working with adults.

Deborah’s role where divorce proceedings have been instigated, also involves writing Assessment Reports which take into consideration the therapeutic confidentiality of the child or adolescent. This process allows for the young client to be given a voice. The unfolding of the therapy greatly helps with gaining clarity from their perspective, and all parts of this process is handled with sensitivity, and adheres to all manner of codes of ethics as set out by UKCP where she is a fully registered member. The Assessment Reports are submitted to the referring mediating professional and are made accessible to the parents. Prior to submission these Assessments are discussed between Deborah and her private clinical supervisor who will be familiar with the case. This also ensures that impartiality and integrity as concerns the child or adolescent and the parents are respectfully and accurately represented.

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Breathing Space is a Family Service that provides a neutral, confidential space where separating couples who want to create a fair and workable financial settlement, a sensible co-parenting plan or both. These services provide a safe and constructive professional environment, rather than taking matters through solicitors or in the courts. However, in situations where decisions have been made to implement divorce procedures, then these cases are moved to Family Mediation involving solicitors. The company was founded by Sara Collins; we both trained at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education.

Sara can be contacted on 07808 955060
Location: Peterborough

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Sara also works with William Hogg, an experienced collaborative Family Lawyer, an accredited Family Mediator, and a member of Resolution and the Family Mediation Council. He was a member of Resolution`s DR committee for many years and a past chair of Law Net. He is a member of Resolutions collaborative law working party and the European Collaborative Network.

William has a wealth of knowledge in dealing with complex financial and children’s matters, helping to ensure that the voice of the child is heard in mediation. He has worked with some of the top London family practices. In addition to his work with Breathing Space, he acts as a consultant for Belmont and Lowe in Farringdon. He creates a safe environment where complex matters can be untangled. William is known for his ability to safely manage high conflict cases. He has also trained dispute resolution practitioners both in England and internationally.

William can be contacted on 07780 446029
Belmont and Lowe, 33 Sekforde Street, Farringdon, London EC1R 0HH

Painting by J. R. Korpa, courtesy of Unsplash.
Photography by Warren Wong, courtesy of Unsplash.

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