We’re pleased to announce that Dr Andrea Shortland is now an accredited Dyadic Development Psychotherapy (DDP) Practitioner! DDP is an effective treatment for families with adopted or fostered children who have endured neglect or abuse with their birth families and have suffered significant developmental trauma. The therapy is family-based and helps children create secure attachments to their parents and learn to trust others. To become a Practitioner in DDP, Andrea has completed a minimum of 10 recorded reviews of her DDP work under supervision and has been independently reviewed by a Consultant in DDP practice. It’s a very exciting announcement and Andrea is looking forward to further embedding DDP in her practice with clients.
You can read more about DDP and...
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing) is a unique therapy that helps process trauma. It can be really effective in relieving distress to help people get back to enjoying life. At Shortland Psychology, we love this therapy because we have witnessed many success stories with it.
We are therefore excited to announce that Dr Andrea Shortland, is now an EMDR adult, adolescent and child Consultant. This means that she has not only completed specialist training but has extensive experience in the practice of EMDR with a wide variety of clients. She is also now qualified to supervise other EMDR therapists who are working towards their own accreditation. Essentially, Andrea knows her stuff when it comes to EMDR therapy and trauma processing!
"Thank you for everything you did for us both.
I was really struggling to know what to do to help her, it was heartbreaking to watch her sink into such a terrifying place but you calmly managed to pick her up and let her see the way out of the depths that she was in. I am used to coping with what life throws at me but I was completely unable to see a way to help her and terrified about what could happen. You are brilliant at your job, I will always be very grateful to you.
She is much better now and improving all the time, there have been moments when I have suggested that she may want to see you but they are infrequent now. She has done really well and is happy and her teachers predict that she will get good grades in her GCSEs."
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During the Covid-19 crisis we are delivering all of our therapeutic approaches online to existing and new clients - children, adults and families including family therapy and EMDR. Just get in touch if you want to discuss this further by sending an email to . It might be useful for you to know that most insurance companies are authorising online therapy sessions at this time.
As an allied health profession, psychology can position you in local government as well as in health settings and, with a particular interest in workforce functioning, that's where I've been since qualifying in 2016. Working as a Psychologist in a community social care service provides a holistic setting in which to think about client and family well-being, and also provides an insight into the pressures on services; how it's possible for organisations to provide the conditions in which frontline staff are able to work in a relational way. Sometimes I write about some of this work here: ...
What do you like most about working with couples and families?
For me, it makes so much sense to work with a ‘system’ – be it a couple, family or other group of people. As human beings, we are surrounded by many many systems. You might have a partner, your own family, children, parents, grandparents etc. Your children have their school system, your parents might have residential care home systems…the list goes on and on! If we stop and think about how connected we are, and how much these connections can shape our lives, we realise that working with these connections can be really helpful.
Sharon recently attended a self-practice self-reflection workshop presented by Tobyn Bell. Compassion-focused therapy and techniques can be particularly helpful for people who experience high levels of self criticism and shame and who struggle to connect with feelings of inner warmth and safety.
Sharon found the workshop offered an excellent opportunity to practice compassion-focused therapy techniques on herself and to reflect on the experience both personally and with colleagues. Self-practice and reflection can be a meaningful way of learning and consolidating therapeutic techniques, and also offers an opportunity to increase our empathy with others including our clients.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you've done for D, but particularly for me over the past year and more.
I've learned so very much from your knowledge, emotional and intellectual intelligence, and skilful deftness.
You were a true anchor to us, through every twist and turn, up and down and were instrumental in making our time as Mother and Son a joyous success.
I shall be forever grateful to the Local Authority that you were given to us.
There is no way I could've provided a truly therapeutic home for D without your work alongside mine.
Any family is blessed to have you on board.
With great respect,
Andrea has just completed a four day course in Copenhagen in this approach, which she found to be inspiring and compassionate training.
There was a real emphasis on the difficulty that many people who have suffered enduring or complex trauma have in connecting with their body. As with most trauma symptoms, this is done in an attempt to cope with and survive very difficult experiences but can leave the person feeling disconnected once the trauma has passed. This very gentle and highly respectful yoga approach can help the individual re-connect with and attune to their body again in a safe and empowering...
Andrea has just received Practitioner Certification in Theraplay at Intermediate Level.
Theraplay is a very powerful approach to working with complex trauma and attachment difficulties. It is always amazing to see how such a gentle and playful approach can bring about big changes for a child and within the parent-child relationship. We use Theraplay a lot when working with children with complex trauma difficulties. Sometimes we use Theraplay as a standalone approach when a child is struggling to regulate themselves or connect to their caregiver. Other times we use Theraplay to build a solid foundation to permit trauma focused work – it helps the child to begin to connect both to themselves and to others and helps to develop trust and safety. When thinking about...
We asked Andrea to take a few moments out of her hectic schedule to answer a few questions about what inspired her to specialise in trauma therapy and assessment.
How did you decide to specialise in supporting people who have had a traumatic experience?
I grew up in an area where there was a lot of family and community trauma that went unrecognised. I knew so many people that struggled with the impact of trauma and felt it was wrong that traumatised people were often considered ‘difficult’, ‘angry’ or ‘bad’.
My interest was developed...
Jasmine, a young woman, shares her words of wisdom having completed trauma focused work.
Jasmine (this is not her real name) and I met with a client for a follow up session – we completed trauma focused work including EMDR last year following the traumatic death of her mother. She is an amazing young woman who has gone on to achieve remarkable things despite her experiences. I asked her what was important or helpful about our work and she identified these points:
The therapy was very relaxed and not formal and scary. We laughed as well as talking about the hard stuff.
Therapy helped her to understand and make connections between things that otherwise might have seemed silly
We ended up working more on the traumas that happened in the years before her mother’s death as these were the experiences that was causing her...
I attended a one-day conference with Dan Hughes and Jon Baylin on 17th October 2016 and picked up a copy of their new book "The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy".
Dan Hughes started by making the really important point that social learning based strategies for behaviour management and change (that includes rewarding desirable behaviour and punishing undesirable behaviour including the use of time out) only work when the child can take safety and relationship security for granted. Children with histories of neglect and trauma within their...