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Attachment Therapy letter from a Foster Mum

Dear Andrea, 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. Onwards... With great respect, Foster...

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Course completed in Trauma Sensitive Yoga

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...

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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...

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Specialist Spotlight – Dr Andrea Shortland

Get to know Dr. Andrea Shortland

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. Andrea Shortland 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...

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Trauma Focus – words of wisdom from a young woman

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:
  1. The therapy was very relaxed and not formal and scary. We laughed as well as talking about the hard stuff.
  2. Therapy helped her to understand and make connections between things that otherwise might have seemed silly
  3. 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...

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Making Connections Conference – From Mistrust to Trust

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". attachment-focus-therapy-book 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...

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