LISTENING SPACE AND TALKING CIRCLES
Through our Listening Space and Talking Circles Project we aim to offer a targeted and supportive response for parents and young people. We work with partner agencies to identify those who may not otherwise be able to access psychotherapy and mental health support or who may be unaware that they can access this help through our service.
Our current focus for this project is the impact of Covid-19 for parents, children, and young people. A recent study reported that 83% of young people with mental health issues said that lockdown had made them feel worse. It also demonstrated there were rising problems with behavioural and emotional issues for primary school aged children, linked to parents feeling increased pressure at this time.
In 2020 we received funding from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund to deliver this work over a six-month period. We are currently seeking additional funding, so that we can continue to offer targeted longer-term support related to the impact of covid-19.
Our Listening Spaces are a brief intervention model, of up to six individual sessions. The sessions are delivered either by phone, online, or face to face.
We provide parent support sessions with an experienced and qualified psychotherapist. The current focus is the impact of Covid-19 on their role as a parent, their own mental wellbeing and the impact on their children and family. It is regular support, planned to fit in with working and family life. We will provide specific mental health support for specific issues for some parents and some broader and shared support for groups of parents and workers with similar and shared needs.
For young people
The chance to talk with someone who won’t judge or assess but be there to listen and support.
We are working with young people whose lives have been affected by Covid-19, who may be feeling isolated, depressed, or anxious, and who aren’t able to access other kinds of support currently.
We offer a brief intervention in schools for individual children who have suffered loss, separation or trauma during the pandemic This is a private and supportive space where worries can be expressed through words, play or art, and thought about with a compassionate member of the therapy team.
Our Talking Circles Project is currently running in two local schools, with more work planned.
Group-based emotional wellbeing support for parents. This is a balance of the kind of advice and guidance parents and carers have told us they need most; supported listening, sharing, and processing their stories during this time of anxiety and isolation.
For Children and Young People
Focused interventions to support groups of children, and young people who have specific and shared experiences of loss and trauma in the context of school closures and continuing uncertainty. The children’s groups are art-based, and run by psychotherapists alongside pastoral care/teaching staff.
For the Future
There are likely to be children, young people, and families whose needs cannot be addressed through short term support or group interventions. For those with greatest need we would plan to offer:
Longer-term therapeutic parenting support for those most affected by physical and mental health anxiety and trauma or isolation, but whose needs would not be best met in a group setting
Art Psychotherapy or Analytic Psychotherapy for children and young people most at risk of developing long term mental health conditions.