Here at Beacon House we have a team of psychologists and psychotherapists who can work with a wide range of emotional and behavioural difficulties in children, teens and families.

We are a multi-disciplinary team and we take pride in ensuring that all aspects of the child and family’s well-being is integrated into the therapy plan. We understand that a child does not struggle, or indeed thrive, in isolation from their family and their school environment; and we always aim to consider how we can understand and support all aspects of the child’s world, including their emotional and physical health.

We are not a diagnostic service, which means that when children and young people visit us for an assessment, we don’t value diagnosing them with a mental health disorder. Instead, we value developing a psychological formulation of their difficulties. This means that we work with the parents and the young person to develop an understanding of:

  • When the difficulties started
  • What early experiences and developmental needs may have contributed to the difficulties
  • What is keeping the difficulties going
  • What strengths and resources the child and family can bring into play

 

Young people and families tell us that this approach feels empowering, refreshing and hopeful.

Common difficulties that young people and families come to Beacon House with include:

  • Anxiety
  • Low mood
  • School avoidance
  • Relationship conflict
  • Phobia
  • Obsessive Compulsive Behaviours
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Gender identify discomfort
  • Loss and bereavement
  • Separation anxiety
  • Parenting
  • Perfectionism
  • Exam stress
  • Low self esteem
  • Panic
  • Self-harming and suicidality
  • Impulsivity and behavioural problems
  • Family adjustment

How do I refer to the Child and Family Clinic?

To make a referral, simply pick up the phone and call us on 01444 413 939 (for our Cuckfield clinic) or 01243 219 900 (for our Chichester clinic). You are also welcome to email us on referrals@beaconhouse.org.uk and we will get back in touch with you within two days.

If you are a school, GP, social worker or another professional worried about a family – you are welcome to get in touch with us about them, as long as you have their consent to do so. We will then contact the family and take the referral from there.

What happens once my child has been referred?

Following your child’s referral, the difficulties that he or she brings will be discussed by our clinical team. Your child will then be carefully matched to a therapist in the team who offers the most helpful skill set and experience given the difficulties you have described to us. For this reason, we might ask for quite a lot of detail when you phone to make a referral or may, in some circumstances, arrange for one of our clinical leads to call you for more information before we decide which therapist to match your child or family with. Once we have matched your child to a therapist, one of our secretaries will then get back in touch with you to offer an initial assessment date, which will be confirmed in writing.

What happens in an initial assessment?

We always begin our relationship with you by offering a brief therapeutic needs assessment with the therapist who your child has been allocated to. In most situations, this assessment takes place over one to two appointments and includes a meeting with the parents alone, and a meeting with the child and parents together. Sometimes the child is invited to meet with the therapist alone too.

When the difficulties are complex, we will offer the child and family an extended assessment, and we will explain exactly what is involved and the associated costs.

Our initial assessment aims to:

  1. Understand the nature of your child’s difficulties
  2. Explore any concerns about safety
  3. Develop a therapeutic understanding of the problem (known as a ‘formulation’)
  4. Make recommendations for a therapeutic treatment plan

Families have told us that our assessments often shed new light on the problems they have brought to us, which can create change and hope early on in our work with them. We see the assessment as the start of treatment, because understanding the difficulties is always the first step towards change.

You will be provided with a therapeutic needs letter within two weeks of the last assessment appointment. If you give us consent, this letter can be shared with the school and GP, and any other professionals involved. This can often be an important way to build a ‘web of understanding’ around your child.

What happens after the assessment?

The assessment will make recommendations which we feel would be beneficial, and which fits with your own priorities for change. The recommendations we make are informed by the following key principles:

  1. To enable a child to thrive, an intervention plan needs to consider the powerful, therapeutic role of how the parents/carers can facilitate change (a child can rarely thrive in isolation from their families!)
  2. The young person’s behaviours that we are concerned about are an outward communication of an underlying emotional pain. To create change, we must look beneath the surface to understand, heal and accept the hidden hurt.
  3. Therapy is most effective when it is offered in the right sequence. Sometimes, change in the parents’ understanding and responses is needed before change in the young person can be seen.
  4. Often, therapy is most effective when it is offered in phases, with planned ‘therapeutic breaks’. This means that the young person and the parents can put into practice all that they have learnt about themselves and each other.

Your recommendations will include one or more of the following therapeutic interventions:

How is my child’s progress reviewed?

Therapeutic progress is something which is continually reviewed throughout the therapy. During the assessment, the therapist will make a plan with you about how many sessions should take place before a more formal ‘pause and review’ appointment is offered.

Alongside this, we have three main ways that we evaluate the therapeutic progress your child makes:

  1. During your child’s assessment, you will be asked to fill out a number of questionnaires, which will be re-administered at the end of each piece of work.
  2. At the start of each piece of work, you and your child will be asked to identify three therapeutic goals, and scale them to show us how well you feel you are achieving those goals. We will review your goals and your scaling at the end of therapy.
  3. At the end therapy, you and your child will be asked to tell us how satisfied you feel with your experience of coming to Beacon House and whether you feel the difficulties you came here for have improved.

What do young people and parents/carers say about Beacon House?

We understand that taking that step towards asking for help takes courage. We also understand that it can feel like a step into the unknown. Take a browse through our Testimonials and Young Person’s page, where you can read what other parents and children have said about their journey through therapy here at Beacon House.

Getting in Touch

If you have any questions about our services please feel free to pick up the phone to us on 01444 413 939 or send us an email on referrals@beaconhouse.org.uk, we welcome informal conversations about whether we are the right service for you. To make a referral please click here.