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Therapy
SPECIALIST
ASSESSMENTS
Summary

Whether neurotypical or neurodiverse; birth family or adoptive family: Growing up can be a difficult time. Our caring and friendly team are specially trained to make sure you and your family get the right support and help you to develop and grow, feeling safe, happy, and loved. At FSK Minds Matter my team promote safety and nurturing for families, where we are able to assess young people so that they are better able to develop to their full potential. We feel it’s important to identify what therapeutic work is needed ( from the specialist assessment ) to help young people to have positive self-esteem, be able to make friends and grow up in a family where fun and laughter are part of everyday life. We have learned through our experience what works, and we ensure we continuously improve our service by remaining conversant of all research and good practice in our field.

The Assessment

Therapeutic intervention always begins with a Clinical Child Assessment where the following is assessed:

  • The emotional, behavioural and psychological impact of the child’s experiences of attachment, loss, trauma and neglect.

  • Assess the child’s attachment relationship with adoptive parents / carers.

  • Develop an understanding of the child’s therapeutic needs and the type of therapeutic intervention they might benefit from.

  • Identify whether the child may have any Neurodevelopmental immaturities, Retained Primitive Reflexes or sensory issues that may be impacting on their emotional, social, physical or cognitive development. 

  • Develop an understanding of the parent / carer’s own attachment experiences and temperaments and their support need’s.

  • Explore whether the child’s parents can participate in the work and support the child through the therapeutic process.

  • Understand the child and parent’s views and goals for the therapeutic work.

  • Decide whether the timing is right for the work to go ahead.

  • Develop a plan for therapeutic intervention.

Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters

The Team

When you come to FSK Minds Matter, you will firstly meet one of the clinicians from our wonderfully talented team, whom will manage your Specialist Assessment process. Our Senior practitioners provide you with support throughout the process. All assessment work will be carried out at 88 Church Road, Stockton, and are overseen by Consultant Clinical Psychologist Dr. Coleen Mercer Quinn.

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Dr. Andy Dalziell  

Dr Andy Dalziell is a passionate advocate of movement as a tool for improving lives.  Running his own therapeutic practice helping infants, children and young people with a wide variety of learning and behavioural difficulties as well as those who are underachieving.  Dr Andy provides personalised intervention support programmes designed to address the specific needs of all individuals whilst supporting the whole family to achieve the success they are striving for.

Connect with Dr. Andy on LinkedIn  |

Dr. Colleen Mercer Quinn

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As a Registered Applied Psychologist Supervisor (RAPPS), Dr. Colleen maintains the highest professional standards that operate within legal frameworks to accord all regulatory requirements. As a highly qualified and experienced Practitioner Psychologist, Colleen provides psychological therapy, psychological assessments, and therapeutic expertise to facilitate psychological care from a range of biopsychosocial models. Dr. Quinn has extensive experience in service provision within the following areas: NHS, Health & Social Care, Primary, Secondary, College & Higher Education, Ministry Of Defence (MOD), Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Children & Families Services, Specialist Personality Disorders Services, Adult & Child Eating Disorder Services (Inpatient & Outpatient), Health Psychology, Pain Management, Expert Witness Assessments, Specialist Supervision and Peer Supervision. REFLECT Innovations provides a range of bespoke therapies enabling individuals to manage and improve the quality of their lives. REFLECT Innovations Corporate provides a flexible framework to influence through leadership and training to provide practical solutions.

Connect with Dr. Colleen on LinkedIn  |

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Sara Young

Sara is an EMDR practitioner and neuro-biofeedback specialist who provides the 19 lead EEG reports that support our young people through their therapeutic journey. Sara is he founder of the Changing Minds with Pick Up a Penny campaign and she aims to transform the quality of mental health service in the UK.

Connect with Sara Young on LinkedIn  |

Kate Smith

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Kate has worked as a Senior Occupational Therapist for the past 17 years, working with adults and children with leaning disabilities, mental health and autism in the private sector. She is passionate about helping adults and children have a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, to empower them as a family to feel in control and achieve their goals! Whilst being a new mum on maternity leave, Kate began to truly understand how overwhelming family life can be. So she used some of her maternity leave to enhance her knowledge and skills in areas of advanced CBT and Child Nutrition. This further developed Kate's passion to support families and is why she decided to launch her own private practice, to help those homes and families whom require support in managing their mental health and daily functioning.

Connect with Kate on LinkedIn  |

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Nicola Emsley

Nicola is a Senior Psychotherapist whom integrates approaches such as EMDR, mindfulness, sensorimotor or body-based work and psychoeducation to help clients better understand where their difficulties have come from, how to manage and reduce symptoms and finally how to process the trauma they are carrying from the past. As an integrative practitioner, Nicola uses a trauma-focussed approach to help clients process historical experiences, and works collaboratively with clients to ensure they get what they need from therapy. The clients Nicola works with have often experienced childhood trauma, attachment, disruption and have dissociative symptoms.

Recognition

At FSK Minds Matter, the amazing professionals that we have the privilege of working with will not only facilitate parts of the Specialist Assessment process, but they are also fountains of knowledge and experience that are being celebrated for their achievements and hard work. Check out the accolades of the Minds Matter team below. 

Checking the news online
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Support Grows for Changing Minds with Pick Up a Penny Psychotherapy Centre

2 Minute Read

NE Times

Sara Young has launched Changing Minds with Pick Up a Penny (CIC) to raise funds to deliver what she says will be pioneering psychotherapy.

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How Movement Makes us Better Thinkers Andrew Dalziell  |  TED x Bratislava

TED on YouTube

18 Minute Watch

Andrew Dalziell is a passionate advocate of movement as a tool for improving cognition. In this intriguing talk, he uncovers the deep connection between movement and our ability to learn, behave and perform. 

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Trust Staff Celebrated in Bright Ideas Awards

3 Minute Read

NHS

Colleagues from County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust were among those recognised for their innovative work in improving patient care through the Bright Ideas in Health Awards this year.

FRAN KERR

Fran is a qualified Integrative Psychotherapeutic Child and Adult Therapist, Clinical Supervisor, EMDR  practitioner and a senior qualified Hypnotherapist. Fran has 22 years of experience working with children, adults and families, and specialises in therapeutic assessments, attachment, trauma and dissociation. Fran has two Neurodiverse children and a Neurodiverse grandchild. Fran's early experiences mean she has lived a disrupted attachment experience, parented disrupted attachments and has worked with attachment and trauma issues.

Connect with Fran on LinkedIn   |

Assessment Methods

 

In the assessment we use projective techniques and clinical data to assess and evaluate the quality and nature of the child/carer relationship and interaction., by what is happening in the attachment relationship, looking at the levels of trauma and the predispositions to dissociate. The findings from the assessment provide a tool for robust therapeutic treatment planning by exploring the child's ability to respond to the caregivers' efforts and identifying how the child responds to the parent's or carer's attempts to:

    •    Structure the environment and set expectations and limits
   •    Engage the child in interaction whilst being attuned to the child's state and reactions
   •    Respond in a nurturing way to the child's needs, including being able to soothe and calm the child when needed
   •    Provide and respond to challenge in an appropriate way

Image by Nicholas Sampson
Assessment Goals

To assess and understand the emotional, behavioural and psychological impact of the child’s experiences of loss, trauma and separation

 

To assess and understand the early attachment experience and the impact on the child’s current attachment relationship

 

To assess and understand any early traumatic experiences and the impact on the child’s current attachment relationship

 

To develop an understanding of the child’s therapeutic needs and the type of therapeutic intervention they might benefit from

 

To assess the parent’s areas of strength and any required support in order to empower the therapeutic process and the therapeutic parenting

 

To explore whether the child’s parents can participate in the work and support the child through the therapeutic process

 

To screen the impact of early experiences on the child’s central nervous system and identify neuro-developmental delays 

 

To screen for sensory processing issues and identify any issues resulting from neurodevelopmental delays that may further impact on social and emotional functioning 

 

To understand the child and parent’s views and goals for the therapeutic work

 

To decide whether the timing is right for the work to go ahead now

 

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