TALK THROUGH IT Supporting Mental Health for children and teenagers
Newbury and surrounding areas

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Solution-Focused Therapy for Children and Adolescents in West Berkshire

Gerry set up Talk Through It in 2016. She is Newbury-based but covers West Berkshire and surrounding areas. She created the service specifically for children, teenagers and young adults who needed help finding solutions to issues in life that had become difficult. Having worked in Education for many years, as a teacher and later a behaviour specialist, she saw the increase in anxiety and stress and wanted to make a difference.

She has particular experience of working with pupils who have ASD, ADHD and selective mutism. As someone who always sees possibility and hope, she favours Solution-focused therapy as her tool of choice. With younger children she combines counselling techniques and drawing and talking with the solution-focused approach. She has had tremendous success and is passionate about making a difference.

Typical issues occurring:

  • inability to focus when in class/at work
  • exhibiting uncontrollable bursts of anger
  • being disruptive in lessons
  • anxious about school or work
  • worrying about judgement from others
  • continually going over the same thoughts or problems
  • becoming insular and inward-thinking
  • feeling low and lacking self-confidence
  • extreme reactions to minor incidents.
  • panicking and finding it difficult to cope.
  • having problems relating to people
  • unable to make friends
  • struggling with school work, expectations or peers
  • finding family-life emotionally charged
  • struggling to get into school each day

    Talk Through It is open to all parents or guardians, schools, and other establishments, without the need to go through your GP.


  • What is the Solution Focused Approach?

    Solution-focused therapy allows you to identify your own solutions to situations that occur in your life. It focuses on possibilities rather than problems and gives you a chance to see an alternative future, based on your best hopes. The approach looks for exceptions and talks about what is working rather than what is not and builds on these strengths. In this way, it offers opportunity for change. There is no need to delve deep into the psyche.


    Basic philosophy & assumptions of Solution Focused practice:

  • Change is constant and inevitable
  • Clients are the experts and define their hopes
  • Clients have resources and strengths to solve problems
  • Future orientation - history is not essential
  • Emphasis is on what is possible and changeable
  • Short term


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    Gerry Spatharis

    Gerry is a qualified Secondary School teacher and has been working in the Education sector for over 25 years, in Secondary schools and Primary - both independent and state, day and boarding, and has a wealth of experience.

    She started out as a Teacher of English and Art in the West Midlands, working in some very tough schools in hard-hit areas. Some of the teenagers in her class wrote about their lives and handed them in as essays, and some would stay back after school to talk through problems unfolding at home. These problems sometimes became too much for them, and existing in the classroom setting was almost unmanageable. It was this that made her realise that she wanted to help young people through their time at school.

    In 2001, she swapped her teaching career to work specifically with children who were experiencing emotional and behavioural issues. She worked for West Berkshire Council in Children's Services, visiting schools and working on a 1-2-1 with pupils who were on the verge of exclusion. She deputised at a Pupil Referral Unit, and later on, worked in Secondary Behaviour Support, as part of a team alongside Educational Psychologists, Educational Welfare Officers and CAMHS. She specialised in children with Anxiety.

    When not offering solution focused therapy to children and adolescents, Gerry gives talks on Anxiety in children for school staff and offers support groups for ELSAs, SENCOs, HLTAs. During these group times, staff can discuss strategies and methods they have used to help support children in their care.

    She has written the following reports: 'Year 6 transition from Primary to Secondary School in West Berkshire' and the 'Provision of Vulnerable Pupils in Education; Service use and Emerging Trends'.

    She continues to maintain a passion for learning and teaching.


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    Professional Qualifications

    B.A.(Hons)
    P.G.C.E.
    Foundation Training in teaching Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (Oxford Mindfulness Centre).
    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Cert.
    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy - Children, Young People and Families (Eileen Murphy)
    Solution-Focused Brief Therapy - Prevention and Intervention (Eileen Murphy)
    Counselling Certificates (CPCAB)


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    Membership

    Member of UKASFP (UK Association for Solution-Focused Practice)
    I work to the BACP code of practice.
    (See the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions.)


    The Aim

    Gerry's aim is to support children, teenagers young adults where there is a gap, to ease the pressures and stresses of growing up in a technologically, fast-paced world and to give back self-confidence and reassurance to children navigating the, often turbulent waters, of growing up.


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    'Problem talk creates problems. Solution talk creates solutions.' Steve de Shazer


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