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 (east to Hungerford, west to Kingsclere, Aldermaston, north to Compton south towards Winchester). 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 and consequently practices as a solution-focused therapist. With younger children she uses the same approach but includes drawing. She has had tremendous success and is passionate about making a difference.
Typical issues occurring:
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:
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 first trained in Solution-Focused therapy in 2003 and attends courses to keep up-to-date with new developments. As a solution-focused therapist she has extensive experience of working with adolescents and young children in schools around Newbury.
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.
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)
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.)
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.