At Bonterre, we work with children and young people who are struggling in mainstream education. For these children, the standard ways of providing education aren’t working, which is why it is vital that we take a different approach that is tailored to the needs of the individual. This isn’t straightforward. Many of the children who come to Bonterre have had very difficult experiences in their childhood that affect the way they respond to activities and relate to others. They may have developed patterns of behaviour that affect their ability to follow rules or cope with challenges; sometimes, very minor events, that would seem insignificant to most children, can result in an explosive reaction.
We are privileged to have the support of Dr Cathie Swainland on our team. Cathie uses her extensive experience of working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, community mental health teams and at a specialist autism school, in conjunction with her deep understanding of systemic, behavioural, cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic theories to inform her practice. As someone who was highly trained in her doctorate, she is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and is a chartered member of the British Psychological Society. She has access to up to date knowledge and the latest evidence which she uses to train and advise us.
Cathie has trained the staff at Bonterre in techniques that enable them to prevent and pre-empt difficult situations and to support children and young people to build the resilience needed to cope with school and life. It isn’t a case of creating an environment without challenge but helping children to cope with challenges as they occur. This takes skill and understanding and we have found the support of our clinical psychologist invaluable in understanding the specific difficulties of our children and young people and how that contributes to their emotions and behaviour. The support goes beyond theoretical understanding, however. Cathie has helped us with practical strategies that have developed the children’s abilities to cope with the personal and emotional challenges that most of us take for granted.
For more information about how we work with schools to improve the lives of children, please contact us.
Dr Cathie Swainland PsychD, CPsychol, BSc (Hons), HCPC Reg (Clinical)