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Our therapeutic approach to children's and young people's mental health

Our therapeutic approach to children's and young people's mental health

We use a practice-led therapeutic approach to children's and young people's mental health. Our therapeutic approach is backed by research and informed by almost 30 years' experience providing mental health services in schools.

Integrative support for children and child development

Attachment theory, which suggests our early relationships affect our development, informs all our support.

Our mental health professionals use an integrative approach. This integrative support for children and young people brings together different strands of therapeutic thinking to support the development of each pupil. Our integrative support is:

  • person-centred – helps pupils and family members make the best decisions for themselves
  • psychoanalytic – explores how buried thoughts, feelings and experiences shape current relationships
  • systemic – works with pupils and family members in the context of their relationships and environment.

Our mental health professionals may also apply aspects of the following therapy techniques:

  • cognitive behavioural – helps pupils and family members manage problems by changing how they think and behave
  • solution-focused – helps pupils and family members work towards solutions. 

Our mental health professionals may have additional expertise, enabling us to support children and young people in a way that suits them.

Relationships, self-awareness and play

Three core principles guide our work:

  • building relationships – in the Place2Be room (a therapeutic relationship based on trust) and outside (positive relationships with others)
  • developing self-awareness – for our mental health professionals (so they can provide effective support) and clients (to help them manage their emotions)
  • encouraging play – as a 'language' for children, young people and adults that allows them to explore feelings and learn new things.

Our evidence base

We monitor the effectiveness of our therapeutic approach by collecting data about our work and using it to measure our impact. External clinical research backs our distinctive therapeutic approach.

Read about our statistics and evidence

Safety and ethics

Safe and ethical practice is a priority for Place2Be.

We train all our mental health professionals in safeguarding processes and procedures.

We are an organisational member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and abide by their Ethical Framework for Counselling Professions.

News & blogs

A photo of Place2Be Clinical Director Niki Cooper smiling at the camera while sitting down. Niki is wearing a yellow shirt with black dots, and a purple scarf.

Place2Be bids farewell to Clinical Director, Dr Niki Cooper

Niki Cooper has been at Place2Be for over two decades. Here, she reflects on her 22 years with the charity.

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A young boy sitting down in a classroom, facing away from the camera. He is reading a book.

Place2Be welcomes cross-party commitment to expanding school mental health services

Last week, every major party in England made commitments to support children and young people’s mental health.

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Singer-songwriter Katie Melua standing with a group of pupils from Knightsbridge School in front of the stage at Battersea Arts Centre. Large orange and pink flowers have been placed on either side of the stage.

Arts & Minds Gala raises over £308,000 for children’s mental health

Nearly 200 guests came together for Place2Be's Arts & Minds gala dinner held at the Battersea Arts Centre.

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