Our Music therapist, Helena Britten, works with both individuals and small groups of pupils at Pitcheroak. Music therapy helps pupils to address emotional and physical challenges through guided music making. Some of the benefits include:
- Enhanced self-confidence, self-esteem and motivation
- Enhanced awareness of self and others
- Enjoyment and improvement in quality of life
- Improved communication and social skills
- Development in physical, sensory and cognitive skills
- Increased feelings of calm and relaxation
Helena has experience of working with Learning Disabilities (both children and adults), children with attachment issues, ASD, additional learning needs and behavioural and emotional difficulties.
Through musical expression Helena enables pupils to explore and connect with the world and their responses to it. Therapy sessions are held in a safe, caring and confidential environment and can be powerful in helping pupils confront barriers that interfere with emotional and mental well-being.
A wide range of musical styles and instruments are used, including the voice, and the music is, more often than not, improvised.
Music Therapists are registered with the Health Care Professions Council (The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) | (hcpc-uk.org) and are skilled musicians who have undergone extensive NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) approved Masters (MA) level training.
Reasons children at Pitcheroak may be referred to Music Therapy include:
- Stress or anxiety
- Anger management issues
- Eating disorders
- Learning disabilities
- Communication difficulties
Play is the universal language of childhood and is one of the most accessible ways for children and young people to process experiences, and make sense of the world around them.
Play and Creative Arts Therapy combines somatic aspects of sensory integration within a relational context of attachment theory. (The somatic system is the part of the peripheral nervous system that is responsible for carrying motor and sensory information both to and from the central nervous system). This means that the body and mind are supported to work together to develop new positive brain pathways helping to regulate emotions and promote well-being.
Lucie has over 20 years’ experience working with children, young people and their families to process experiences of loss, bereavement, conflict and trauma. Working with the principles of a neuro-sequential model, Lucie creates safe, confidential and playful spaces which are:
- Relational (safe)
- Relevant (developmentally matched)
- Repetitive (patterned to strengthen neural pathways)
- Rewarding (pleasurable)
- Rhythmic (resonant with neural patterns)
- Respectful (child, family, culture)
Challenging sensory experiences are often inaccessible at a verbal level. In fact, the brain can disconnect from its ability to process words when we feel a trauma, leaving us ‘speechless’. Children and young people who experience developmental traumas can require additional support to express their thoughts and feelings safely through symbolic play and metaphor. As an integrative therapist, Lucie uses art, sand, clay, role-play, music and movement to provide child-centered therapy paced for the individual’s needs.
Certified Play Therapists have undergone extensive post-graduate training and are registered with the PSA (Professional Standards Authority).
Children and young people at Pitcheroak may be referred to Play Therapy to support with difficulties including:
- Communication and self-expression
- Emotional regulation of anger, anxiety, stress or low mood
- Coping with change, loss, grief or bereavement
- Processing and making sense of experiences
- Developing a sense of self