Specialist Interest

Attachment, Trauma and High Functioning Autism

Model of care for

children and young people in residential and community settings

To ensure that young people have the best outcomes our model of care is tailored to meet the individual needs of the young person. 

One of the main barriers to consistent and continued care provision is the breakdown of care provisions due to escalations of risks. Whilst acknowledging that not everyone is suited to particular environments, the aim of the team at Matters of the Mind (Cheshire) is to ensure a consistent and safe environment in the residential settings.  Underpinned by attachment theory, we use evidenced based approaches to ensure better outcomes. 

In order to manage risks, there are a number of evidenced based approaches and we have developed a unique philosophy in ensuring and establishing the staff at the residential setting as not only the main care givers but to ensure they have the right skills. We have customised our model on the Principles of Multi systemic therapy. This includes at its core the attachment principle of valuing and empowering staff (akin to family work and therapy) to help manage the young person’s distressing and risk taking behaviours.  This includes weekly group supervision for staff to ensure consistency but also use reflective practice to challenge and overcome any barriers to providing care in a nurturing and empowering environment.  There will always be post incident debriefs with the members of the clinical team to ensure lessons are learnt and further incidents reduced or prevented 

Our experienced staff will deliver this one to one and group support to staff, whilst working with the individual and their families to provide more specific psychological therapies. Specific  assessments such as assessment will be available if required, e.g. autism assessment or IQ assessment.

The main stay of the treatment would be psychological approaches using a structured clinical Model approach with focus on Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), which has a significant evidence base for attachment related difficulties. This would focus on group and individual work with young people by using the DBT framework which includes using mindfulness, managing and tolerating distress and empowering the young person to take control and minimise risk to themselves and others.

The key nurse would be delivering these skills whilst also empowering staff at the home to support young people manage their emotions.The clinical psychologist will be seeing the young person individually and also work closely with the team. The Clinical Psychologist with other psychotherapists, would use different approaches including CBT, CAT, IPT , ACT based on the needs of the young person. The initial formulation that would be developed collaboratively with the young person would help identify the key needs and the therapy would be delivered with regular evaluation and progress monitoring.

We aim to provide a collaborative service that nurtures and empowers existing staff teams to meet the complex needs of the individuals in their care. Therefore the overall aim of our interventions is to provide staff teams with the skills and knowledge to effectively support young people in their care, and to be able to transfer and develop their knowledge with competence and confidence across their career.