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Whilst having the potential to be a very rewarding experience, parenting can also be challenging and can evoke strong and difficult feelings, particularly when children are very young. We support families through this time by providing therapeutic assessment and treatment to children under five and their parent(s) or carer(s) or wider family.

We accept referrals for:

  • Under-fives presenting with social, behavioural, and emotional challenges.
  • Under-fives presenting with physical symptoms.
  • Under-fives who have been exposed to traumatic experiences.
  • Perinatal anxiety and depression.
  • Difficulties feeling connected to your child and understanding how to communicate with them.
  • Parents and Carers following a traumatic experience (such as an abusive relationship or a traumatic birth).

We provide:

  • Assessments to understand the presenting difficulties and needs.
  • Psychological interventions addressing relational and bonding/attachment difficulties within the family.
  • Consultation to Early Years professionals (e.g., Early Help, Social Care, Nursery staff, GPs, Midwives, Health visitors).

How to access support

We accept self-referrals from parents and carers with children aged under five, as well as from local services commissioned for children aged 0-5 years old, and welcome families, parents, and carers from all backgrounds and family structures.

To make a referral, please complete our Clinical Services Referral Form, or contact Referrals@annafreud.org for more information.

Reflective practice for early years professionals:

It is well documented that working with children aged 0-5 can be particularly emotionally demanding, due to the vulnerability of babies and toddlers increasing anxieties around risk and safeguarding. As this work can evoke raw emotions in professionals, supervision of practice requires an additional skill set to enable supervisors to better support practitioners to carry out their diverse workload, and to allow supervisees to reflect on their own experiences and emotional resonances.

Evidence shows that Reflective Practice reduces staff burnout, increases job satisfaction and staff retention, and improves the wider working environment.

In our Early Years and Prevention team, we offer facilitation and/or guidance in implementing, enhancing, and embedding Reflective Practice in other early years services, and in mental health settings. The frequency and duration of the groups as well as the nature of the consultation support provided is determined according to the current need of the team.

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