This service fills the current gap in psychotherapeutic support for parents that have had children removed from their care. It consists in a weekly mentalization-based treatment (MBT) group intervention as part of a 18 month programme to women with complex personality difficulties who are engaged with the charity Pause in Islington and Hackney following repeated removal of children from their care. It aims to empower these women to make positive choices through access to specialist support.

Introduction

Introduction

This service fills the current gap in psychotherapeutic support for parents that have had children removed from their care. It consists in a weekly mentalization-based treatment (MBT) group intervention as part of a 18 month programme to women with complex personality difficulties who are engaged with the charity Pause in Islington and Hackney following repeated removal of children from their care. It aims to empower these women to make positive choices through access to specialist support.

How it works

How it works

MBT is an evidenced based treatment developed to support the recovery of mentalizing (i.e. the imaginative capacity to understand the intentional mental states driving one’s own and other’s behaviours) in individuals suffering with borderline personality disorder (Bateman and Fonagy, 2008).

Research has shown that parents with higher mentalization capacity predict more sensitive child–parent interactions, more secure child attachment, and healthier child development (Slade et al., 2005).

Therefore this service aims to increase the ability to think about the reasons that originally led to the removal, reflect on the feelings associated with the experience of having their children removed, and process the emotional impact of the removal of their child/children, in a way that would allow them to make realistic appraisals of their capacity to parent in the future. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that participating in the therapy group will help parents reflect on the continuing impact that their difficulties may have on children who have been removed.

Specifically, it sets out to:

  • improve mental health and emotional well-being (related to grief, loss, trauma and psychological distress, risk-taking behaviours)
  • increase interpersonal functioning and community participation
  • improve quality of peer relationships
  • improve parenting capacity

Intervention:

  • Two training days with Pause practitioners.​
  • Consultations with Pause practitioners about each potential case.​
  • 2 + assessment appts​
  • Weekly therapeutic programme for 18-months:​
  • Communal time 1200 – 1330​
  • MBT therapy group 1330 – 1500​
  • Communal time 1500 – 1600​
  • Staff debrief 1615 – 1645​
  • At least one pause worker on duty from 1200 – 1700.​
Who it is for

Who it is for

It is for women with complex personality difficulties who are engaged with the charity Pause in Islington and Hackney following repeated removal of children from their care.

Evaluation

Evaluation

Quantitative data, measured using Pause Assessment tool, explores:

  • key aspects of well-being and functioning.

Data concerning the women’s longer-term social outcomes and pregnancies will be collected through Pause’s Post-Pause provision, which runs for 3 years following the 18-month core Pause programme. 

Qualitative data, collected using semi-structured interviews with service users, pause workers and group therapists  separately, explored:

  • Women’s reasons for joining the group
  • Experiences of the service (including expectations)
  • Women’s improved mentalisation
  • Changes in the way the women perceive and live current relationships with other individuals and with support services
  • Pause practitioners'/group therapists’ experiences of working with the women

Data are analysed using framework analysis.

 

Meet the team

Meet the team

Nicola Labuschagne (Deputy Head of the Early Years Programme – Clinical & Consultant Psychologist) and Joe Druce (Social Worker & Early Years Therapist)

Contact us

Contact us

To find out more about First Steps, or how to make a referral, get in touch at EarlyYears@annafreud.org

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