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The Duchess of Cambridge visits Anna Freud National Centre early intervention services

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, visited the Centre’s Early Years Parenting Unit last week to learn more about our work with families under five years old.


Her Royal Highness met parents who have completed the early years programme. She also joined families taking part in a ‘theraplay’ session promoting attachment between parents and children.

Both sessions highlighted the importance of early intervention and the need to work with the whole family to help children thrive.


Nicola Labuschagne, Clinical Manager of the Unit explained: “We are trying to lift complex families out of the cycle, where those who had experienced childhood trauma and resulting personality disorders can find it extremely difficult to provide their own children with safe, predictable, consistent and emotionally sensitive care.”

Later, Her Royal Highness listened to the stories of families who have benefited from our Parent Infant Psychotherapy service, which supports expecting and new parents with their babies.


This was the Duchess’ second visit to the Anna Freud National Centre since she became our patron in May last year.

Our Chief Executive, Professor Peter Fonagy, said of Her Royal Highness: “She has caused a national shift in terms of acceptability of mental health as a problem that we all need to deal with […] There is a remarkable combination of her approachability and comfort in dealing with the issue of mental health without embarrassment or shame or stigma.”