Our Model

Almost thirty years of clinical experience with people of all ages with learning disabilities and/or autism has led to the development of Respond's model of trauma-informed psychotherapy: the Attachment-based Systems Approach. We believe that in order to bring about long-term change then the wider support network has to be in place and agree to become an integral part of the therapeutic process.

We believe that professionals and carers want to be given time to learn, reflect and share experience as they, like we, know that this can improve well-being and engender healthier relationships between people.

Our model is informed by:

  • Attachment theory
  • Object relations theory
  • Developmental theories
  • Systemic theory
  • Trauma theory, especially its impact on brain development and expression through the body

Creativity is at the heart of our approach. Our team are committed to providing a safe and reflective place where people can make sense of their feelings and actions and get a better understanding of the experience of being 'them'.

The Therapeutic Alliance

Each person referred for psychotherapy will be assigned two therapists: they will have an individual therapist, with whom they meet weekly, and a second therapist - the 'case manager therapist' - will support the systemic network. The case manager provides initial training to the client's support network and then becomes a bridge between this network and the confidential therapeutic work. Thus, the network becomes a tangible part of the transformative process of therapy as well as keeping the therapeutic relationship 'safe'.

The Therapeutic Package

Referrals to Respond are commissioned with the following as a minimum:

  • One year of therapy (44 sessions)
  • A one-day induction training with staff: people working with the client are introduced to attachment theory and transference and how these approaches can help inform our work. This induction helps develop a shared perspective of the client and the issues that they are facing.
  • Four hours of consultation with the staff spread throughout the year.
  • The initial induction training is supported through regular telephone and email contact as well as throughout the consultation.