Our Model

Nearly thirty five years clinical experience with people of all ages who are autistic or who have a learning disability which has led to the development of Respond's model of trauma-informed psychotherapy which is a psychodynamic systems based 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 'liaison therapist' - will support the systemic network. The liaison therapist provides supports the client's 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

Our psychotherapy packages of support acknowledges this and includes:

  • A therapist who will work with the client's for a minimum of a year (44 sessions in total).
  • A second clinician called a liaison therapist supports the identified network while therapy is ongoing, ensuring any changes achieved can be maintained. They will attend network meetings which are agreed as part of the package (either as standard, enhanced or bespoke level).
  • Where appropriate, an induction training day for the network to introduce our trauma-informed model and enable staff to develop their approaches with more insight into the clients psychological needs.
  • A final report will be prepared along with recommendations.