Survivors Psychotherapy Service

Services for Survivors

Respond’s Survivors service supports people with learning disabilities, autism or both who have experienced trauma and abuse to both cope with trauma and to make healthy relationships, as well as to navigate the Criminal Justice System.

People with learning disabilities, autism or both are far more likely to experience sexual abuse and exploitation. This leads them to feel angry, ashamed, violated and scared. Through trauma informed independent sexual violence advice, individual and group psychotherapy and support to families, professionals and carers, people with learning disabilities have better relationships, increased resilience, improved emotional wellbeing. They are more able to cope with their life experiences.

The Survivors Service provides 1-1 psychotherapy to people with Learning Disabilities and/or Autism who have been affected by abuse or trauma. We also work with people who are displaying concerning sexual behaviour or have committed abuse against others. Psychotherapy is generally long term (a minimum of 1 year) and is offered as part of a package of support (see Respond's model for more details).


Creative Therapy Women's Group

The Women's group runs once a week at the Huggett Women's Centre in Dagenham. It is a slow open group that is designed to support women who have a learning disability and/or autism who may have experiences of trauma, abuse and loss. The group uses art making and creativity as a way to facilitate expression and communication. Start date: November 2017, we are accepting referrals now. Please contact referrals@respond.org.uk or phone 02073808254 or click here to make a referral.

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Psychotherapy Assessments

These are carried out to insure that a person with learning disabilities is willing and able to make use of a long term course of psychotherapy. This usually consists of one to six fifty minute sessions (depending on the need of the clients and complexity of the issues).

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Risk Assessments

Consist of 12 one to one sessions with the client and meetings with key individuals to explore concerns regarding sexually harmful behaviour and/or allegations of sexual offending. The multi-disciplinary team also uses psychological assessment tools and carry out an in-depth examination of the client's family history, early development and learning disability. The cost includes a pre and post assessment inter-agency meeting together with a final report highlighting the level of risk, risk management solutions and the presence of any psychopathology. The report will also address areas such as levels of supervision, treatment and residential options.

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Parenting Assessments

We offer specialist parenting assessments for parents with learning disabilities where there may be child protection concerns. The assessment focuses on the parent's capacity to provide adequate parenting and any support that might enable them to continue to care for their children.

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Investigative Assessments

In this service a Respond clinician meets with the alleged survivor of sexual abuse and other key individuals to ascertain what has happened and/or the level of understanding of the alleged incident and comprehension of the legal process. The assessment usually takes place over 12 sessions and includes a pre and post assessment inter-agency meeting. A final report will be provided to the referring body clarifying where possible whether abuse has taken place and with recommendations regarding the client's well-being, safety and possible treatment options.

Click here to make a referral