Assessment and Intervention

Each assessment and intervention will be individually tailored depending on the presenting difficulties and needs identified. These will be discussed as part of the referral process.

Each assessment and intervention will be individually tailored depending on the presenting difficulties and needs identified. These will be discussed as part of the referral process.

Our standard therapeutic assessment incorporates the Meaning of the Child Interview, MIM and a child-based attachment assessment measure to provide a holistic assessment of the inter relational dynamics, family functioning, strengths and vulnerabilities within  the family from an attachment and developmental trauma perspective. This can be adapted to meet the needs of the family and commissioning service.

The Meaning of the Child Interview was developed by Dr Ben Grey PhD (2014), out of The Parent Development Interview, or PDI (Aber, J.; Slade A; Berger B.; Kaplan M. 2003). In healthy, safe parenting relationships, the parent is processing information about their child, in order to keep themselves safe, keep their child safe and to teach the child how to protect him or herself. The Meaning of the Child Interview is based on attachment theory. Through a semi structured clinical interview process, parents are asked to talk about their child, their experience of parenting and also their own experience of being parented. The interview is then coded by trained coders.

The Marschak Interaction Method (MIM) is a play-based, structured technique for observing and assessing the relationship between a parent/caregiver and child. It consists of a series of simple and fun tasks designed to elicit a range of behaviours in four dimensions: structure and challenge, engagement, nurture and playfulness. The MIM evaluates the parent or caregiver’s ability to set limits, engage the child through interaction while being attuned to the child’s needs, to meet the child’s needs for attention and soothing, and to support the child’s efforts to master developmentally appropriate tasks. Simultaneously, the method allows for assessment of the child’s ability to respond to the parent or caregiver’s efforts. The interaction is then coded by trained coders.

The Child Attachment and Play Assessment (CAPA) is a developmental approach informed by Crittenden’s Dynamic Maturational Model of Attachment and Winnicott’s potential space. It looks at two discrete but connected behavioural systems, attachment, and play/exploration through the use of Narrative story stems. Story stems are a doll play assessment procedure in which the interviewer gives the child and the beginning of a story, and then, using a few simple props, ask the child to ‘show me and tell me what happens next’. They are not simple imitative copies of reality but provide a window into the child’s basic scripts for human relationships and internal world. The session is video recorded and content, nonverbal behaviour and discourse is then coded in terms of the child’s attachment strategy, unresolved loss and trauma, modifiers and mentalising ability.

Additional assessment measures may include

  • Care Index
  • Adult Attachment Interview
  • Child Attachment Interview
  • School age assessment of attachment
  • Observations in school and home environment
  • Trauma index
  • Sibling assessments
  • Video assessments
  • Psychological measures

Ragdoll offer a range of interventions that are tailored to the individual needs of the child and family.

They include:


Theraplay® is an adult led intervention where the parent/carer and child engage in fun games and activities. This engagement helps the parent regulate the child’s behaviour and increase and enhance the joy, attunement and connection in the parent/child relationship. The sessions are generally weekly and are a combination of therapist/child/parent sessions and therapist/parent review sessions.  More information can be found at

Therapeutic Reparenting

Children and young people who have experienced trauma often need parenting in a manner to enable them to heal, this can be demanding for parents and carers. Ragdoll offer a training for parents/carers which supports parenting therapeutically looking at various aspects including attachment, trauma,  behaviour strategies, parent self-care and sensory issues.  This can be run for a group or can be done with individuals and can be online or face to face.   Bespoke packages are available.

Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)

DDP helps children and their parents/ carers make deeper emotional connections with each other. Children who have experienced trauma or rejection often find it hard to trust others and DDP can be helpful with this, alongside enhancing understanding of how current challenges are linked to past events.  Initially sessions involve the parent only, then in time the child would also join the sessions. The sessions are generally weekly, parent only sessions can be done online or face to face, sessions involving children are always done face to face. More information can be found here

Play Therapy

Play therapy helps children understand their feelings and difficult experiences. Rather than relying on talking, play therapy allows children to use play to express themselves and work through troubling events. Children use play as their main medium of communication so can work at their own pace in a safe way. Play therapy sessions are 45 minutes long, generally on a weekly basis and involve the child and therapist only. Parents are involved in separate review meetings with the therapist.  More information can be found at


Filial Therapy

Filial therapy is a branch of play therapy, but the child’s parent or carer is taught therapeutic skills in order to have therapeutic sessions with their child at home. Filial therapy works very well because the parent already has a key relationship with the child, so the central relationship is strengthened. After initial observations of the child, the therapist would have sessions to train the parent and then would review the parent/child play sessions with the parent.

Lego based Therapy

LEGO-Based Therapy is a social development program that uses LEGO activities to support the development of a wide range of social skills

Buss (Building Underdeveloped Sensory Systems).

The BUSS model (Sarah Lloyd) brings together sensory integration theory (how the brain and central nervous system develop in response to movement), attachment theory and a neurodevelopmental understanding of the impact of trauma on the developing brain. The purpose of the intervention is to improve a child’s sensory integration, develop good bodily regulation and build parent / child relationships. level. We are currently undertaking this training programme to be able to offer this as a formal intervention. Currently our work is BUSS informed.

Who’s in Charge

Who’s in Charge? is a child to parent violence (CPV) programme aimed at parents whose children are being abusive or violent toward them or who appear out of parental control. Whilst we do not offer the structured 9 week group programme, we are able to offer an adapted programme to individual families.

Safe Sound Protocol

The Safe and Sound Protocol is an evidence-based therapeutic tool designed to reset the nervous system and return it to safety. Designed to work with other therapeutic approaches and modalities, the SSP features specially filtered music that stimulates the vagus nerve (Dr Stephen Porges).

It is designed to improve sound sensitivities and auditory processing, behavioural state regulation, and social engagement behaviours and has benefitted individuals with trauma and sensory processing differences. To find out more, please visit the link below

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming)

EMDR is a type of psychotherapy. It has been shown to be very effective for adults, young people and children who have had traumatic experiences. It is one of the treatments that NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) recommend for Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD). EMDR helps difficult memories to be processed, this is done using repeated sets of bilateral stimulation (eye movements, taps or drumming), this helps memories to become less intense. To find out more, please visit the link below

Mental health interventions

Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a type of talking therapy. It’s based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but it’s specially adapted for people who feel emotions very intensely. The aim of DBT is to help you understand and accept your difficult feelings, learn skills to manage them and create a life worth living.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage difficulties by understanding the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviours and by changing patterns of behaviour. Trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy (TF-CBT) aims to address the needs of children and adolescents with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other difficulties related to traumatic life events.

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a talking therapy that emphasises acceptance to deal with negative thoughts, feelings, symptoms, or circumstances. It also encourages increased commitment to healthy, constructive activities that uphold your values or goals