Psychotherapies in a foster care setting 2

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Psychotherapies in a foster care setting 2

The delivery of foster care in this country has to deal with a situation where rising numbers of children and young people come into foster care requiring therapy. 65% of foster children in care at 31st march 2017 had been taken into care by a local authority as they had suffered abuse or neglect. As a consequence of their experiences, many of these young people display a level of trauma.

There is a real need now for anyone considering going into foster care to become therapeutically trained. This is because so many children and young people have complex needs as a result of trauma. Therapeutic foster carers can provide the background support for children receiving therapy. Apart from providing a loving environment, carers will be given an understanding of the nature and aims of the therapy a child is having. The following describes some more of the therapies that can be used.

Therapeutic foster care: types of psychotherapy.

There are a number of different kinds of psychotherapy. They are thought of as ’talking treatments’ which involve the therapeutic conversations – as well as interactions – that take place between the therapist and a child or young person. Sometimes the family, or certain family members will be involved in the therapeutic care programme. The goal is to effect behavioural changes that will enable a child or young person to overcome the negative experiences they have undergone.

Many of the psychotherapies used are ‘relationship based treatments’. These aim to bring improvements to a young person’s relationships. And the relationships themselves can then be utilised as the means to deliver improvements.

Here, to help build knowledge, we continue from the previous blog by detailing three more psychotherapeutic  approaches.

  1. Interpersonal psychotherapy – this focuses in particular on relationships with other people. It is useful in helping participants to explore how their feelings, thoughts and behaviour are affected by the relationships they have. It can be effective in helping in helping children, young people – as well as their families – to discover how to improve and strengthen their relationships as well as to identify ways to cope better.
  1. Short term psychodynamic psychotherapy (STPP) – this is a therapeutic process designed to assist children and young people discover how they feel about themselves and others by thinking and talking. A therapist may encourage a child to talk about their current life and circumstances as well as their past. The child is then helped to make connections with both periods. STPP also concentrates on the unconscious mind and actions that are taken without conscious thought. Short term in this context means that the programme of therapy lasts for around forty sessions.

      This kind of psychotherapy is used as a treatment for a wide range of disorders and conditions

      This includes depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, abuse – as well as early developmental


  1. Family therapy – this form of therapy looks at examining and changing the interactions that take place in the family setting.The goal is to improve the way that the family works as a unit and to work toward resolving difficult situations.

Join Rainbow to start a career in foster care.

Many people take a considerable amount of time thinking about taking the step of becoming a foster carer. That’s entirely natural as there are so many things to think about: do I have to own my own home to foster? How physically fit do I need to be? How much experience do you need to foster a sibling group? More people are interested to find out about therapeutic foster care as there is much more of a focus on this.

You can call 020 8427 3355 and find out more about the simple steps we can help you take to become a foster carer. On average this takes around sixteen weeks from application to becoming an approved carer.

Remember to take a look at our fostering news page: latest stories at

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