Therapy at Wilds lodge

Therapy is a confidential space for our young people to talk about their concerns and difficulties, and a safe space to explore their inner Worlds. At Wilds Lodge we have a Therapy team that offers one to one sessions for Children in the school who need extra emotional support.

The therapist is a person who has been trained to help the young people explore their feelings and how they might be affected by these in their everyday lives. They will take time to build a trusting relationship and do their best to understand the World from the Children’s point of view. This may take place through talking, playing games, the arts, drawing or storytelling.

The young people are in charge of what they want to talk about and are not forced to explore anything they don’t want to.

The team are a part of the school community, and work alongside the staff on therapeutic practice with the children. When doing this they maintain confidentiality for the young people where appropriate, and explore the themes and difficulties that can arise for the staff when working with the students, offering emotional support and containment.

Currently involved in systemic/ family therapy training, the team are increasing the amount of therapeutic support for families.  We work alongside families both in their homes and in school, looking at the wider communities around the children.

The Team

abigail Thomson - art psychotherapist


Abigail is a state registered Art Psychotherapist with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). She is also registered with the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT).

Art therapists are trained to Masters level and training takes a minimum of six years full time, though many train for longer. Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses a mix of art making, play and talking to help children and young people to find different ways of sharing thoughts and feelings.

Prior to her employment at Wilds Lodge, Abigail previously worked as an Arrest Referral Worker/Drug & Alcohol Counsellor in Liverpool’s busy custody suites.  She also gained experience as an Art Therapist in an Adult Mental Health Trust in London. She started her employment with us at Wilds Lodge in February 2014.


Adam Hurst -  Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist

Adam has worked as a Psychotherapist at Wilds Lodge for three years.  His integrative training means he works with play, the arts, and talking therapies, all dependent on the child’s needs and preferences. 

As his work develops, Adam is keen to allow the whole person into the work, and not just focus on ‘issues’ and ‘problems’.  He has a strong interest in family work and systemic therapy, and when his training is completed will have an MA in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, with United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) registration.



Daniella Budd - Dance Movement Psychotherapist

Daniella has a Master's Degree in Dance Movement Pyschotherapy, and is a member of The Association of Dance Movement Psychotherapy (ADMP). DMP uses movement as a form of communication and expression to assist integration of the body and mind. Daniella understands that words may not be easy for some of our boys, and offers a more creative outlet in a relaxed atmosphere. 

Daniella has a keen interest in working with the body to facilitate development. She draws upon frameworks from Rudolf Laban and integrates these ideas with Kestenberg's Movement Analysis to gain a whole sense of developmental stages within a child and how to develop what may be lost.


Mandy Neilson - ARt Psychotherapist

Mandy is a qualified Art Psychotherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a full member of British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT).

Her therapeutic experience ranges from working in a specialised school for children in foster care and adoption, to mainstream education, and more recently, before starting here at Wild Lodge, ran a counselling service in a primary school in South London.

Mandy uses her training to offer a form of therapy that is less confrontational and a more creative and playful outlet of emotions. This therapeutic approach can help those who find it hard to put their thoughts and feelings in to words. The types of media that may be used in these sessions can range from puppet work, sand play, storyboards, clay work, textiles and painting. 


Helpful Links

NSPCC - The leading children's charity fighting to end child abuse in the UK and Channel Islands.

Childline - A wealth of information and resources for all things child related.

Mental Health - About all things related to mental health and well-being.

Adoption Plus - Information about adopting and therapeutic support for those already adopting.

Family Futures - Again, support for families with adopted children, and offering therapeutic support.


Information, articles and videos:

Daniel Siegel on Mindfulness, Emotions and Brain Development.

Trauma, Brain and Relationship: Helping Children Heal. Powerful documentary explaining the effects of early events on children, even in the womb, and the need for good relationships in how to overcome negative experiences.

Before the commencement of therapy all children/young people will be made aware of our policy relating to confidentiality. Therapists are obliged to break this confidence if: a child or young person appears at risk including expressing a serious intention to harm themselves. The therapist will always explain the reasons for disclosure to the young person and if possible seek their agreement. All information will then be shared with the person specially appointed by the school to deal with such matters (Child Protection Officer).

Please feel free to contact a member of the team if you have any questions or would like to discuss anything with the Counsellor or Psychotherapist working with your child. We can be reached through the main Wilds Lodge office number.