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.

It has changed how well I can control my emotions and it also has changed my ability to speak to people when upset

The Team

abigail Thomson - art psychotherapist


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

Abigail has worked with us at Wilds Lodge since February 2014 and is a senior member of the team.  She has experience in a wide variety of settings including primary mainstream education, adult mental health as well as drug and alcohol counselling in the criminal justice system and primary care services.

Abigail believes passionately in the healing nature of art- making.  She recognises the importance of a supportive environment to allow each child time to explore and understand themselves better.  She trusts that through her therapy sessions and the overall experience of Wilds Lodge, each child given time will be able to build and draw upon their own inner resources to find solutions for themselves.    

Abigail has a special interest in working with self-harm and suicide and has recently completed a course at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She is keen to develop her interest in this subject further. 


Daniella Budd - Dance Movement Psychotherapist

Daniella has a Master's Degree in Dance Movement Pyschotherapy, and is a full 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 creative outlet within a more 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 young person, and move these along at a pace that is safe.

Daniella is currently working to become our Trauma Informed Schools Practitioner and is in contact with ADMP to set up a hub for Dance Movement Psychotherapists throughout Rutland and Leicestershire. This will be to share ideas and experiences that will inform further therapeutic work within Wilds Lodge.   


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).

Mandy has been working at Wilds Lodge for nearly 2 years, her previous experience ranges from working in a specialised school for children in foster care and adoption, working in mainstream education, and running a counselling service for a children's charity in a primary school in South London.

Mandy recently completed training at Gender Intelligence on Working with Gender Variant People in Therapy. She is also trained in Parent/Child Dyadic Art Psychotherapy which is an approach that focuses on improving the relationship between a child and one of their primary caregivers. In addition Mandy has completed the Luna Children’s Charities Children's Accelerated Trauma Treatment, this is a new technique for treating trauma and PTSD, based on a merging of arts/ play based methods and an adaptation of the ‘rewind technique’ to  suit children and young people of all ages and to assist them in the recovery of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) symptoms, flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety.


Nathaly Stobbe - Equine Therapist


Nathaly Stobbe has worked in the equine industry most of her life together with a professional interest in various healing therapies. After qualifying with an advanced diploma in counseling went on to qualify in a BSc Hons in Counseling & Psychotherapy in Creative and Expressive Arts.

These backgrounds merged to combine the use of horses to  facilitate change in persons with mental, emotional or behavioural struggles.

Nat previously worked with the EAGALA model since 2011 and now is the mental health member of the equine therapy team, with Sara and the horses, ponies and Donkey's.


Erica Hedges - Dramatherapist


Erica is a qualified Dramatherapist state registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). She is also a member of the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth). Dramatherapy is a form of psychotherapy in which all of the performance arts are used to express oneself and to effect psychological change. 

Erica’s practice aims to give equal validity to the body and the mind within the dramatic context; stories, myths, play-texts, puppetry, mask and improvisation are examples of the range of artistic interventions that she employs. 

Previous to working at Wilds Lodge, Erica’s therapeutic experience included working in both mainstream and SEND school environments. In addition she worked as a Dramatherapist for a charity supporting young people with ASD.


Therapy gives you someone to talk to and to trust

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.