The Psychology department and the provisions of Psychological Therapies at Breckenbrough School has been established for over 20 years. This service has been developed in response to the needs of our students, who predominantly have an Autism diagnosis with a wide range of comorbidities, psychological disorders and a broad range of emotional and behavioural difficulties. The service is led by a Chartered Psychologist who is a HCPC Registered Practitioner. There is also a close working relationship between Teesside University and Breckenbrough School, providing placements for Doctoral Psychology Students.
The Psychological Therapies available are rooted in Evidence Based Practice and the approaches utilised follow the recommendation of NICE Guidelines for a range of psychological impairments, difficulties and disorders. The use of Modified Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the treatment programme is designed to target a range of psychological disorders and the associated symptoms, as well as targeting pupil’s social skills deficits; this service is available to all students at Breckenbrough School.
The vast majority of our students self-refer; others make the arrangement for therapeutic support with the school psychologist on the advice and recommendation from CAMHS or other mental health practitioners, social workers or their families.
For practical reasons, the Therapy timetable runs alongside the Academic timetable, thus optimally facilitating and supporting the pupils in their academic as well as their personal and social developments and their emotional wellbeing.
It is well noted that in certain circumstances the psychological support may extend to working with the family members but also with other professional organisations securing optimal emotional and mental health through integrated support and targeted services for our students.
In some cases the therapeutic support can also be available during the school holidays so to maintain continuity and consistency of support. In many instances the psychological support has been extended post Breckenbrough School days and during the pupils transition into new environments.
Here at Breckenbrough School, the emotional well-being and resilience in all our pupils is central to our work. It is hoped that an increased understanding amongst students of emotional and mental ill-health facilitates their healthy development and reduces symptoms of any potential threat of discrimination or stigma in the context of Autism and a range of psychological disorders.