Specialist Assessment

NEATS Therapeutic Assessments are undertaken with 2 Psychotherapists and overseen by Dr Coleen Mercer Quinn, (Consultant Clinical Psychologist).  The goals are:

  • Assess the emotional, behavioural and psychological impact of the child’s experiences of loss, trauma and separation.

  • Assess the early attachment experience and the impact on the child’s current attachment relationship.

  • Assess for early trauma experiences and the impact of dissociation on the child’s current attachment relationship.

  • Develop an understanding of the child’s therapeutic needs and the type of therapeutic intervention they might benefit from.

  • Screen the impact of early experiences on the child’s central nervous system and identify neuro-developmental delays and any resulting issues that may further impact on social and emotional functioning.

  • Screen for sensory processing issues

  • Explore whether the child’s parents can participate in the work and support the child through the therapeutic process.

  • Assessment of parent’s areas of strength / required support in order to support the therapeutic process and the therapeutic parenting.

  • Understand the child and parent’s views and goals for the therapeutic work.

  • Decide whether the timing is right for the work to go ahead now.

  • Develop a plan for therapeutic intervention.

One of the methods we use to assess and evaluate the quality and nature of the child/carer relationship and interaction is the Marschak Interaction Method (MIM).  This identifies how the child reacts to the carer's attempts to:

  • structure the environment and set clear, appropriate expectations and limits

  • engage the child in interaction whilst being attuned to the child's state and reactions

  • respond in a nurturing way to the child's needs, including being able to soothe and calm the child when needed

  • provide and respond to challenge in an appropriate way 

The MIM also explores the child's ability to respond to the caregivers' efforts.  The findings from the MIM provides a tool for therapeutic treatment planning.