Specialist Assessment

NEATS Therapeutic Assessments are undertaken with 2 therapists 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 an essential tool for play therapy treatment planning.