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Children & Young People

Focus is on wellbeing of children, young people and their families

Services for Children & Young People

Clinical Psychology

Due to extensive formal education in clinical psychology, health psychology, psychotherapy and counselling alongside additional training and almost 15 years of applied clinical experience, Marta is able to integrate and combine different therapeutic approaches to deliver efficient and individually tailored-made interventions and treatment. Marta’s main therapeutic approach is Integrative Therapy (IT).  In her work with children and young people, Marta mainly combines the following therapeutic approaches:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Trauma-Focused CBT (TF-CBT)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Play Therapy (CBPT)
  • Play and Creative Arts Therapy (PT)
  • Creative Arts Therapy (CAT)
  • Mindfulness
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Narrative Therapy (NT)
  • Jungian Analytical Therapy

Marta takes mental health a step further. She believes mental health care needs to focus on prevention of mental health difficulties, resilience and promotion of holistic health alongside work on mental health issues and illness. Both individual and group work are available. Group work can be delivered in premises of Amygdala Services Ltd in Richmond but also on other locations like schools, nurseries and similar. Following groups for children and adolescents are currently available:

  • Resilience Program for Children & Young People
  • Self-esteem Program for Children
  • Social Skills Program for Children
  • Therapeutic Group for Children & Young People Living with Cancer
  • Therapeutic Group for Children & Young People Living with SCD

If you have the need for some other specific kind of program or group work, Marta will be very happy to talk to you and to develop and deliver a specific tailor-made program that suits your needs.

Health Psychology

Marta’s mission is to provide ways of healthier, better and longer life to her clients and their families. She is subspecialised and experienced in the field of child and adolescent chronic illness, oncology, haematology, dermatology and neurosurgery. Aims of health psychology interventions for children/adolescents, their parents/carers and families are:

  • understanding of the illness according to developmental level
  • providing psychological support when diagnosed
  • facilitating adaptive adjustment to illness and treatment
  • developing or improving coping skills with short- and long-term condition or disease
  • preparation for medical and surgical procedures and hospital stay
  • pain management
  • relaxation program
  • mindfulness
  • anger management
  • improving quality of life
  • cognitive behavioural (CBT) interventions
  • play therapy (PT) interventions
  • cognitive behavioural play therapy (CBPT) interventions
  • creative arts therapy (CAT) interventions
  • therapeutic play
  • individual therapeutic stories
  • peer support groups
  • promoting holistic health and well-being
  • developing/improving healthy life-style
  • preventing illness


Counselling is used to work with children and young people who are experiencing less intense difficulties that require usually short-term treatment or intervention. The focus of counselling is more likely to be on specific problems, changes in life adjustments and fostering clients’ wellbeing. Counselling helps to resolve emotional, psychological and relationship issues. Person may be experiencing difficult and distressing events in their lives, such as bereavement, divorce of parents, difficulties in romantic relationship, self-esteem issues, school issues or health problems. Or they may have more general underlying feelings of anxiety or dissatisfaction with the life. Together with client and parents/carers it is discussed which type of services and length of work would work best taking into account needs of the client, issues and overall circumstances.

Resilience Program

Resilience is an ability to overcome negative events or one’s capacity to “bounce back” from negative experiences. Children and young people’s cognitive and psychosocial functioning affects their ability to overcome adverse events. Factors influencing resilience are a sense of competence, a sense of control, problem-solving skills, communication skills, empathy, reflective behaviour, independence, social abilities and access to resources. This program is preventative and is specially designed to improve and develop core resilience skills of 3 age groups: early years, school age children and adolescents.

Self-Esteem Program

Sometimes we might feel powerless to change the things we find troubling. We may feel like we don’t have control over what we think and how we feel about ourselves. Self-esteem is about liking yourself and who you are.

You might have self-esteem difficulties if you:

  • don’t like or hate yourself
  • believe nobody likes you
  • fell worthless or not good enough
  • don’t believe you deserve happiness and good things in life
  • can’t recognise your strengths
  • can’t make decisions
  • can’t stand up for your rights
  • often blame yourself (even when it really isn’t your fault)
  • feel guilty when spending time and/or money on yourself
  • are low in confidence


If you find yourself in this description, then this program is for you. We will work on:

  • how to love yourself more
  • developing healthier attitude to self
  • accepting yourself self with all the positives and negatives everybody has
  • enabling to see your strengths
  • building or improving assertiveness
  • changing the way you think and behave
  • realistic expectation of self and world around you
  • problem-solving
  • decision-making
  • building or improving self-confidence
  • specific issues people in the group have

Social Skills Program

Relationships are important. Healthy friendships can bring an abundance of joy, happiness, support and feeling of being understood. Low self-confidence, poor communication skills and social anxiety can prevent children from forming healthy bonds with others. Poor social skills may lead to feelings of loneliness, sadness, depression, low self-esteem, challenging behaviours, and others. Unfortunately, poor social skills are often connected with inability to recognise peer pressure and bullying. Due to intensive treatment and often isolation, many children with chronic illness develop social issues. This program is designed to help children and young people that struggle with building relationships with others.

Ex-Pat and Third Country Children Support

Third Country Children are the children of international business people, global educators, diplomats, missionaries, the military – anyone whose family has relocated/relocates because of a job placement. Born in one culture, raised in other(s). Their identity is most closely aligned with others raised like them, moving internationally. There is that feeling of being from everywhere and being from nowhere.

Expat Child Syndrome (ECS) is a term that has been coined by psychologists to describe an emotional stress in children caused by a move abroad.

Feeling out of place, constant process of adaptation to new, culture shock, steep process of learning new behavioural and cultural norms, feeling powerless/without control over own life, losing friends, pressure to gain new ones, changes in family dynamics, identity issues … There is an abundance of loss which is often something that family doesn’t talk about.  Common presentation may be seclusion, loneliness, withdrawing from others, resentment toward parents, uncooperative or disruptive behaviour.

Supporting, counselling or psychotherapy with ex-pat and third country children includes working on sense of belonging, recognition, connection, building social skills, feeling of safety, loss and grieving. Strong emphasis of Marta’s work with these children is on building strengths and resilience.

Therapeutic Group for Children & Adolescents Living with Cancer

The overall aim of this program is to improve the quality of life of children and young people with cancer. It facilitates processing experiences, changes, challenges and emotions their journey had brought. Themes of adjustment, doubt, coping, fears, anxiety, depression, stressful or traumatic events during treatment, changes that occurred in relationships, many losses person faced, helplessness and hopefulness, denial or avoidance might be addressed depending on the age of participants and their phase of treatment. Directive and non-directive approach is used to maximise safety of therapeutic process.

This is a closed group which means that the same group of people will participate from beginning till the end of group work.

Therapeutic Group for Children & Adolescents living with SCD

The overall aim of this program is to improve the quality of life of children and young people with Sickle Cell Disease. Specific goals are to learn more about SCD and how to cope with chronic pain. Depending on age of the participants other themes will be addressed. Directive and non-directive approach is used to maximise safety of therapeutic process.

This is a closed group which means that the same group of people will participate from beginning till the end of group work.

Palliative Care and Grief Counselling

Marta has 10 years of experience working in palliative care with children and young people with cancer. Mental health palliative support is offered to:

  • children and young people with cancer
  • parents and families
  • siblings

Grief counselling after losing a child is offered for individuals and in the form of group work. Both, individual and group work is also offered for siblings.

Mummy Morning – Self-care Group for Mums

Time to relax, enjoy and have some “ME” time. Safe space for stimulative discussions in closed group with focus on self-care, self-acceptance, positivity and mindfulness. Our discussions are based on topics important to participants. Sometimes being a Mum might overshadow other roles that we all have in life – being a sister, daughter, friend, wife/partner, employee, boss, volunteer, and others. This is a space to explore how becoming a Mum changed your life. Also, this is a safe space to unload potential difficulties, limitations, frustrations that might rise from the role of being Mum. At the same time, this is a space to celebrate your wonderful self from the perspective of all the roles you have in your life. Tea & cookies will be served on each session.

School/Nursery Visits

The aim of classroom and nursery observations is to document behaviours and to help provide insight to a child, parents/carers and teachers. Teachers are teaching and are typically focused on the overall learning of the entire class. It is not possible for a teacher to catch all of the details of classroom while teaching. An outside observer can sit in the classroom and observe a student or the entire class. These valuable insights (together with other information collected from the child, parents/carers and school/nursery) provide better understanding of child’s needs and are utilized to make psychological formulation and to provide adequate support for a child through documenting behaviours and creating care plan.

Meetings with school staff are also part of this service. If agreed with parents/carers, Marta will attend meetings with nursery/school and that includes TAC (Team Around the Child) meetings. TAC meetings are joined work of different professionals involved in care of a child who share relevant information, discuss care plan with the aim to support, guide and advice.

Aim and possible benefits of communication and/or visit to nursery or school are always discussed with a child and parents/carers and are done only if parents/carers consent to it.

Home Visits

In-home therapy and home visits are a way to support children and young people, their parents and families when he/she can’t leave their home for various reasons. Psychological assessment, counselling, therapy and interventions are being offered through this service. The biggest advantages of home visits are that the services can be delivered to those who have difficulties or are unable to leave their home, home visits are comfortable for clients and gives opportunity to assess and intervene in the context.

It is the responsibility of the parents/carers to ensure privacy and confidentiality during the home visit.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

What is it?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help manage problems by changing the way one thinks and behaves. The aim is to challenge patterns of behaviour and thought processes that are negative, destructive or distressing and replace them with more positive thought patterns. CBT teaches lifelong skills and coping strategies, so it has long-term benefits for children and young people. It is a problem-oriented type of intervention that has been scientifically proven to help treat a wide range of conditions in children and young people such as anxiety, depression, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) and anger management. Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ASD can also benefit from CBT as it helps them manage some of their symptoms in a more positive, healthy way.

When is it useful?

CBT is useful for many different conditions as it helps form healthy responses to challenging situations. Research has shown particular benefits of CBT for the following conditions:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • phobias
  • panic attacks
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSP)
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • bipolar disorder
  • anger management
  • behavioural problems
  • bullying
  • chronic fatigue
  • chronic pain
  • medically unexplained symptoms
  • sleep difficulties

How is it applied?

Marta works together with a child/young person to explore his/her thoughts about a situation and how this affects the way he/she feels and acts. Mind and body are connected so we will pay attention on the way child’s/young person’s body feels and how this links to his/her emotions and thoughts.

CBT is structured approach usually aimed at a particular problem and the intervention is often short- to medium- term. CBT is offered in individual sessions or as part of a group. Individual sessions are 50 minutes long and the group sessions are usually 90 minutes long (depending on the age of clients and group type).

CBT can be used if a person is on medication which has been prescribed by GP. Of course, CBT can be used on its own. This will depend on the difficulty you want help with.


Initial assessment/consultations: £150 per session

Individual follow-up appointments (intervention/therapy): £150 per session

Group therapy/work: Varies depending on the size & type of the group

School/nursery/home visits/observations: £150 per hour

Ad hoc admin (consultation via email/phone, reading reports, writing additional reports, etc.): £150 per hour (pro-rata)


Marta is a registered provider for several private health insurance companies such as Bupa, Aviva, AXA PPP, Cigna, Cigna Global, Allianz Worldwide Care, and VitalityHealth who can offer reimbursement on session fees. Marta is also eligible for registering with other insurances so please contact us to enquire. If you have health insurance you will usually need to provide a claim number to authorize sessions.

Payments for services can be done by credit card or bank transfer (BACS). Please note that we have a 48 hour cancellation policy so please contact us ASAP if you need to cancel or make postponment. There is no charge for cancellations or re-scheduling appointments that are made up to 48 hours in advance. If you cancel with fewer than 48 hours’ notice, there will be a full charge for the session.