Welcome to Aspire

Welcome to Aspire

Welcome to Aspire Welcome to Aspire Welcome to Aspire

Psychological Therapy

Attachment therapy- Theraplay® informed


Theraplay® is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement. Theraplay is therefore ideal for building bonds between resource parents (foster/adoptive parents) and their child and/or for parent-child relationships where there has been an attachment rupture, or where the parent/child has some difficulty with bonding due to their own additional needs e.g. physical mobility, mental health, communication disorder etc.

It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent-child and is personal, physical, and fun. 

The therapist guides the caregiver through interactions focused on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge. 

By creating an active, emotional connection between the child-caregiver, change occurs in the child's view of self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding.

The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behaviour and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy, thus healing attachment trauma and resolving behaviours which challenge.

Trauma-Focused therapy

  Trauma-Focused Therapy is a specific approach to therapy that recognises the importance of understanding how traumatic experiences impact upon one's mental, behavioural, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. This type of therapy is rooted in understanding the connection between the trauma experience and the person's emotional and behavioural responses. The purpose of trauma-focused therapy is to offer skills and strategies to assist the person in better understanding, coping with,  processing emotions and memories tied to traumatic experiences, with the end goal of enabling the person to create a healthier and more adaptive meaning of the experience that took place in his/her life. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)


Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from many different treatment approaches. 

EMDR therapists help clients reprocess their traumatic memories by using a process that involves repeated left-right (bilateral) stimulation of the brain while noticing different aspects of the traumatic memory. The bilateral stimulation is achieved through either rapid eye movements across the field of vision, auditory tones or clicks, or tactile stimulation of alternate sides of the body. It is believed that the bilateral stimulation of EMDR Therapy creates biochemical changes in the brain that aid processing of information. 

For more information on EMDR visit

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


Cognitive behavioural therapies, or CBT, are a range of talking therapies based on the theory that thoughts, feelings, what we do and how our body feels are all connected. If we change one of these we can alter the others.

When people feel worried or distressed we often fall into patterns of thinking and responding which can worsen how we feel. CBT works to help us notice and change problematic thinking styles or behaviour patterns so we can feel better. CBT has lots of strategies that can help you in the here and now.

 CBT has a good evidence base for a wide range of mental health problems in adults, older adults, children and young people. This research has been carefully reviewed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), who provide independent, evidence-based guidance for the public on the most effective ways to treat disease and ill health. 


Before starting CBT, BABCP recommend you check that your therapist is accredited by BABCP. Accreditation is important in protecting the public and raising the quality of CBT.

Energy Psychology (AIT & EFT)

Energy Psychology is a field of psychotherapy that combines Western clinical methods (e.g. cognitive therapy) with Eastern healing practices of acupressure (using meridians or pressure points).  We offer two types of Energy Psychotherapies:  

Advanced Integrative Therapy (AIT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) often called ‘tapping’. 

Both are effective therapies which use a holistic approach integrating thoughts, feelings and our physical being to offer rapid relief from emotional distress and post-trauma symptoms. 

AIT & EFT address both the emotional and cognitive (thinking) part of anxiety and trauma as well as the bodily reactions that many people experience (heart palpitations, butterflies in stomach).  

Like EMDR, AIT is believed to create new neural pathways to neutralise the trauma/threat pathways which had been created in the past.


Your therapist should be accredited with the AIT Institute, which you can check at their website below.

There is a large evidence-base for energy therapies of all types. For more information visit  or 

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

 Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) is a type of talking treatment, developed by Professor Marsha Linehan at University of Washington, Seattle. It's based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) but has been adapted to help people who experience emotions very intensely.

It's mainly used to treat problems associated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)  but it has also been used more recently to treat a number of other different types of mental health problems, including- 


  • Treats clients with a history of chronic suicidal behaviour.

• Is a unique, team-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

• Enhances the morale and effectiveness of the therapist.

• Can be adapted for specialties such as Eating Disorders, Adolescents and Substance Misuse amongst others.

• Is recognised to treat women with BPD for whom reducing recurrent self-harm is a priority (NICE, 2009).

• Is cited as an evidence-based intervention in A Vision for Change (Government of Ireland 2006. pp162-3).

Disability Psychotherapy


What is Disability Psychotherapy?


Disability Psychotherapy describes the use of psychological therapies in work with people with disabilities. It is used by people with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, and autism. 


Disability Psychotherapy is an adapted form of psychotherapy for people with disabilities and neurodevelopmental conditions, which adheres to a core ethos of respect for the individual, understanding that disability itself can be a form of trauma, that people with disabilities and cognitive impairments can have an intact emotional inner world, and that social and cultural context contributes to the experience of disability and impairment. Disability Psychotherapy draws from a broad range of therapeutic approaches and is creative and practical in its adaptation of these models to suit individual needs and make psychotherapy accessible. 

Disability Psychotherapy was founded by ground breaking clinicians, who formed the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability, of which Dr Day is a member. Dr Day is fortunate enough to have been trained in institutions such as the Tavistock Clinic, where these ground breaking clinicians, such as Valerie Sinason, practiced and consulted. 

Intensive Interaction

Intensive Interaction is not a therapy per se, but a way of interacting and communicating with people with profound and multiple disabilities and/or significant communication difficulties such as severe autism, dementia, or those who are non-verbal. 

Since these clients are at an early stage of communication development, Intensive Interaction uses the 'Fundamentals of Communication' attainments such as: use and understanding of eye contact, facial expressions, vocalisations leading to speech, taking turns in exchanges of conversation, and the structure of conversation. This leads to learning to enjoy interactions with others, reduced isolation, human connection and reduced risk of behaviours which challenge.

Intensive Interaction can be taught to and used by all: parents/carers, support workers, teaching assistants, OT's, SALT's, PT's, anyone who works with this population.

Dr Day has been using Intensive Interaction techniques in her work for 16 years and can offer training and consultation to those wishing to learn. For further information and to see videos of Intensive Interaction in action, see the Institute of Intensive Interaction website

Inclusion & Equal Access

Dr Day uses her extensive experience of working with people with additional needs and/or communication difficulties to adapt and accommodate a range of psychological therapies. In this way, an inclusive service with equal access to all can be developed.  Aspire aims to be inclusive and accessible in every way; whether that means physical access, or providing accessible information such as large print or Easy Read formats. We are always looking for ways to improve, please let us know if you have any suggestions and we will do our best to accommodate those.  

If you are an employer, educator, health provider, mental health professional, caregiver, or any other service provider; and would like consultation to adapt or accommodate your services for people with additional needs, contact Dr Day to discuss your requirements.  

Psychotherapy groups

Aspire runs various psychotherapeutic groups, all of which are licensed and copy righted, meaning that they are developed by experts in the field, with proven efficacy and effectiveness. It also means that the group materials are standardised and the group facilitators and/or supervisors are trained and supervised by the developer of the group, or are following a published manual and supervised by our consultants in order to ensure quality.

Person-Centered Planning

What is Person-Centred Planning (PCP)?

 PCP (also called the Circles approach) is a structured way of working out what an individual’s goals are for the future and how to help them work towards and achieve those goals. It is ideal for people with additional needs and/or complex mental health problems, as well as young people preparing to leave the care system.

Key features of PCP include:

· The person is at the centre. This is to ensure that a person who may have had limited power in the past, is listened to and their views and choices are made central to the process, including who to involve and when/where to have the meeting. 

· The plan reflects what is important to the person, their capacities and what support they require. PCP seeks to develop a better understanding of the person and their situation. It focuses on a person’s capacities, not their deficits.

· The plan results in actions that are about life, not just services, and reflects what is possible, not just what is available. PCP assumes that inclusion in the community is a desired outcome for the person, rather than exclusion. 

· PCP is an ongoing process. The first meeting is just the initial step in a continual process of listening, learning and further action.

To see PCP in action see:


Care Coordination

Management of complex needs

Care coordination is a clinical service to ensure the client's needs are met and integrated services are provided. Complex presentations such as disability, complex trauma, and looked-after-children often have complex and multiple physical, psychological, and educational needs. The focus is on coordinating professionals from multiple agencies and disciplines in order to ensure the care provision is centred around the client's needs and based on the provision of collaborative, recovery-focused care. 

Clinicians who provide care coordination is usually the expert in their field and focus on the quality of their relationships with their client and the tailoring of services, and doing the necessary work connecting people and the system of care. 


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)


What can CBT help with?

NICE recommends CBT in the treatment of the following conditions:

Anxiety disorders (including panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
'Schizophrenia' and 'psychosis'
'Bipolar disorder'

There is also good evidence that CBT is helpful in treating many other conditions, including:

Chronic fatigue
Chronic pain
Physical symptoms without a medical diagnosis
Sleep difficulties
Anger management

CBT can be used if you are on medication which has been prescribed by your GP. You can also use CBT on its own. This will depend on the difficulty you want help with.

How CBT is delivered

CBT can be offered in individual sessions with a therapist or as part of a group. The number of sessions you need depends on the difficulty you need help with. This will usually be between six and twenty sessions, typically of an hour long.

Your therapist can help you to notice any patterns in thinking or behaviours which might be keeping problems going and can offer information about different CBT techniques which could help you.

You and your therapist will discuss your specific difficulties and set goals for you to achieve. CBT is not a quick fix – it involves hard work during and between sessions e.g. keeping track of what you are thinking, feeling and doing, or trying out new ways of thinking or acting. Your therapist will not make decisions for you. They will help you decide what difficulties you want to work on in order to help you improve your situation. Your therapist will be able to advise you on how to continue using CBT techniques in your daily life after your treatment ends. psychologist therapy George Town

Self help CBT

CBT-based self-help books are available. There are also websites providing information on CBT techniques which are free to access. Evidence does show that using them works better with support from a therapist, especially for low mood. 

Psychotherapeutic Groups


Keep Safe© Harmful Sexual Behaviour programme

Keep Safe© is a therapeutic intervention programme for young people who are displaying problematic or harmful sexual behaviours and their parents/carers. It is helpful for young people who are getting in trouble, acting inappropriately, and/or who may have an intellectual disability, neurodevelopmental condition or an autism spectrum condition.


Keep Safe© aims:

* To help stop harmful sexual behaviour in children and young people

* To help children and young people make positive life choices

* To help protect current and potential victims

* To support families/carers to understand harmful sexual behaviours

* To contribute to keeping the child/young person and others safe from harm


Keep Safe© is a weekly group for young people and a twice monthly parent/carer group which run over the course of a complete academic year. There are six modules covering:

1: What Keep Safe is about and getting started

2: Relationships, sexual relationships and boundaries

3: Feelings and managing feelings

4: Understanding my behaviour

5: Empathy and consequences

6: Making my Keep Safe Plan and getting ready to move on (relapse prevention)

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®)

The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is a social skills training intervention for young with social challenges. It has a strong evidence-base for use with adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder, but is also appropriate for preschoolers, adolescents, and young adults with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other socioemotional problems. PEERS® is the only social skills training intervention with an evidence-base of research to prove its effectiveness. During each group session children/adolescents are taught important social skills and are given the opportunity to practice these skills in session during socialisation activities (e.g. playing sports, board games, etc.). Parents are taught how to assist their child/teens in making and keeping friends by providing feedback through coaching during weekly socialisation homework assignments. 

Aspire periodically runs the following PEERS groups when a clinical demand arises. Please ask your clinician for more details or to join the waiting list for the next group. 

PEERS® for Preschoolers: a 16-week evidence-based social skills intervention for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder between 4 to 6 years of age who have difficulty in their peer interactions and friendships. 

PEERS® for Young Adults: a 16-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated young adults (18-35 years old) who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends, and to develop romantic relationships. 

PEERS® for Adolescents: a 16-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated adolescents in middle school or high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends.

Structured Psychotherapy for Adolescents Responding to Chronic Stress (SPARCS)©

SPARCS© is an evidence-informed group therapy intervention recommended by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and Department of Children and Family Services, U.S. SPARCS is used in a variety of treatment delivery settings, including community-based programs, schools, outpatient clinics, shelters, residential, and juvenile justice settings. 

As a strength-based approach, SPARCS was designed to help adolescents to-

· find the wisdom in their responses, 

· support skills they already possess, 

· and foster new ways of coping. 

Through education, validation, and connection, SPARCS strives to provide group members with the freedom to address problems that are important to them and create opportunities for change. 

SPARCS is based on three empirically-informed interventions that were adapted and integrated in an effort to address the topics specifically relevant to adolescents exposed to chronic trauma. 

These interventions include: 

∙ Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents (DBT-A) 

∙ Trauma Adaptive Recovery - Group Education and Therapy (TARGET) 

∙ Trauma Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents (TGCT-A)

The SPARCS program includes a 16 session treatment guide that was specifically created for teens who have been traumatized, often repeatedly, and who continue to live with high levels of stress. SPARCS aims to help adolescents find that “sparc” of light within them and enhance their strengths and resilience.