We work with children, young people and their families, using music and art therapy to empower them to build skills and emotional resilience.
Using a range of therapeutic and multidisciplinary evidence-based approaches, we find creative ways to help young people understand and tell the stories of their lives and, where necessary, to help them to develop new stories that enable them to thrive.
Coram Creative Therapies draws on our rich musical and artistic heritage. The composer Handel and the artist Hogarth were two of Coram's earliest supporters, and music and art continue to influence our work with children and young people.
Our art and music therapy sessions are delivered at our purpose-built centre for creative therapies in central London as well as in schools and in the community. Our team of art and music therapists, clinical psychologists and systemic family therapists provides holistic support for children, young people and their families.
The impact of Coram's Creative Therapies
Evaluation has shown that children accessing Coram Creative Therapies show significant improvement in their ability to relate to adults and peers, and in their attention and awareness.
This gives them increased capacity for learning and for coping in their learning environment.
We have a number of specialist approaches through which this is delivered.
Music therapy helps children express their emotions non-verbally and build trust. It is an open and safe space with a therapist where they can explore their experiences creatively, and help develop ways of building greater resilience in themselves and in their relationships.
Children and young people referred to music therapy do not need to have any musical skills or experience, and can participate in therapy with carers and parents alongside them.
Art therapy uses art media as the primary mode of communication. The art therapist’s role is to facilitate communication of children’s thoughts and feelings though the use of art.
Art therapy is not dependent on spoken language and can therefore be helpful to anyone who finds it difficult to express their thoughts and feelings verbally. The therapist can help identify new strategies for managing feelings, thoughts and behaviours at home and at school. They can build resilience in the child and encourage and support the child, their parents and teachers through the process of making positive changes. Children and young people referred to an art therapist do not need to have previous experience or skills in art.
Systemic family therapy
Systemic family therapy sessions help families to express and explore difficult emotions and thoughts together safely. It helps families to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes together in their relationships and their lives.
This is an approach which helps parents develop parenting skills in a one-to-one setting so that particular examples and dilemmas can be thought through and effective strategies developed. The sessions will help parents to better understand their own parenting styles and how they might respond differently, based on the specific needs of their child and their family context.
Non Violent Resistance (NVR)
NVR emphasises change through improving relationships. A key difference from other parenting programmes is the emphasis on parents actively rebuilding their relationship through making reconciliation gestures unrelated to any behaviour (good or bad) shown by the child. Parents learn to fight for their values and for their right to be present in their children’s lives rather than fighting against their children and seeing them as the problem. Behaviour is actively resisted in a climate of respect rather than being rewarded, praised or ignored. Parents and their supporters work together to bring a united approach to the situation.
NVR is delivered either in a group setting with other parents or individually.
Video-feedback intervention to promote positive parenting and sensitive discipline (VIPP-SD) is a preventative programme that helps to build strong attachment relationships between parents and children. It helps parents or carers to increase their ability to see the world through their children’s eyes.
Using video to record and analyse interaction between parent and child, practitioners deliver sessions in the family home over several months. VIPP-SD has a solid evidence base for preventing or reducing behavioural problems in young children and has been shown to be extremely effective with a range of different populations e.g. under 5’s, adoptive parents and childcare providers. VIPP-SD is also recommended in the NICE Guidelines for Children’s Attachment.