Dolores Forcadell is a child psychotherapist in ECV1 

What attracted you to become a therapist?

I have worked with children and young people in different settings for over 30 years so I am very aware of what kind of impact family dynamics can have on the behaviour of certain children and how, if not looked in to, will have repercussions as grownups. I guess that is what guided my training and made me want to be a child therapist.

Where did you train?

I have a diploma on Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy with Children and Adolescents. I also trained and volunteered with Place2Be for over three years. I have completed a variety of additional training and CPD in aspects of working with children and young people including safeguarding. I am MBACP registered. 

I am bilingual, my first language is Spanish.

Can you tell us about the type of therapy you practise? 

As a psychodynamic counsellor – I believe that unconscious processes guide our ways of relating to each other. At the centre of my practice is the child’s wellbeing and safety. I aim to create a safe space for children to feel able to be themselves without judgement. This is what Winnicott refers to as the 'facilitating environment’, where the child’s inner world can be explored. While working with a variety of organisations such as Place2be and Carefree Kids. I had extensive training on a variety of therapeutic approaches such as play therapy and art therapy which now forms part of my work with children.

I aim to provide a safe environment where growth and personal discovery can take place. A place where internal and external worlds can be thought about. The child is free to move around in her/his subjective world. The child will be able to express her/his self, using a variety of art materials also through sand play and a range of small world toys that will be available to them. In my work the therapeutic relationship is key to the success of the counselling.

What sort of people do you usually see? 

I work with children and young people between the ages of 3-18

What do you like about being a therapist?

To watch the young clients become more confident and resilient. Seeing them work things through by themselves and being able to be part of those changes.

What is less pleasant?

Working with children when work comes suddenly to an end. Not being able to know what has happened.

How long you’ve been with and what you think of us? 

It seems a bit early to tell but I like to read your weekly digest.

Do you ever suggest books or apps to clients?

Not usually to my clients, I have recommended to parents Why Love Matters by Sue Gerhard as it explains how early stress affects babies developing nervous systems.

What you do for your own mental health?

I enjoy going to art exhibitions, walks, exercising – particularly playing badminton – listening to music and keeping up with Coronation Street, as well as Netflix.

You are a therapist in EC1V, London. What can you share with us about seeing clients in this area? 

I think that living near the therapy room is of great advantage for the clients, particularly when the clients are children, as they have to be brought by a parent/carer.

What’s your consultation room like?

It is very sunny and spacious and makes a great space for children to feel safe.

What do you wish people knew about therapy?

Therapy is a contained space were children and adults can be themselves without judgement. I feel that everyone can benefit which such a place.

What did you learn about yourself in therapy?

The earlier you start working through the issues that stop you from fulfilling your potential the easier it is.