Barnardo's Mandala Therapy

Specialist therapeutic support for children, adolescents and families

Flower PaintsMessy PaintHand Prints

We offer a range of therapy including:

  • Play Therapy, Art Therapy, Dramatherapy, Child Psychotherapy sessions
  • Family Therapy
  • Therapeutic parenting support for foster carers and adoptive parents
  • Therapeutic group work using creative arts
  • Outdoor therapeutic creative play for school
  • Specialist Training, Supervision & Consultation.

We are a team of over 20 experienced and qualified creative therapists and play specialists, led and supervised by a child psychotherapist, working systemically and as part of a multi agency approach.  We are currently working with children and families affected by:

  • Childhood trauma
  • Insecure attachment
  • Domestic abuse
  • Bereavement
  • Severe anxiety and stress
  • Adoption
  • Sexual abuse

All sessions are child-centred and the aim of the therapy is to provide children with ways of expressing themselves through art and play, when they can not find the words to say how they feel or talk about their difficulties. This form of therapy is gentle and nurturing, providing the child with a safe space and the undivided attention of a therapist who is trained to understand the meaning of the play and art created in the sessions. With the help of the therapist the child can begin to make sense of his or her overwhelming feelings and find ways of coping and managing them. This usually results in the child feeling more resourceful, confident, and able to trust and take support from others. This kind of therapy is particularly appropriate for children and young people of all ages who have experienced trauma and abuse.

The therapist will begin by meeting the referrer, parent or carer and other professionals involved to discuss their concerns about the child and to agree the aims of the therapy. The therapy sessions are confidential, but therapist will always share any information that causes concerns about the child’s welfare or safety with the parents or carers and other professionals. They will also share information through reports and review meetings, in order to contribute towards building a better understanding of the child’s needs. All therapists abide by the Barnardo’s policy for safeguarding, are DBS checked and trained in child protection.

In January 2018 Oxford Brooke University completed an independent evaluation of the Mandala service.  A copy of the summary can be downloaded here:

If you would like to request a full copy of the report please contact us.

Please note we only work in the South West of England and we do not take referrals directly from parents or carers.

Find out more information on making a referral.