Consultants work at both child specific, team development and strategic levels with Avocet and Turnstone House. Their influence is carefully integrated into all aspects of the work with children from admissions, assessments, casework planning, bespoke individual interventions, training, and family therapy, to extending our “no limits” thinking and energising our innovation.

Individual therapeutic work with young people is based on a belief that there is a dynamic process operating in which the young person explores at their own pace those issues, past and current, conscious and unconscious, that are affecting their lives in the present. The young people’s inner resources are then enabled by the therapeutic process to bring about positive growth and change.

Ben Horwood

Doctorate in Applied Educational and Child Psychology, MSc., BSc (Hons), C Psychol.

Ben has extensive experience from applying psychology over 32 years in local authority work. He has been involved with school development, policy formulation at senior management level and specialising in the promotion of positive outcomes for looked after children, particularly those in agency or out-county placements. Ben has achieved a Doctorate based on his work with children and young people in care which reflects his interest in the development of a positive sense of self and identity for the young people placed with SES.

Teresa Kyrkos

Qualified Social Worker (West London Institute). Certificate in Counselling skills – working with children under 12 years. (University of East Anglia). Advocating on behalf of Children and Young People (NYAS). MA Play Therapy (University of Roehampton).

For 11 years Teresa was employed as a Probation Officer in London and East Anglia. Her role involved working with adults and young offenders plus work with families going through the civil courts. She was employed by NYAS for 2 years working as an advocate with children and young people in the care of the Local Authority and those with special needs. Since 1996 Teresa has worked for a children’s charity working with children and young people (aged 4 – 18 years) experiencing difficulties due to divorce and separation in their families including those separated from their families and in Local Authority Foster Care. This work is child centred and Play Therapy techniques are used. Teresa has worked for Avocet House since 2010.

Ursula Harben

Diploma in Systemic Therapy (Roehampton Institute), Certificate in Counselling (Westminster Pastoral Foundation), Certificate in Developing Counselling Skills (Norwich Centre), Diploma in Business Studies (University of Aix-en-Provence/French Institute, London).

For the last 19 years Ursula has been a Systemic Psychotherapist in the NHS (Child and Family Mental Health). She has worked clinically with families and with adults in many different settings including eating disorders, ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders. Ursula supervises and trains professionals who are working in multi-agency contexts with severely distressed and disturbed children and young people where there has been little optimism for change.

Dr Kate Sillifant (and Associates)

Consultant Child Psychiatrist

I am a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with 13 years experience of working as a Consultant within the NHS. I now dedicate my working life to independent practice. I have experience of managing young people with a wide range of mental health difficulties. Clinically I incorporate my medical and psychiatric training into a whole systems approach to working with children and families, taking into account the many interacting factors that contribute to a young person’s difficulties. Specialist areas of interest and expertise include the assessment and management of developmental disorders, family therapy and supporting the mental health needs of Looked After Children. I offer my skills to the courts as an expert witness in private and public law cases. I have extensive experience of clinical leadership, teaching, training,  supervision,  service and strategic development, both within and across organisations.

There are ten other clinicians working with Kate giving us potential access to:

  • Psychiatry
  • Family Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Educational Psychology
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EDMR)
  • Art Psychotherapy
  • Counselling
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
  • Group Therapy