Our Values

Relationship regulates, repairs and builds resilience

TESSA aims to support families, not “fix” children. We believe that parents who practise therapeutic parenting are the greatest therapy for hurt children.

Current trauma research indicates that experiencing loss, abuse, and neglect in early life can overwhelm a young child’s brain and nervous system. As they grow, they may express their difficult histories unconsciously through “difficult” behaviours and “difficulties” in present relationships.

This is a completely NORMAL adaptation to ABNORMAL experiences in early life, but it is a challenge for parents and teachers as well as the child. We encourage adults to think of behaviour as language signalling a relationship need rather than defiance or manipulation. It can help to think of how the, “the body keeps the score”* because even children too young to remember or talk about their history will hold those memories in their body and act upon them.



Other children may find it too difficult to talk about the past. For this reason we offer sensory, creative, playful and rhythmic therapies, and complementary therapies to regulate stress.

*The phrase comes from Bessel van der Kolk’s book of the same name, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma.