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Drumbeat School & ASD Service

Psychology & Counselling Service



Anna Harper
(counsellor and behaviour advisor)

Anna works at Drumbeat for 2 days a week she has been with us for three years. Anna has extensive experience of working with children and the families of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. She spent many years working at Bromley Autistic Trust, Bromley Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Bromley Pre - school specialist support and disability services where she was working with children, pre diagnosis taking them through the diagnosis process and then offering ongoing support and training to parents, carers, teachers and other professionals involved with the child.

What is Psychology and Counselling?

Psychologists and counsellors offer support about a wide range of mental health, emotional and behavioural problems including anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and relationship issues. They use a range of assessment, psychometric tests, interviews and observation measures to investigate and understand a clients’ situation. Following assessment, they may offer advice or consultation to those who care for children (such as parents and teachers), or work directly with children and their families. Therapeutic invention might involve play techniques, helping to understand through focused (active) listening, working on family issues, and using more structured techniques such as CBT (which focuses on the links between thoughts, feelings and behaviour). Work can sometimes also be provided individually or in groups.

How Psychology and Counselling works at Drumbeat

The Psychology and Counselling Service at Drumbeat works across both the main school site at Downham and the sixth form, with Anna Harper focusing her work in the primary department. Therapeutic provision always takes into account the specific needs of individual pupils to make psychological and counselling techniques accessible. Often, work might involve helping children and families to be able to manage the difficulties that autism might present. This might include coping with anxiety, exploring the Autism Spectrum Diagnosis, understanding the reasons behind behaviour and meltdowns and what can be done to reduce this, and helping students to understand emotions, social skills and relationships. Whilst some of this work takes place individually, a range of groups are also offered along with teaching and therapy colleagues. The service also offers advice to teaching staff and other services, provides parent workshops and support, and gets involved in research and awareness projects within the school. Furthermore, the service works alongside the Borough Educational Psychology Service to provide assessment and advice of learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Links to useful websites
Provides useful information for families of autistic children and young people regarding a range of issues, such as behaviour and emotional difficulties.
Website of the British Psychological Society.
The website for the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health.