Containment is something we talk about and think about a lot in our therapeutic work.

We think about how we make the whole process of coming to therapy ‘contained’ for the child.

This process is done in 4 steps

  1. Relationship
  2. Clarity
  3. Communication
  4. Next steps

The process looks a bit like this…


The first step, getting to know the child. We let the child know who we are, we give them a sense of us as a person. We let them know what days and times to expect us so that they are ready for us to come into their lives each week.


Next, we let them know exactly how often we will see them. We tell them how long the session will last, and we tell them what they can do in the sessions with us.


Then we prepare them for any changes to that agreed number of sessions. If for some reason we can’t make one of their sessions, we do everything within our power to communicate that to the child so that they don’t feel let down.

Next steps

Then at the end of therapy we wrap up the whole relationship and time together symbolically through play and ritual so that child has a good lasting memory of our time together and a contained ending.

We are experts in containing this whole process from start to finish!

What if I told you that the containment in therapy goes way beyond the work that we do with the child?

What if we were able to apply the same principles of containment to everything that we do within our business?

What would that feel like?

The containment process is applicable to all areas of your work, from marketing, sales, relationship building, working with parents, delivering training, writing funding applications…

We can apply the same principles of containment to all areas of our work to help us run our therapy practice in a more conscious way.

Let’s think about this in the context of putting yourself out there to sell your services in to schools or other settings.


Firstly, you have to let people know who you are.

What’s the first thing that most of us do when we are thinking about working with someone?

We search for them online.

We might go to Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn AND Twitter to get a sense of what this person is about.

Be aware that the way you ‘show up’ online is the sense that people will get about you. If you’re not active online, this gives a message too.

Social media is the place where people can go to see your human side, and as the old saying goes, people buy people.

Use social media as your opportunity to connect with people before they’ve even met you in person.


Secondly, there needs to be real clarity around what it is you’re offering.

People who want to commission your services don’t want to have to work out for themselves what it is you’re offering.

A confused mind always says no.

You have to make it easy for people to buy what you’re selling by making sure you have the right proposition, that you’re packaging your offer in the right way and that you’re also not selling yourself short.

Taking on small bits of work on a sessional basis can sometimes feel like the best thing to do if you are looking for work, but it’s ultimately a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Once the short term work has dried up you find yourself back in the same situation.


Then needs to be clear communication around the contract that you’re working to.

Make sure to get everything in writing so that you have something to back you up should any unexpected changes occur. This is an important part of keeping the process ‘contained’ so that everyone knows where they stand.

Next steps

If you’ve done a great job at building relationships and demonstrating your value, there should be an ongoing role for you! Ultimately people want to work with those who they know, like and trust so thinking strategically you want to go in to the relationship with a long-term mindset.

However, if you are doing a short piece of work make sure that you wrap up in a positive way. You don’t know how many times that person or organisation might recommend you to others and what other contracts you might get off the back of this relationship you have built.

If you’d like more support with your marketing, sales, processes, team and fundraising you can join Sophia Giblin in Amplify Your Impact this September, a monthly membership site for therapists who are looking to scale their therapy businesses to do more of the work they love while getting paid for it.

This membership is available to anyone who signs up to the Institute for Play and Attachment in September for £1 for the first month!

Click here for more information on both membership sites, or join the mailing list to be the first to know about the launch of the Institute for Play and Attachment and Amplify Your Impact.

More details will be released next week!