BTPP's Guiding Principles

Both BTPP's Charity and Trainings arose out of a conviction that all children have a right to be able to access therapy and other essential services delivered by well-trained therapists and professionals. BTPP believe that this is true for all children and for those who care for them, particularly so for the most disadvantaged and needy children in the West Midlands.


A Brief History

BTPP was set up by Shirley Truckle (RIP) in 1986. and it’s existence and development is down to the'chutzpah', hard work, skill, capacity and commitment of Shirley Truckle, ably supported by her husband Brian. Simply put, BTPP would not be in existence were it not for their determination and generosity of their time and spirit.

When Shirley and Brian moved to Birmingham from the Tavistock Clinic there had been an infant observation course run by Dr Linda Winkley, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, who had recruited Barbara Forryan and Beta Copley, both Child Psychotherapists, to teach in Birmingham.

Shirley and Brian, with advice from Margaret Rustin and help from Dr Dickie Bird, BTPP's first Chair of Training, Dr Athol Hughes, Dr Elinor Wedeles, Elizabeth Oliver-Bellasis and Dr Alberto Hahn and others, developed a training prospectus and BTPP was recognised by the Association of Child Psychotherapists as a training school in 1991.

Eventually, BTPP was able to persuade the Regional Health Authority (now Health Education West Midlands) to fund BTPP on a five year rolling contract commissioning five new trainee Child psychotherapists positions per year.

Shirley was a socialist at heart. So she worked for years for nothing to set up a training school with a charitable trust and aim at it’s core. BTPP is now overseen by a group of Trustees who ensure that the school uses it’s resources to ensure that as many professionals as possible who are working with children, and who can make use of this way of thinking, are able to access this kind of training to help them develop their capacity to work with the children who need it.

To date BTPP has trained more than 88 Child Psychotherapists and hundreds of local Clinicians working with children have completed the infant observation course.

BTPP’s Guiding Principles

BTPP believe that central to delivering therapy and other services that meet children's needs is that the professionals working with children can listen to and take in what children communicate about the reality of their external and internal lives. Only then can a truly empathic understanding of the position of the child be achieved and appropriate professional work or therapy be delivered to them.

BTPP knows that while this seems relatively straightforward, it is in fact highly complex and requires appropriate professional training and support. BTPP provides such a context in which professionals can learn, develop and be sustained.

BTPP strives to combine the capacity to achieve real empathy with the child and their family with a psychoanalytic understanding from a Kleinian- Bionian and Meltzerian perspective. BTPP acknowledges that this is only one of many useful ways of understanding the lives of children, though it is what we find most useful.

BTPP believes that the capacity to think and relate in a psychoanalytic psychotherapeutic way, i.e. to read between the lines, to think about the unconscious, to be able to tolerate the intense states of feeling and of mind when we encounter the reality of some children's internal and external lives and all the while to sustain open-mindedness and curiosity, is not predicted by an academic label, a prior professional qualification, or by similarity or difference to ourselves.

BTPP believes that psychoanalytic training should be accessible to interested and able professionals and should not be financially prohibitive.