The Mulberry Bush issue of The goodenoughcaring Journal, July, 2015 : Introduction.


Welcome to the July 2015 issue of The goodenoughcaring Journal. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to present current papers which reflect the therapeutic task and associated service developments of the Mulberry Bush School and Organisation.

The edition starts with my paper ‘Reflections on the development of the Mulberry Bush School and Organisation 1948- 2015’. This is a personal view on the adaptation and evolution of the organisation to its environment since 1948. As such, it attempts to set this growth in a historical and developmental context.

This is followed by ‘The Mulberry Bush Approach’ by John Turberville, the School’s Director. This provides an overview of our current model of specialist therapeutic residential practice including the ‘five key ingredients of the therapeutic culture’, and how we use our ‘Eleven key elements’ to evaluate and measure outcomes for each child. The paper finishes with an overview of how the School provision is structured in ‘phases’ of planned treatment.

From hereon the papers provide some ‘in depth’ exploration of the ‘lived experience’ of our therapeutic care, education and treatment. Caryn Onions is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, and Head of our Therapies and Networks Team. Her paper ‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ is a case study reflecting the multi -disciplinary nature of our evolving task.

I have included two essays by students of our Foundation degree in ‘therapeutic work with children and young people’, accredited by the University of the West of England. The first of these, by teacher Annabelle Rose ‘The application of psychodynamic work’ is an account of how psychodynamic theory informs the task of understanding the needs of children, in order to improve educational attainment in the classroom. Zoe Mc Carthy, a Therapeutic Care Worker, shares her paper on ‘The importance of the role of play’. These papers also indicate the integrative role the Foundation degree plays in enabling staff to explore the interplay of theory and practice.

In his paper ’Integrating Ofsted into a truly school led system’ Andy Lole, Headteacher and National Leader in Education, shares how, as a National Teaching School, the Mulberry Bush is leading a peer review system with a group of special schools. He explains how this approach aims to improve the quality of provision and outcomes for students through school-to-school support and sharing best practice.

Finally, are papers by Dave Roberts, Head of Training and MBOX Teaching School, and Ray Burrows, MBOX practitioner. These explain the growth of our training and outreach services and a case study shows how, through its charitable mission, the Mulberry Bush is now ‘reaching out’ with its expertise to support children, families and schools across the wider community.

We hope you will enjoy this issue of The goodenoughcaring Journal, and that it captures something of the depth and breadth of the evolution of our relationship based therapeutic culture, since the founding of the school by Barbara Dockar – Drysdale in 1948.

John Diamond, CEO, July 2015.


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