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Cambridge Forum for Children's Emotional Well-being

The Cambridge Forum for Children's Emotional Well-being is based at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education. Find out more about our counselling courses.


  • To promote and extend the practice and development of psychotherapeutic counsellors in the region
  • To offer a vibrant programme of courses and conferences which provide for the continuing professional development of psychotherapeutic counsellors
  • To maintain the professional standards of psychotherapeutic counselling


  • To promote and extend the practice and development of psychotherapeutic counselling and to enhance children's emotional well-being
  • To promote high standards of training in psychotherapeutic counselling
  • To promote high standards of practice in therapeutic work with children and young people
  • To promote research and knowledge in the theory and practice of children's emotional well-being

Upcoming events

Bridging the ChASM: Creating Accessible Services using Minecraft

Minecraft images

About this event

This forum will introduce the potential of the popular video game, Minecraft, as a tool for creating engaging therapeutic services for children and their families. Through the examination of real-life case studies, the presenters will illustrate how counselling sessions conducted within Minecraft can be both engaging and therapeutic, thus shifting the focus from viewing children as "hard to reach" to taking responsibility for creating services that are more accessible.

During this forum, participants will have the opportunity to achieve the following learning outcomes: understanding the advantages of incorporating video games, such as Minecraft, in therapy for children and families; acquiring practical insights into integrating video games into their own practice or service (from discussing a child’s gaming interests to potentially actively participating in a game with the child); and exploring a range of activities that can be implemented within videogames as therapeutic tools. No video gaming experience necessary!

This Introductory film explains more about the Bridging the ChASM project and the use of Minecraft in counselling. Further films and information are available on the ChASM webpage

Please note



Ellie Finch

Ellie is a Child, Parent and Family Counsellor (registered with BACP and ACTO) and a Social Worker (registered with Social Work England). Ellie is also a Research Assistant within the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge working on a project that recently secured university funding to highlight the value of using videogames like Minecraft therapeutically.

She provides training and consultation to professionals and organisations on the therapeutic use of videogames and other digital tools. She has a BA (Hons) from the University of Cambridge, an MA in Social Work from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and University of East London (UEL) and a PGDip in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy (UEL).

Ellie wrote her MA thesis in 2011 on engaging children in online mental health services. Settings she has worked in include the NHS (CAMHS), social care, private practice, charities and schools.

More about Ellie Finch

Monique Beckett

Monique is a graduate of both the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling program and the Transforming Practice MEd at the Faculty of Education. Monique is also a Research Assistant within the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge working on a project that recently secured university funding to highlight the value of using videogames like Minecraft therapeutically.

Monique is a (registered BACP and UKCP) Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic counsellor PGDip, and completed her MEd at the University of Cambridge titled: ‘Using Minecraft to build psychotherapeutic relationships: heuristic inquiry into my psychotherapy practice with a latency age child’. In addition, Monique is engaged in supporting young people, particularly neurodivergent students, as a University of Cambridge Mentor, offering tailored assistance to foster their academic and personal growth.

Monique is involved in charity-based settings and schools as a deputy lead therapist and outreach therapist. Additionally, Monique has been involved with the Tetris project, where she researched the application of Tetris as a tool to aid families and young individuals in their journey of growth and development.

More about Monique Beckett

Recent Forum events

Monday 4 March 2024 - 18.30 to 20.00 - fully online

We are delighted to announce that Terry Marks-Tarlow will be speaking on how we access ‘hard to reach’ knowledge that we hold within ourselves. Terry will discuss the importance of intuition as the most complex perception and response available clinically. She will cover qualities and neurobiological origins of clinical intuition, as well as how clinicians can access their own unique style. Terry is the author of influential books such as Clinical Intuition in Psychotherapy: The Neurobiology of Embodied Response and Play and Creativity in Psychotherapy (with Marion Solomon and Dan Siegal). Her website can be found here

10.00 to 12.30 on Saturday 4 November 2023

Reach Out to Me

We are delighted to welcome back authors who have contributed to the book Using Art, Play, Metaphor and Symbol with Hard-to-Reach Young Clients: Reach Out To Me. Edited by Aileen Webber, this book outlines the clinical practice of several practitioners who give accounts of how they engage with, and understand, the needs of the young people they work with.

Confirmed speakers are Amy McInerny who will open the Forum talking about her perspective entitled “Why Can’t You Reach Me”, followed by Carole Rawley on reaching a child overwhelmed by fear in lockdown, Sarah Attle on the role of imagery in creating awareness around moments of connection and change in therapy, Lucy Jayne talking about equine therapy in relation to connection and Jude Adcock on working with shame states. The Forum will conclude with a panel discussion to explore themes in reaching the ‘hard-to-reach’ child.

All the presenters are graduates of the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling programme we run at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

This forum will be of interest to practitioners who are interested in working with children who may appear “hard to reach” in therapy, or in school or other settings.

Please contact Kat at if you have any questions, or if you would like to be added to the email list to receive information about upcoming Forum events. 

Cambridge Forum for Children's Emotional Well-being

Upcoming Forum dates

18 May 2024

Booking link