our story

HOW IT STARTED

Whilst doing my teaching practice in Tavistock, Liverpool and then as a fully qualified primary school teacher in Newham, London it became clear that many children were preoccupied with matters related to survival as opposed to the national curriculum, despite my engaging lessons! What did they need? Working in Bolivia with street children for a year strengthened my curiosity as again I came up close and personal with hurting children preoccupied with matters of survival. What would interrupt this cycle?

On my return to England I was determined to learn. I began my search studying what it takes to make us human and why we do what we do through therapy trainings. Attachment was the foundational platform to this discovery. My curiosity deepened as I started applying a new lens to my work as a teacher. In a large mainstream secondary school in Lewisham, London where I started to specialise in coming alongside those with relational vulnerabilities.

Brighton

On moving to Brighton to set up a therapy service for a specialist education provider for the city, Dr Paul Holmes a renowned child & adolescent psychiatrist and psychotherapist asked me to join the Attachment Project. At that time in 2000 this was an innovative project funded together by a mental health grant, education, social services and CAMHS. As both a therapist and a teacher I was well placed to come alongside children in their different contexts to support them have better mental health, be included in their schools and experience permanency in their families. I started to write about my experiences, the powerful relationships going on, evidencing the profound impact they could have upon the life of a child.

Many years of experience later working on this project in addition to the Permanency Team in Brighton & Hove, led me to DDP, a powerful way of being that facilitates learned security for those who have lived adverse childhood experiences. A way of being that can be embraced in many different contexts.

TouchBase

I went on to set up TouchBase – an organisation supporting both the hurting child and adult and all those around them move towards recovery. Recovery from all that might have caused disruption to what could have happened first time around. To reflect my own professional experiences I wanted to ensure that the organisation covered therapy, education support, community projects and trainings.

Touchbase has grown from just myself and one other working around my kitchen table to a vibrant, dynamic team! We have integrative therapists and specialist teachers on board who have all been trained in specialist ways of working in trauma recovery. All of the team are very experienced in both therapy and educational contexts just like me! Working locally within Sussex, nationally and internationally we know that intentional, rich, rewarding relationships can provide the lifeline needed by those wounded in relationship. Recently we have extended our age range to 100 with a specialist adult therapy team too as we recognise the same principles and practices apply and age should not be a barrier.

I continue to be passionate about seeing both young and old feel safe, to become more connected to themselves, to be released from the power of shame, to realise their true value, to belong, to learn security and to function well in their different contexts. I believe dignity can be restored when genuine connection is experienced.

For such a time as this…….

Louise Michelle Bombèr, Founding Director from 2017