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Feedback from Colleagues

Jane Durham   |   Occupational Therapist   |   October 2020

I was privileged to work with Bridget for many years – firstly as a colleague at Red Cross Children’s Hospital for 7 years, and then as her co-therapist in her groups for about 7 years.

Bridget truly has un-paralleled skills when it comes to planning and running socio-emotional groups.  She approaches her work with true dedication and commitment and is extremely thorough in her planning.  The fact that she plans each group specifically each week, makes her work group therapy and not merely a social skills programme.  I was continually impressed with her creativity in devising new games and activities to achieve specific goals for the children with whom we were working. She has the enviably skills of being able to empathise with the child and win their trust, while also challenging them to learn more constructive ways of interacting with friends and family.

The fact that she spends time during the week contacting parents, teachers, and referring professionals in connection with the children, makes her work very comprehensive and her intervention pertinent to their situations and needs.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with Bridget and learnt so much from her! She is one of those people who makes one feel heard and brings out the best in you.  I can recommend her groups unreservedly.

Janet Freemantle   |   Social Worker   |   April 2019

I am a registered Social Worker, and have worked as a school counselor for the last 20 years at Springfield Convent Junior and Senior, Western Province Preparatory School. And Auburn House Montessori School.

In all the years that I have worked in a school setting, I have referred many children to Bridget’s Social Skills Groups. Whatever the issue is that children might need help with, be it shyness or an inclination to bully their peers, or difficulty making friends and finding a group to fit in with, Bridget skillfully and carefully forms groups to help each child learn appropriate social skills, and gain insight into their own behaviour.

During 2017 and 2018, I recommended to the principals at Springfield Convent Junior, and Auburn House that Bridget come to the school and run groups with the children as part of their Life skills programme. Each year brings particular challenges, academically and socially, but grades 3 to 7 are particularly important years for children to develop their social skills, as the influence of the peer group becomes more important in their lives. At Springfield Bridget worked with the grade 3 and 4 classes, and at Auburn House with the grade 4 groups. I co-facilitated with Bridget at Springfield, and this was an opportunity to really see her in action. Bridget is highly skilled as a facilitator, and picks up on every detail as the groups session unfolds, responding with empathy at all times. Each session is well planned, and she brings a variety of props and video clips which the children love, and which make each session fun. Many children described the Social Skills groups as the highlight of the week. Bridget planned each session yet was always able to be flexible, so that if something had happened that impacted on the children`s lives, she could adapt and incorporate that in the session.

Social Emotional learning is such an important part of each child`s development, and incorporating a Social Skills group into the school curriculum seems essential. Bridget is warm and open, children relate easily to her, and she has the experience and expertise to offer groups tailored to the needs of all age groups.

I highly recommend her.

Feedback from Clients

Group Therapy Parent | 2024

Thank you for a wonderful start to the year.

We really did see a huge difference in our son during and after his sessions with you and his peers.

We are grateful for the feedback and that you so proactively contacted our son’s ‘team’. 

We would be very interested in another group round next year because we feel that he enjoyed and benefited greatly from the course, and that it would be a good idea to ’top up’ next year.

Group Therapy Parent | 2024

I just wanted to thank you for all your help with my child.

I have noticed a great improvement since having come to you, at home and with what the teachers have said at school.

Thank you for your help with the school as well and helping them realise his need for independence.

Group Therapy Parent | 2024

We wanted to share our son's report with you.

We have had wonderful feedback from his teacher about his behaviour.

So incredibly grateful for EVERYTHING you did for him and how much you helped him.

Group Therapy Parent   |   2021

Hi Bridget,

I thought I would give you an update on how XXX has progressed.

She has come out of her shell and she is now super confident in her abilities socially and in the classroom.  There is no holding her back now.  I don’t see any of the issues that we previously had still looming.  Nor have I had any negative feedback from her Grade 2 teacher. 

I’m so proud of her.  I can happily say that your good work has helped her immensely.  Thank you!

Group Therapy Parent   |   2021

Hi Bridget

Wow!  Yesterday's first meet was a revelation for me.  Being in the same space as kids and parents who obviously face the same kind of daily challenges was both overwhelming and comforting at the same time.  I also felt such awe for the work that you do with these little people.

Sharing some moments and feelings with fellow parents in the 10 minutes, while waiting to collect the  kids, created such an immense feeling of relief and community.

Group Therapy Parent   |   2020

Bridget, I am so excited to see my son becoming more and more the beautiful boy that he is.

Online Group Therapy Parent   |   2020

Dear Bridget

Thank you so much for continuing with the social therapy online. XXX has remembered many things that you have taught her - e.g. identifying the red beast.  She’s almost ready to start applying the solution now - not feed it and to apply anger management methods.

When I ask her what did Bridget teach you, she remembers, and is realising that there is no other way out. 

Group Therapy Parent   |   2020

Hi Bridget

Thanks so much for the session with XXX today. We've been playing a game at mealtimes where we each get a guess at what each other's favourite part of the day was. XXX was his session with you!! You beat a movie, iPad time, finishing his book and reading on Gran's kindle!

Group Therapy Parent   |   2020

Hi Bridget

I just wanted to say thank you for helping XXX over this year, I think he has developed well and become better equipped at handling his emotions, and especially more able to identify issues. He said he was a bit sad to say goodbye, so that is a good sign!

Group Therapy Parent - Facebook - The Village   |   2020

Bridget O'Farrell workshops are incredible and so worth it.  Definitely helped one of my kids find her groove socially and understand herself better.

Group Therapy Parent - Facebook - The Village   |   2020

My youngest struggled during his primary school years to connect with his peers for various reasons.  In his case, a term's worth of sessions with Bridget O'Farrell made all the difference.  it helped him to understand group dynamics a lot better, and boosted his social skills to a point where he started having more success with his attempts to make friends.  Success breeds success and he ended Grade 7 well, with a loosely connected group of friends, all of whom gravitated to each other because they weren't interested in the typical primary school sports or activities. 

Group Therapy Parent   |   2019

Good Afternoon Bridget

The sessions with you and the rest of the group have been so beneficial for XXX, and I'm so grateful for them.

Group Member   |   2016

Hi Bridget

I'm not sure if you remember me but I attended social groups with you in Newlands between 2007 and 2008, when I was eleven and twelve. I am now twenty and I would like to thank you for the help you gave me with the issues I had at the time.  To be in an environment where my issues were the central focus and were taken seriously was a very unique experience when contrasted with the expectation from the world at large of being a happy, innocent child all the time. I remember finding common ground with XXX, another member of the group who struggled to open up, and I still see him to this day from time to time. The reason I am writing to you is I know that at the time it was far easier for me to be reserved or even standoffish than to actually open up, so I don't think I gave you any real feedback when the group came to an end, but even at the time I felt like I was stepping out of the protected world of childhood and into the world of real issues for that hour each week and eight years later, with a developed social life and social skills that I did not have then, I can truly appreciate what having that meant to me.

Many thanks and all the best.

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