Luna Children’s Charity was founded in 2008 by psychotherapist and child rights specialist Carlotta Raby. The Charity was established primarily in response to the great need evident in post-genocide Rwanda for a child-centered approach to trauma therapy. Carlotta’s work in Rwanda highlighted the fundamental importance of treating the effects of trauma on children and young people whose lives had been torn apart by violence and conflict.
Here’s how it all began…
Whilst advocating for the rights of young people with mental health difficulties in the UK, Carlotta became involved in direct project work with a group of traumatised children and young people in London. This diverse group had all suffered abuse or neglect and came from households where domestic violence was ever present. The children and young people were regarded as untreatable by existing services and it soon became clear that a new approach was very much needed!
Carlotta offered these children emotional support and mentoring whilst listening carefully to what they had to say about their lives. Through her daily interaction and investment in these children and young people Carlotta showed that a more holistic, integrated arts and play methodology was necessary in order for them to feel comfortable enough to talk about and process their feelings and past experiences.
As a consequence of this finding and with the help and input of the children and young people she was working with, Carlotta developed Children’s Accelerated Trauma Technique (CATT); a therapeutic play/arts based technique that allowed children to talk about their experiences in a contained environment, process the traumatic memory and then re script it in order to feel more positive and empowered to move on with their lives.
“Carlotta Raby has taken many elements, that have now been shown through research to be effective and necessary in a PTSD treatment, and created a therapy that can easily be applied with children and young people worldwide”
– UK therapist & CATT trainer Robin Bennett.
CATT in Rwanda…
The next step for Carlotta and the CATT technique came in 2006 when she was invited to go to Rwanda. A course had been set up to teach trauma counselling to a local Rwandan NGO (REACH Rwanda), who worked in communities on peace and reconciliation post-genocide. The NGO had specifically requested support in treating traumatised children. Carlotta travelled to Rwanda and shared CATT with an overwhelmingly positive response from participants.
Carlotta’s second visit to Rwanda was also incredibly successful, with even the children’s workers staying up late into the night talking about their own experiences for the first time since the genocide. The word of CATT was out and the need for more training was too great for one person to accommodate! When invited to return to Rwanda for a third time, Carlotta decided the most effective way of sharing CATT was through a training model that could be monitored, evaluated and taught by trained trainers…
…And so Luna Children’s Charity was born!
By providing access to trauma treatment, Luna Children’s Charity aims to enable children to recover from the debilitating psychological effects of violence, disasters and abuse. We passionately believe that these experiences should not be allowed to define childhoods, no matter how sparse the resources available. Through our sustainable model, we want to create a world where effective, child-centered treatment is available for every child who has experienced trauma, no matter where in the world they live.
MEET THE TEAM!
In addition to the people below, Luna’s activities are support by a number of volunteers with specialist skills who are thanked and named in our Annual Reports: Annual Report and Accounts 2015
Stella Charman – Executive Chair of Trustees
More on Stella
Jenny Dewar – Trustee – International Advisor
More on Jenny
Brenda Graham – Trustee – Programme Delivery
More on Brenda
Martine Petetin – Trustee – Governance
Martine has a background as a corporate lawyer and over thirty years experience in large global companies.
More on Martine
Philip Sarell – Trustee
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Dom Plant – Clinical Operations Manager
More on Dom
Lucy Ferguson – Special Advisor – Marketing and Communications
More on Lucy
Martyn Legg – Treasurer
Martyn has over 30 years of finance experience obtained in organisations within various different business sectors ranging from large and small construction, insurance underwriting and a Finnish paper supplier through to a housing association and a charity.
More on Martyn
Carlotta Raby – Luna’s Founder and Creator of CATT
Carlotta Raby is a psychotherapist (with a specialism in PTSD) and children’s rights advisor. Following several national children’s rights roles for Young Minds, the Mental Health Foundation and the Evidence Based Practice Unit, she created the CATT protocol (combining children’s rights with a cognitive arts based post-traumatic stress treatment).