National Centre News October 2016. By John Diamond

A warm welcome as always to our newest members: Lisa Harker (CEO the Art Room, UK), Myrna McNitt (Independent Social Work Consultant and Board of International Foster Care Organisation, USA), Beth Bradford (International Child Protection Consultant, USA), Dr Andrea Hathazi (Associate Professor, Psychology & Education, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania), Heather Geddes (Educational Therapist, UK), Mark Rogers (Future Focused Care, UK), Simon Benjamin (CEO, Lighthouse Foundation, Australia), Damien McLellan (Child Care Consultant, Ireland) and Johanna Ruoff (Founder and Director Ein Platz für Kinder, Germany).

The National Centre becomes the International Centre

As you can see from our new members, over the last few years we have been forging links with a number of international organisations working to meet the needs of traumatised children and young people. This has enabled us to nurture strong relationships with colleagues in Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, U.S.A, Moldova, Romania and Australia. After our last Advisory group meeting at which the idea was tabled, Luca Mingarelli (Italy) wrote:

Dear John and all NC colleagues (please John could you share this email with the others colleagues?!).
In my role of President of Rosa dei Venti ( and as President of il Nodo Group ( I am delighted to say you that if you will decide -as i hope- to change the name from National to International, I will support you.
All the best, Luca.

Damien McLellan
Damien McLellan

Since then conversations with international colleagues have led to the appointment of our lead person in Ireland – meet Damien McLellan, MPhil, MSc (Psychotherapy), IAHIP ECIP. Damien is a Child Care Consultant and Psychotherapist, and Course Director of the MA in Therapeutic Child Care at Carlow College. Damien is the author of ‘ADHD a psychodynamic perspective’ published in the current edition of the TCJ.

Our lead in Germany and Switzerland is Johanna Ruoff who is the founder and Director of the German Organisation (

Johanna Ruoff
Johanna Ruoff

We help traumatised children. We opened special shelters (known as Mattis Castles) where these children are given a loving welcome and a thorough diagnosis. The German Youth Welfare Office sends us children aged between four and twelve who have been abused or mistreated in their family environment. The children often remain silent about their experiences, and are often aggressive and extremely disturbed. The ‘Mattis Castle’ shelter can accommodate up to ten children who usually spend six months there.
Our job at the shelter is to find out what the children have suffered, based on their own symptoms and with the help of child psychologists and trained personnel. As a result, by closely liaising with the authorities concerned, we can find appropriate facilities to take in the children after their stay at the ‘Mattis Castle’.

If you have any thoughts or comments on this newsletter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

John Diamond
[email protected]
01865 300202

N.B. Please make sure that you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, for the latest updates.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.