About us

KAREN-PHOTOSHOOT-5Dr Karen Treisman, MBE, is a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist and trauma specialist who has worked in the National Health System and children’s social services for several years. Karen has also worked cross-culturally in both Africa and Asia with groups ranging from former child soldiers to survivors of the Rwandan Genocide. She also is the author of 11 books/ workbooks, including the bestselling book, “The therapeutic treasure box”, and of 5 sets of therapeutic card decks.

Karen has extensive experience in the areas of trauma, parenting, adversity (ACE’s) and attachment, and works clinically using a range of therapeutic approaches with families, systems, and children in or on the edge of care, unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people, and adopted children.

Karen also specialises in supporting organisations and systems to move towards becoming, and to sustain adversity, culturally and, trauma-informed, infused, and responsive practice; and is a consultant to numerous organizations around the world including social services, health services, schools, nursery schools, the police, prisons, charities, residential homes, churches, and many many more. This work focuses on creating meaningful and multi-layered cultural and paradigm shift across whole systems. This was the focus of Dr Treisman’s Winston Churchill Fellowship Karen was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship Travel Award which involved visited several places in the USA to further study whole system and organisational approaches to trauma-informed and trauma-responsive care ( https://www.wcmt.org.uk/sites/default/files/report-documents/Treisman%20K%202018%20Final.pdf ) and this topic is the focus of Dr Treisman’s bestselling books (2 volumes) entitled “A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organizations: A Ready-to-Use Resource For Trauma, Adversity, and Culturally Informed, Infused and Responsive Systems”


In addition to holding a doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Karen has undergone a range of specialist training courses including in EMDR, Narrative Therapy, Narrative Exposure Therapy, Trauma-focused CBT, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, Systemic Psychotherapy, Video Interaction Guidance, Sensory Approaches, Theraplay, amongst others.

Karen has previously worked in both Milton Keynes’s and Kensington and Chelsea’s Children in care and fostering services, and within the National Implementation Service for evidence-based interventions for “Looked after children, children on the edge of care, and children in custody” at the Michael Rutter Centre in the Maudsley Hospital; and as Clinical Lead for a court assessment and intensive intervention team for children on the edge of care and in proceedings in Islington.

Karen is  an external consultant, trainer, speaker, and assessor to a variety of UK and International local authorities/child welfare, health care teams, schools, charities, and organisations including Barnardos, PAC-UK, AdoptionPlus, BAAT, Pause, Action Trauma, Candle Trust, Grandparents Plus, Three Steps Ireland, MedicaCPD, and the Fostering Network. Karen is also an expert witness and regularly undergoes a variety of assessments for court.

Additionally, Karen is also an associate editor for the Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma and a reviewer for the Journal of Adoption and Fostering; and for several book publishers.

Karen was also awarded the 2018 Psychology Professional of the Year Award for Excellence in Attachment and Trauma; and Youth Psychology Professional of the Year 2020. Karen was awarded an MBE for outstanding services for children and is on the Queens 2020 Honours list.

Karen regularly attends and presents at local, national, and international trauma, parenting, and attachment conferences (See the events tab on this website). Karen is also a TEDx speaker on the power of relationships and viewing behaviour as communication (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTsPdMqVwBg).

Karen is the author of 11 books including “Working with children and adolescents who have experienced relational and developmental trauma” (Routledge, 2016) http://amzn.to/2txQefC; and the best-selling book- “A Therapeutic Treasure Box for Working with Children and Adolescents with Developmental Trauma: Creative techniques and activities”  http://amzn.to/2nOIPlZ). Karen is also the author of the “A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organizations: A Ready-to-Use Resource For Trauma, Adversity, and Culturally Informed, Infused and Responsive Systems”. Brochure of the book found here- LOW RES – A Treasure Box for Creating Trauma-Informed Organizations – Brochure Available to order- https://rb.gy/unc5dz

Karen is also the designer of “A Therapeutic Treasure Deck: Sentence-completion and Feelings Cards”. http://amzn.to/2sug6V0; and “A Therapeutic Treasure Deck: Grounding, Regulating, Coping, and Soothing Cards” ( http://amzn.to/2taWYRp); and the Parenting Patchwork cards. Karen is also the designer of Neon the Ninja toy and workbook- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q86WADrAF30 ; Gilly the Giraffe (Self-esteem & confidence), Cleo the Croc (Children who have been hurt and learned to be afraid to let people close, Presley the Pug (Emotional regulation, relaxation, calm, mindfulness, and finding an emotional safe place), Ollie the Octopus (grief, bereavement and loss), and Binnie the Baboon (Anxiety, fear, stress, and worry).

Karen has 2 forthcoming resources being released this year- the therapeutic treasure deck of strengths cards, and a card deck focusing on trauma, stress, and survival modes. 

As a response to requests and the changing needs of the pandemic, Karen has also created a range of online modules- with several more coming.


Some personal interests:

Besides being incredibly passionate about being a psychologist, making positive changes in the areas of trauma and beyond, and supporting organisational changes. Karen is a huge traveller. Pre the pandemic some recent trips included Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Togo, Madagascar, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, India- the list goes on and on. Karen loves an adventure activity whether it be paragliding, hot air ballooning, horse riding, sky diving, quad biking etc. Karen also loves doing anything creative and arty as a hobby especially resin, mosaic, collage, and glass fusion. Karen is a big animal fan- particularly dogs, horses, monkeys, giraffes, elephants, and lions. Karen is also a movie and TV geek. Just a flavour:)


Safe Hands and Thinking Minds specialises in the areas of attachment, parenting, trauma, child protection, adoption, and fostering; however we also have a range of associates who are experts in wider specialities such as eating disorders, motivational interviewing, neuropsychological assessments, autism, children exhibiting behaviour of a sexual nature, and school-based therapy. Therefore, please contact us to enquire further.