About Us

Sarah Lloyd

The BUSS Model has been developed by Sarah Lloyd, a nationally-recognised Occupational Therapist who has developed a new paradigm for understanding and working with children with developmental trauma.

About Sarah

My introduction to the field was as  an Occupational Therapist (1985 – 1988) and, after three years of working in adult mental health services in York and Leeds, I have spent the rest of my career working  in CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) teams in England and Scotland. When I was working in the Fife CAMHS (2005-2013), I was given the chance to develop a specialist CAMHS/Social Work team working with children who were in foster care in Fife, and this became the Springfield Project. It was during this time that I developed the BUSS model.

I moved back to England in 2013 and I was pleased to be able to divide my time between the Oakdale Centre, where I was able to continue the development of  the BUSS model, and Leeds CAMHS service, where I led the ADHD assessment service and worked in the Leeds Eating Disorders Team. In 2018 I was seconded, by the Children’s Commissioner, to the Therapeutic Social Work Team, as well as One Adoption West Yorkshire. Alongside this, I was able to continue to develop the BUSS clinical practise, implement it into the education framework of Leeds, and train staff in this method. You can read about Leeds Children’s Commissioner Jane Mischenko’s thoughts on this work  here

I completed my MA in Psychoanalytic Studies in 1991 before going on to complete  a number of clinical training studies. These include: Play Therapy (University Of York, BAPT (British Association of Play Therapists)), Filial Therapy, the Webster Stratton parenting approach, the Solihull parenting approach, Parent Infant Psychotherapy training (Anna Freud Centre), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Adults and Children (Accredited Practitioner) and Sensory Integration training (L1). I am currently seconded to the fostering and adoption services within Leeds CAMHS, and I lead the BUSS team in partnership with the Oakdale Centre.

My first book, published in 2016, Improving Sensory Processing in Traumatised Children, was written for parents, carers and professionals to introduce them to the BUSS model and help them to think about whether this way of thinking might be helpful to their child. My second book, published in 2020, Building Sensorimotor Systems in Children with Developmental Trauma: A Model for Practice, is a more detailed look at the BUSS model and its application. There is more information about these books here.

Through my years of experience and the time spent developing the BUSS model, I am confident in the effectiveness this style of psychotherapy can be for children, parents, carers and medical professionals. In order to publicise the BUSS model, I have  written a series of articles for ‘Adoption Today’ magazine (2019), and submitted an article (co-written with Katie Wrench) to a journal that is focused on social work. I am also collaborating on a series of papers to be published in peer-reviewed journals, focused on the impact of the BUSS model on children within adoptive and foster care. Vicky Holland, who is an adoptive parent, and I are presenting at the Adoption UK Conference in 2020.

Professional Registration
HCPC – OT16627
Membership of Professional Bodies:
Royal College of Occupational Therapists
EMDR UK and Ireland

Our vision is to reach parents, carers and medical professionals so that one day consideration of a child’s foundational sensorimotor systems will be a core part of the assessment of every child who comes into care. We are passionate about the difference the BUSS model can make to the lives of children, young people and their families.

In order to achieve this, professional training in the BUSS model is key, alongside direct case work with children and families.  Our intention is that the BUSS model can enhance the practise of professionals working with children who have been, or who are, in adoptive or foster care. Rather than subvert existing psychotherapeutic practises, our aim is to utilise the BUSS model in parallel with the skills and expertise of professionals working with children. We have developed a training programme for professionals who wish to develop their skills in using the BUSS model, places for which can be found in our training section. In order to maintain high standards and clarity, without a detriment to the children and families in partnership,  all accredited practitioners must have their BUSS work supervised by a BUSS Consultant.

Parents are the experts on their children, and the teams working with the BUSS model feel privileged to work alongside families; offering their lens and expertise about child development and trauma to the parents’ knowledge and understanding of their child. It is families, alongside therapeutic care, that can repair under-developed systems in children. The task set to BUSS teams is to give parents the understanding and skills so that they can work together with therapists to develop a programme for each child that is right for them and for their family.

In addition to providing direct therapeutic care, the BUSS model promotes support networks between families and parents to act as supporters for each other. As of writing, two parents, Vicky Holland and Lindsey Champion, act as mentors for other families as part of the BUSS team. They both possess additional training in the BUSS model, as well as experiential training, and welcome other parents and carers becoming involved in these mentoring roles. You can read more about Vicky and Lindsey here.


Over the course of the last three years, the Oakdale Centre’s BUSS team, based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, have worked with over a hundred families in therapeutic care for their children. The impact of helping families to understand the effect that their child’s early experiences has had on their bodily regulation has been significant.

To facilitate the highest quality of therapeutic care we have been training five mental health professionals in the BUSS model to work as part of our North Yorkshire team. As well as lending their wealth of experience and expertise, chiefly in Child Psychology and Psychotherapy and Occupational Health, they will also be equipped with a toolset forged from the BUSS method. We’re also working with professionals from educational backgrounds, as well as an early years specialist, which allows an understanding of BUSS to be disseminated into educational establishments. The BUSS team are always open to people who want to get involved. See the Training tab below, or send an email to: info@BUSSmodel.org.


2020 sees the beginning of BUSS training for professionals. Having worked with Birmingham Children’s Services over the last two years, training over two hundred professionals and parents in their fostering and adoption teams, they are proud to be the first authority to commission Level One training for key staff and parents in their service, beginning in September 2020.

Another institution that has started training in the BUSS model is Calderdale Virtual School, having started the year with a BUSS model day for over one hundred staff from education, CAMHS, social care, foster care, portage work and fostering and adoption services. Level One and Level Two training will also be provided during the course of the year.

Sarah Lloyd, the primogenitor of the BUSS model, has done introductory training for several thousand people, chiefly from CAMHS, adoption and fostering agencies and education. She will be hosting future webinars centred on the BUSS model from September 2020 onwards.

After 4 years of working with the team at Adoption Plus in Milton Keynes, introducing them to the BUSS model and offering training through their training department, we’re delighted to be planning a Level One Training there in Spring 2021. Other upcoming trainings are all detailed here.



Calderdale Virtual School has generously funded a pilot of  an early intervention BUSS programme for pre-school children who are in adoptive or foster care. Through our combined research and funding we have been able to partner with Meadowfield Primary School in Leeds, creating a small team that includes specialists from educational backgrounds and a social work team working from Meadowfield.

Piloting this work has provided an opportunity to:

Through this Pilot, children in need of support were followed up into their host schools. Support was given to schools, and work was continued on building sensorimotor systems.

One cohort of this intervention has been run, and evaluation is being conducted by University College London.  Initial results look promising, funding has been agreed for this project to continue, and the starting age of the children has been reduced to two years. It is hoped that this work could be developed in other areas, offering a combination of training and joint work.




Alex Clark, Associate Headteacher at Meadowfield School:

“BUSS has had a much wider impact in our school than the school readiness programme. Staff who were involved in LEAPlets began to identify children who were looked after or vulnerable across the school whose foundation sensorimotor systems were underdeveloped and who were really struggling with the demands of the classroom and playground. We’d noticed how much they seemed to struggle in terms of attention and focus, but started to look more closely at what their core stability was like – whether part of the problem was that they were having to use a lot of energy just sitting in their chairs or writing. We worked with Sarah to develop a ‘Core Body Builders’ group that took in children across the classes in key stage two, and started working in school to fill in the gaps in their foundation sensorimotor systems. We were quite shocked to see how many gaps there were for some children, and really pleased that we’d decided to pay attention to it and are seeing real benefits to this approach. We’re also surprised by how intuitive it now feels and we wonder why we didn’t know this before!

In the early years we trained all staff in BUSS and made a decision to take out all desks and chairs, so that their whole environment involved floor-based play and learning. PE is completely geared around BUSS and helping to build good bodily regulation as a platform for learning, friendships and play.”


Jancis Andrew, Head of the Virtual School:

“Investing in this work to realise a positive impact on educational outcomes for children who have experienced care is something I envision becoming an embedded part of the ‘offer’ for looked after children in the early years.”

The Children’s Commissioner in Leeds, where Sarah is based for her NHS work, wrote:

“In just a short period of time Sarah has had a tremendous impact in Leeds in developing and testing out the BUSS model. It is one of the best decisions I have made to support her secondment.  The BUSS model and impact this is having is recognised by our strategic boards where she has presented her findings.”

All therapy is done in partnership with the Oakdale Centre who are an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), meeting their robust professional and ethical standards.

In addition, all practitioners working at the Oakdale Centre and on the BUSS programme are required to be members of their relevant professional body and adhere to their standards and guidelines.  All parent mentors have DBS clearing suitable for their role in supporting families.

The Oakdale Centre is an accredited provider of adoption support services by all fifteen local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber.

We want everyone who contacts us or comes to us for support to feel comfortable with how any personal information shared with us will be looked after. This Privacy Policy sets out how we collect, use and store personal information (this means any information that identifies or could identify you) and how this complies with the requirements of GDPR, and all relevant data protection legislation. We conform with professional guidelines laid out by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Any personally identifiable information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

How we collect information about you

We collect information in the following ways:

When you interact with us directly: This could be if you register with us to attend training or an event organised by BUSS, if you visit us for therapy, or otherwise provide us with your personal information.

When you visit our website: We gather general information (not personally identifiable information) which might include which pages are visited most often and which services, events or information are of most interest to our web site visitors.

Information we collect and how we use it

Personal Information

The personal information BUSS at Oakdale collects includes details such as the name, date of birth, email address, postal address, telephone number and sometimes also the credit or debit card details of our clients and customers (if you are booking a place on a training course or paying privately for therapy provided by BUSS at Oakdale). Personal information may also include details shared with us during the course of any therapy provided by BUSS at Oakdale.

We use this information:

Sharing your Information

The personal information we hold about you will only be used by our staff and any affiliated practitioner(s) involved with the provision of any therapy you receive. This is done in order to best support you and the clinical management of your case.

Any information you provide to BUSS or Oakdale will be treated in confidence and we do not pass any details to anyone else without express permission other than in exceptional circumstances. For example, if we become aware that someone presents a clear and serious risk of harming themselves or others.

We will never sell or share your personal information with any third party organisations so that they can contact you for any marketing activities.

Keeping your information safe

We take our responsibility to look after your information seriously. We maintain physical, technical and organisational policies and procedures that protect all personal information we hold from improper access, use, alteration, destruction or loss.

We only retain personal information for as long as is reasonable and necessary for the relevant activity. In circumstances where someone has received therapy with Oakdale we comply with all statutory obligations relating to the proper time-frames for storage of clinical information.

Your rights

You have rights in respect of the personal information we hold about you:

If you have any queries about your case or would like further information about our privacy practices, please contact our Data Protection Officer by emailing dpo@oakdalecentre.org

If you wish to make a complaint about how Oakdale has handled your personal data you can do so by contacting dpo@oakdalecentre.org or writing to us at Oakdale, 49 Valley Drive, Harrogate, HG2 0JH.

You can also make a complaint to to the data protection supervisory authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office, https://ico.org.uk/

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google Inc.  Google collects data from every website visit / visitor but it does not store any personally identifiable information. Your IP address is used to determine your physical location but the IP address itself is not data that can be accessed through Google Analytics; all data is aggregated and anonymised.

For more information, see Google Privacy Policy

If you do not wish this website to store any cookies during your visit, the documentation for your web browser will provide you with instructions on how to disable cookies.  Please note that may prevent you from taking full advantage of this website.

Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of any website linking to ours or websites that we provide links to.

By using the website, you are agreeing to the terms of our Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with this Privacy Policy, please do not use our website.


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