I am passionate about supporting parents, especially those with children that have suffered from adversity in their lives. Parenting is the most important, and one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Our understanding of child development has grown so rapidly in recent years that saying the key to world peace and sustainability lies in the way we collectively relate to our children is not an overstatement.
In 2013 I set up a service for parents affected by Domestic Abuse for a local, Cornwall wide charity and ran it for nearly 4 years. I therefor have extensive experience of working with families whose children have witnessed or suffered abuse, neglect, trauma and loss. Sadly this can often mean they suffer from developmental trauma and the latest research indicates that these children in particular need a more empathic, therapeutic parenting approach to help them heal and build trust in forming close relationships. Traditional ‘reward-punishment’ behavioural strategies do not tend to work as well with these children.
My most recent training was in a therapy called Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP). It was developed by an American psychologist called Dan Hughes and I am in the process of becoming certified in this approach. DDP is for adults who have relationship difficulties with their children and my work with Parents/Carers alone, with their child together (dyadic) or in Therapeutic Group Work Programmes is informed by this therapy. A broader term for the dyadic work, is Attachment Focused Family Therapy (AFFT) and it is suitable for birth, foster and adoptive parents/carers.
If your child is displaying any of the following then you are not alone –
these are some of the distressing but sadly common worries that
traumatised children can present with:
ANGER AND AGGRESSION
ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS PARENT/CARER AND /OR SIBLINGS
SUBSTANCE MISUSE AND SELF HARM
DEPRESSION, STRESS AND ANXIETY
PROBLEMS AT SCHOOL AND WITH PEER RELATIONSHIPS
SUIICIDAL THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIOURS
LYING AND STEALING
"If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children; and if they grow up in their natural innocence , we won’t have to struggle; we won’t have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until all the corners of the world are covered with that love and peace for which consciously or unconsciously the whole world is hungering"