We are committed to supporting professionals in understanding how the negative behaviours of troubled children can enter cultures of organisations and be played out in managerial structures and staff teams. We want to help them think in different ways about how children and young people’s chaotic or unreliable circumstances impact their thoughts and actions, preventing them from making positive choices in both learning and being. We want them to consider how children and young people’s behaviours – which professionals may experience as challenging – are more likely to be a communication of fear and a need for self-protection.
What works ..is when professionals become empowered and confident in relating to troubled and challenging children by understanding what is being played out in front of them. By coming to rely on their own feelings and instincts and ‘their gut feelings’ they can respond appropriately and compassionately without feeling deskilled or fearful. Very often they do the same thing but they feel differently about the child. This is because the child feels truly seen, contained and understood which replicates the best experience of being a loved baby and infant who is kept safe, shown boundaries alongside unconditional love. Our aim is for professionals themselves to become the experts in terms of the children and families that they work with so that they no longer need to rely on other ‘experts’ who come and go, offer advice (good as it may be) but leave the problems behind them.
I really enjoyed this course. The contents for me have been much more useful than just an explanation of developmental stages… I have learned a great deal not only from Anne-Marie and Emma but also from the more experienced members of the group.