Trauma-informed relationship based recovery reflection tool
“Childhood trauma has the potential to interrupt the normal physical, physiological, emotional, mental and intellectual development, of children and can have wide-ranging, and often life-long implications for their health and wellbeing.” (Van der Kolk, 2007)
Children and young people can recover from adverse childhood experiences. However, this requires that the adults they live with and/or work with to commit themselves to a safe and trustworthy relationship. They require adults who can patiently repeat experiences of attunement while holding them in mind and respectfully valuing them as worthy. Children and young people also need adults who can both co-regulate with them and teach them about feelings and their inner world. They also require adults who are well informed and who actively take care of themselves and who display resilience and have a sense of hope in the future. Children and young people need to be connected to their culture and spiritual traditions and experience cultural pride. What follows is a resource to help you reflect on your capacity to help children and young people recover from trauma and as Ghaye (2000) put it. “Reflective practice offers us a way of trying to make sense of the uncertainty in our workplaces and the courage to work competently and ethically at the edge of order and chaos…” (p.7) You can access the practice tool here:
The adults who live or work with traumatised children and young people can either add to their difficulties or support their pathway to recovery. They can help them recover or they can confirm their negative beliefs about the world and people within it. Reflective practice is ‘learning through and from experience towards gaining new insights of self and practice’ (Finlay, 2008). Done well and effectively, reflective practice can be an enormously powerful tool to examine and transform your practice. Reflective practice develops your ability to understand how the child or young person’s experience life and helps you to better meet their needs. Reflective practice helps you to remain focussed on the sensitivities and needs of children and young people. That focus is who you live and work with. As a consequence, you increase the chance of them recovering and growing into healthy adults in their own right.
Finlay, L. (2008) Reflecting on Reflective Practice. The Open University Ghaye, T. (2000) Into the reflective mode: bridging the stagnant moat. Reflective Practice 1(1) 5-9.