Healthy relationships in the early years facilitate optimal brain integration and development and are correlated with mental health. However, when children experience abuse, neglect, or multiple caregivers, the high level of stress associated with these experiences changes the architecture of their brain and makes it difficult for them to establish relationships. In the absence of good enough relationships, these children are at risk for neurological, cognitive, emotional and behavioural challenges that effect their ongoing mental health and long-term wellbeing.
When these children experience environments that provide appropriate attuned and sensitive responses, they are able to learn how to engage and benefit from the dyadic experiences provided by their carers, educators or helpers. Other children who have been much more traumatized and compromised in those aspects of their development often have much greater difficulty responding and will require an even higher level of support and intervention.
This workshop combines contemporary understanding of brain development and the core principles of Dyadic Developmental Practice (DDP) to guide professionals, biological parents, and carers in how to best support and heal a child who cannot trust relationships. This method has also proven to be effective in the education system for teachers working with children exhibiting challenging behaviour due to insecure attachment.
By the end of this course participants will:
Understand how toxic levels of stress impact brain development
Understand insecure and disorganized attachment patterns and the relevance for ongoing development
Understand the hidden vulnerability behind challenging behavior and how that behavior might be adaptive
Learn how to use Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy (P.A.C.E.) to help a child regulate their emotions, make sense of their world in less shame-based ways and to learn how to trust relationships
Discover how to develop and encourage secure attachment styles within the children they are caring for or working with
Veronica George is a Northland based registered Psychologist who splits her time between training, consultancy, supervision and case work in the area of child trauma and attachment. She is New Zealand’s first (and only) certified practitioner of Dyadic Development Practice (DDP) and she utilises this framework in her therapeutic work with children, adults, and families, and also in her training and consultancy within the education health and community sectors to promote trauma-informed practice.
Veronica speaks with a contemporary, practical, and uniquely New Zealand focused perspective in relation to this topic which ensure this workshop is one not to be missed for all professionals working at the coal face with children and young people with trauma backgrounds.