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Therapeutic care and education empower young people with a traumatic past to develop and flourish. Through our unique Therapeutic Parenting approach, children and young people are given the opportunity to overcome trauma, unlock their potential, and truly thrive.
Our learnings from the recent Therapeutic Parenting trainings have highlighted the importance of relationships and connection with those young people we care for and, of course, each other. We are now more aware of how relationships serve as the conduit for growth and change in every one of us, as we realise the importance of creating a sense of connectedness with those around us. After all, we are social creatures!
The sense of the importance of these relationships has been reiterated and experienced by us during our training as we spent time together feeling the sense of belonging and developing a deeper appreciation of the fact that residential child care really is ‘all about the relationship.’
Child Psychiatrist, Dr Bruce Perry says that for children and young people experiencing trauma, the best predictor of their present mental health and wellbeing is their current connectedness. That is powerful! We all need to feel a sense of belonging, yet modern technologies increasingly reduce opportunities for togetherness and to develop a sense of connectedness through the powerful medium of human relationships.
Although the use of Microsoft Teams during Covid was a bit of a lifeline, how many of us expressed the sense of loneliness of not being face to face with others? We simply missed the sense of belonging that comes from connection. Meanwhile, for our young people during lockdown, their homes were awash with creativity and interaction. The feedback from care teams showed that having more time together significantly improved the quality of relationships.
Having safe and secure relationships with others impacts on all areas of our lives. The connection we experience with others is a strong factor in building resilience and is key to early years development. The feeling of connectedness is strongly linked to better health and wellbeing. Such caring connections can impact positively on blood pressure, the immune system, and stress hormones. The more we learn, the clearer it becomes that connection is key.
The connection we experience with others is a strong factor in building resilience and is key to early years development.
We all experience connectedness differently, though, but we all need to feel a sense of belonging that comes from it. Some of us enjoy the positive feelings of being with others, whilst others may feel connected to one or two people, or a cause or activity that is meaningful to them. As we look at the zones of resilience as part of our Therapeutic Parenting training, we realise this.
Our focus is continuing to develop a stronger understanding of why connection is important and ensuring that we actively consider how we can improve connectedness with those for whom we care and with each other. Embracing the Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, and Empathy of Dr. Dan Hughes’ PACE Model is not a bad place to start.
We are a residential child care specialist with over 18 years’ experience in supporting young people to unlock brighter futures. Our mission is to lead the way in offering bespoke therapeutic care and education to children across the UK through a unique trauma-informed practice. To learn more about our Therapeutic Parenting approach, please click here.