Supporting School staff and promoting inclusion.
The traumatised children we support, generally approach the school day believing that they are responsible for ensuring that their needs are met rather than relying on the school staff and systems to do so. This can produce a large spectrum of behaviours that may range from extreme challenge to extreme compliance, both at the cost of a huge amount of anxiety. This anxiety often results in stress levels rising for activities and times of the school day usually thought to be low stress such as unstructured times of the day. There may also be a large discrepancy between behaviour in school and at home.
In a school consultation we provide staff with a background to attachment theory and focus on:
The child’s internal working model • Reactions to new people and situations
• Hypervigilance and hyper arousal • Control • Sense of self and shame • Dissociation • Peer relationships • Secondary trauma. Please add Transitions.
The approach is always to build a speculative, collaborative and reflective understanding of the child’s behaviours before agreeing strategies for responding to them.
The consultation may be a one-off to support understanding in the school. In more complex cases there may be a short programme of consultations to review and revise strategies agreed.
In many cases a consultation is also preparation for the school to take its vital place in the therapeutic circle around the child.