Therapeutic Care Blog

The CETC blog tells the stories behind 'what works' in Intensive Therapeutic Care

August 11, 2020 |

The role of praise in working with young people

Traumatised children tend to receive little praise, and therefore, don’t respond well to praise. We can see each of our daily interactions with each of the young people we care for as bids for connection.  By choosing to turn toward, to turn away, or turn against each other’s bid for connection and opportunity for change. …

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July 15, 2020 |

Understanding and Supporting Young People Who Self-Harm in Residential Care

Some of the young people we care for in the ITC programs deal with emotional distress and pain by hurting themselves physically. Young people hurting themselves is distressing to them and to those who care for them. ITC staff may experience a range of emotions, including anger, sadness, helplessness, guilt, shame or disgust. In response …

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July 8, 2020 |

The Intensive Therapeutic Care Dance

Therapeutic residential work can be conceptualised as a dance. It works best when therapeutic workers display therapeutic presence, are in sync with the young person, can making meaning of the young person’s behaviour and responses and work in a climate that supports therapeutic care. At its best, therapeutic residential work is a process of synchronised …

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June 22, 2020 |

The Role of Supervision in the Trauma-Informed Journey

The intention of trauma-informed practice and care is an increased understanding of how present behaviours and difficulties can be understood in the context of past trauma. The approach offers a framework for a common set of values, knowledge and language. Trauma-informed care (TIC) can also be applied to understanding and protecting the workforce from secondary …

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June 15, 2020 |

Making Sense of Complex and Challenging Behaviours

An inability to understand trauma-based behaviours often sees young people ‘labelled’ in ways that can create a ‘spiral of negativity’. A trauma-informed approach orients us to be curious about what is going on for the young person rather than seeing their behaviour as separate from what has happened to them. This is one of the …

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June 2, 2020 |

Myth Busting Child Sexual Exploitation

When it comes to the sexual exploitation of children, most Australians tend to view it as a problem that exists somewhere else. However, those of us working in Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC) know that this not the case. The sexual exploitation of young people in Out of Home Care (OOHC) is an issue of significant …

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April 6, 2020 |

Safety From The Outside To The Inside

“Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.” Bessel Van der Kolk At the recent Therapeutic Specialist’s forum, there was lots of discussion about the concept of physical and relational safety in Intensive Therapeutic Care (ITC). …

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April 1, 2020 |

Cultivating Curiosity in Therapeutic Residential Care

Albert Einstein, (a pretty smart person!), wrote: “I have no special talents; I am only passionately curious” Curiosity is something that has excited me my whole life. I am sure a lot of you share my fascination and enthusiasm for curiosity. There seems to be wide support for the idea that we work with a …

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March 4, 2020 |

Staying on Your Game as a Therapeutic Specialist

What follows is a mixture of tips, reminders, encouragement and hopefully a little bit of inspiration. Start with your “why” – Knowing your why is a key essential to success in your role as a therapeutic specialist. As Simon Sinek’s research into leadership has shown, the why comes first. The why is your origin of …

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February 18, 2020 |

Relationship-based care is key to recovery and change

For recovery and healing to occur in therapeutic residential care, there must be synergy or “congruence” between residential workers, the organisational culture and all other stakeholders in meeting the needs of the child or young person.  The work of James Anglin (2002), Sandra Bloom (2005) and Bruce Perry (2006) has been highly influential in space, …

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