Therapeutic Care Blog

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

February 9, 2021 |

Achieving Effective Supervision – Games That Supervisors Play

In the previous blog, we discussed how easy it is for the supervisor/supervisee relationship to be consciously or sub-consciously ambushed by power/defensive game play. Kadushin (1968) described games as repetitive patterns arising between supervisor and supervisee, where one or both players consciously or subconsciously adopt a strategy to maximise safety and minimise potential threat. Even …

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February 3, 2021 |

Neuroscience Meets Leadership

In this blog, I explore the relationship between neuroscience and leadership. The latest research in neuroscience tells us that our neurobiology is what drives our behaviour and defines how we, as leaders, make meaning, solve problems, and carry out tasks with others. First, a quick refresher on two critical areas of the brain that affect …

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December 10, 2020 |

Understanding vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue

Research shows how profoundly influenced we are by other people’s emotional states and how rapidly our interpersonal affective responses occur, and how dynamically our physiology responds to others’ emotional states. This is why trauma can be emotionally contagious. I have experienced it personally. When I was working doing assessments of very violent and sexually abusive …

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November 19, 2020 |

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly’ – but not for everyone

It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the fun and happiness of Christmas and forget that, for others, the season isn’t necessarily a joyful one. For some the young people in the ITC system, Christmas has not been a happy time and can bring back difficult memories. Arguments, violence or aggression in the …

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October 2, 2020 |

The Healing Power of Friendship

“A friend is someone who helps you up when you’re down, and if they can’t, they lay down beside you and listen.” Winnie the Pooh Can the friendships and connections that can develop in Intensive Residential Care be nurtured and grown rather than feared? I would like you to take a moment to think back …

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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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