Therapeutic Care Blog

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

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 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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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 30, 2020 |

Leaving Care: What we know and don’t know about outcomes for young people

The research is clear: young people do not fare well when they leave care. Study after study, both in Australia and internationally, tells us that our care leavers are more likely to be unemployed, homeless, experience poverty, mental health concerns, and as I argued in my previous blog, are at far greater risk of entering …

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March 23, 2020 |

They came to us for care and left with a criminal record

There is a nexus between living in Out of Home Care (OOHC) and being involved with the criminal justice system. In NSW children and young people in OOHC have been found to be overly represented in the NSW Children’s Court, with estimates ranging from 19% to 34%(Indig, Vecchiato, Haysom, Belby, Carter, Champion & Whitton, 2011). …

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