"Dan Hughes made so much sense for practice... I can’t wait to further read and attend more."
"Dan Hughes is brilliant - thought-provoking and emotional presentation."
(Delegates, previous conferences)
This day offers delegates a unique chance to learn from an international guest trainer, prolific author and world leading child therapy clinician, Dr Dan Hughes. The use of PACE is a deeply moving and highly effective way of working with troubled children and teenagers. The trauma expert Bessel Van Der Kolk asks the question 'How do we get to the place where deeper stuff sits?' PACE certainly gets to that place in ways that enable the child or young person to feel safe enough and motivated enough to want to process their painful past and then to move on and thrive, no longer blighted by years of emotional baggage. The day will enable delegates to understand the profound therapeutic change components of PACE, illustrated throughout with moving case material and film footage.
PACE means PLAY, ACCEPTANCE, and CURIOSITY AND EMPATHY
PLAY/PLAYFULNESS: tohelp the child feel safe enough to talk about their inner life At the outset of an important conversation about a painful life event, playfulness means creating an atmosphere of interest and fun to establish the psychological safety, crucial to any therapeutic alliance. It means using a light tone of voice, as in story telling and sharing fun, laughter and play. When effective, the child’s brain will then trigger anti-anxiety, well-being neurochemicals, engendering trust and enabling the child to feel safe with the adult. Attachment playfulness can bring closeness without the scary parts of being close to someone!
ACCEPTANCE of the child’s inner life This is about accepting, without judgment or evaluation, the child’s inner life, and so their underlying psychological pain, feelings and thoughts that fuel their troubled behaviour.
CURIOSITY about the child’s inner life, which promotes the child’s own curiosity The adult stays curious about the child’s behaviour, interactions and relationships, conveying a wish to understand, often by wondering out loud about the meaning behind their behaviour (without expecting answers). This is totally different to situations where adults use a cross or irritated tone of voice asking “Why did you do that?” and expecting the child to respond, which often triggers shame, so the child closes down.
With the adult’s curious open stance, the child is far more likely, to learn to reflect on their own inner life and so in turn become interested in it, developing the capacities for psychological thinking and mentalisation... 'The child can discover that her behavior does not reflect something bad inside her, but rather something [painful that she comes to realise could previously] only be expressed through her behaviour.' (www.ddpnetwork.org)
EMPATHY for the child’s inner life Through empathic reflection, the adult shows the child that their inner life is important and acknowledges in a felt way, the pain of the child’s past and present life experiences. The adult conveys to the child that they will not have to deal with that pain all on their alone. The child experiences the adult as doing their very best to understand how things are and have been, and helps the child make sense of and better manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviour.
Speaker: Dr Dan Hughes
Dr Dan Hughes has achieved international acclaim for his profoundly transformative therapeutic work with the most troubled and traumatised children and young people. Dan’s empathic way of relating to children and young people can bring about major changes often in a few sessions. He is a Clinical Psychologist and author of many books including Building the Bonds of Attachment - Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children and Principles of Attachment-Focused Parenting. He has decades of ground-breaking and profoundly moving clinical practice with very traumatised adolescents who have moved into violence. Click on the book images for more info/to buy.
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