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About the Conference
The capacity for emotional regulation is 'An internal sense of security and resilience that comes from the knowledge that one can regulate the flows and shifts of one’s bodily-based emotional states either by one’s own coping capacities or within a relationship with caring others.' (Allan Infant Mental Health Journal, vol22 no1-2 Jan-April 2001:42)
This day offers ways to help troubled children and teenagers with states of unmanageable emotional intensity. When they experience high arousal states they react with flight/flight or freeze behaviour, often resulting in high anxiety and/or very challenging behaviour. Some are then punished for it, others excluded from school by people who do not recognise the problem as being one of incapacity to emotionally regulate, rather than oppositional defiance or power plays.
The fact is that it is never too late to develop a deep embodied capacity to handle stress well. If we leave children and teenagers with underdeveloped stress regulating systems in brain and body they are likely to resort to damaging forms of self-regulation such as self harm, social withdrawal, alcohol, drugs and smoking, simply to calm themselves down. Rather than short term fixes, the evidence-based interventions presented at this conference can result over time in the development of key stress regulating systems in the child’s brain, including the regulating of neurochemical and bodily systems, heart rate, respiration, sleep, digestion and improved immune system. Without the ability for emotional regulation we can never enjoy true quality of life.
Interventions covered include:
Sensory integration An innovative neuro-behavioural approach for the treatment of troubled children, particularly effective with those who have suffered abuse or neglect. With some traumatised children, their sensory systems have become so sensitised to the possibility of danger that they become ‘sensory defensive.’ This means they find certain sounds, lights, physical touch, smells, foods, and even certain temperatures very difficult. Other troubled children have an underlying sensory processing disorder and therefore cannot organise incoming sensory information. They find it difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, so they often experience sensory overload, feel overwhelmed and lash out. In both cases, children who lash out from sensory overload can then be punished for "bad behaviour" by people who do not understand what is going on. Sensory integration is a physiological regulatory intervention to calm these children down.
Mindfulness Mindfulness can help children and young people to develop the ability to calm themselves down; to pay attention to themselves in the world and to think about and reflect upon their actions and relationships. Practical and user-friendly strategies will be presented at the conference enabling professionals to promote emotional and mental well-being in children and teenagers. These practical skills can help build resilience and alleviate stress through increased sensory awareness; regulation of emotions and acceptance of thoughts and feelings. Through these easy to use techniques, young people are often better able to manage social relationships, anxiety levels, memory and self-understanding.
Pets and nature as key emotional regulators Environments supporting biophilia (our innate tendency to seek connections with nature and animals) has been proven to enhance the emotional well-being of children and young people including those who struggle to engage in learning. Dr Harper will provide a feast of interventions including engaging with earth, soil, clay, forest school activities, animal assisted activities, wild events and theme days.
Using the body to calm the mind or the mind to calm the body: options for when how, where and when Introductory lecture by Dr Margot Sunderland on the neurochemistry and physiology of emotional regulation and interventions that support long term change in brain, mind and body when emotionally-available adults help stressed out children to be calm and find peace, often for the first time.
Benefits from attending this conference
Know how to emotionally and physiologically regulate children and teenagers who ‘lose it’
Learn about fascinating interventions that enable stressed out children, teenagers and adults to be able to emotionally and physiologically regulate on a long term basis
Learn to distinguish challenging behaviour that is fuelled by physiological and emotional dysregulation from oppositional defiance
Gain a working knowledge for how we can help emotionally dysregulated children and teenagers to regain control over their emotions, body, thinking and behaviour
Take away key tools and techniques for dealing with acute stress states in children and teenagers
Learn about how to stay emotionally regulated in the face of a child’s, teenager’s or adult’s extreme dysregulation
HINTON HOUSE BOOKSHOP will be availalbe (until mid-afternoon break) - stocking a full range of books and resources relating to the conference: www.hintonpublishers.com
Certified theraplay practitioner and supervisor and also undertakes DDP and Sensory Attachment Intervention based work as part of the practicum. Jennie currently works at The Family Place as a specialist therapeutic practitioner working with children with Complex Development Trauma, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome and Organic Brain Damage. Jennie also undertakes some work as an associate practitioner with The Adoption Consultancy in Devon undertaking trauma based sensory attachment work within a multi-agency team. Jennie is a qualified social worker and started her career working in Local Authority Children's Services teams. She specialised in fostering and adoption work 14 years ago and was formerly a team manager in a Local Authority Post Adoption team. Jennie has also worked as a senior practice development social worker and an independent reviewing officer in the voluntary sector.
Dr Coral Harper
Former Deputy Head Teacher for 10 years of a local authority special school in Bristol and over a year as acting Headteacher. Former Head of Foundation at Mulberry Bush Organisation; a psychotherapeutic institution for very traumatised children. 24 years’ experience as a qualified teacher and then Senior Lead in supporting children and young people within the mainstream and those with social, emotional and mental health difficulties and/or challenging behaviour. Qualified Nurture group teacher; Professional Certificates in Educational Therapy and in Understanding and Managing Children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties. Outdoor Learning Consultant and Level 3 trained Forest School leader; experienced in supporting the strategic and philosophical development and practice of outdoor learning. Experienced Trainer and Consultant in the theory and potential of Outdoor learning and Animal Assisted Interventions for Learning. Independent freelance consultant supporting teachers and other education professionals with individuals and groups of challenging and/or vulnerable children. Extensive experience in training, coaching, mentoring and supervision. Experienced researcher, speaker and presenter. Owner of a registered ‘Pets as Therapy’ dog who regularly accompanies her with work. Principal Educator in Trauma Informed Practice
Dr Margot Sunderland
Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health, London. Honorary Visiting Fellow at London Metropolitan University, Associate member of The Royal College of Medicine and Child Psychotherapist with over 30 years’ experience of working with children and teenagers. Author of over 20 books in the field of child mental health. What Every Parent Needs to Know (Dorling Kindersley) won First Prize in the British Medical Association Medical Book awards 2007 (Popular Medicine section). Originator of ‘Helping Where it Hurts’, a therapy programme for troubled children in North London schools.
Dr Jody Walshe Educational and Child Psychologist working in an outer London borough. Jody completed her doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at the University of East London. Consultant Psychologist providing consultations for foster carers and supervising social workers with the Compass Community as part of their REACH approach. Tutor on the University of East London Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology programme. Before commencing her training in Educational Psychology Jody worked as a teacher, learning support assistant and tutor with young people from 5-19. The focus of much of her work looked at anxiety and mental health issues in school settings. Her doctoral research explored the experiences, perceptions and training needs of secondary school staff working with self-harm. Jody presents on a wide range of subjects, recent topics for speaking engagements include: CBT, techniques to support the emotional development of children and young people, staff resilience and well-being, self-harm, anxiety, eating disorders, attachment in the classroom, self-esteem and staying safe online.
Jody’s publications include: Understanding and Preventing Self-Harm in Schools: Effective Strategies for Identifying Risk and Providing Support (with Dr Tina Rae) The Essential Guide to Mindfulness with Young People (with Dr Tina Rae and Dr Jo Wood) The Essential Guide to Solution Focussed Brief Therapy (with Dr Tina Rae and Miles Thomas) The Teen Toolkit (co-authoring 6 of the 20 sessions on sexual identity, drugs and health, mindfulness, self-harm, coping with difference, managing stress)
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