'When children are abused, or neglected, they are being given the message that they are not among the chosen. As they grow they have thoughts, states of mind, emotions and immunological functioning that are inconsistent with well-being and long-term survival.’ (Cozolino, 2006:14)
Experts will explore the specific traumas of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and that of witnessing domestic violence. In each presentation the voice of the child and their experiences will be central, as these should be key to informing policy and to determining how we can best help these children. Coping mechanisms will be addressed, as will common symptoms resulting from the abuse such as dissociation, hyperarousal, re-victimisation, physical and mental illness, causing hurting as they themselves have been hurt. The experts will then address how they acknowledge with the child the need for defences often coupled with major mistrust, whilst supporting them then to move from destructive coping to healthy coping. Experts will also discuss how to become aware of the early warning signs that a child may be being abused, rather than placing the onus on the child to 'disclose' their experience.
Dexter Dias Dexter Dias (QC) is a Human Rights Barrister, Crown Court Judge, visiting Researcher at Cambridge University and past Advisor to Parliament in strengthening the law against FGM. He won the TMG award for Outstanding Contribution to Advocacy and Justice in 2009. He will be speaking about his commitment to representing those disadvantaged by poverty and discrimination, including how his research enables those in the youth offending systems to tell their story.S
Ann Dix Ann Dix is a highly experienced Dramatherapist who has worked with children and families for over 20 years. She has written several chapters and journal articles on the use of dramatherapy with children who have experienced domestic abuse. Her highly moving publication Little-Mouse Finds a Safe Place is a story for children who have suffered from domestic violence.
Dr Rosaleen McElvaney Dr Rosaleen McElvaney will explore the specific emotional needs of children and teenagers who have been sexually abused. She is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked in the public health services for many years. She has also served on the Boards of Crime Victims Helpline and is past President of the Psychological Society of Ireland and currently Chair of the European Federation of Psychologists' Associations (EFPA) Specialist European Awarding Committee.
Dr Valerie Sinason Valerie Sinason is a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychotherapist. She is Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies and President of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability (IPD). She has been working with survivors of sexual abuse and ritual abuse for decades. She will explore how to work with children and teenagers who have known horror, terror and violation. Her work is deeply moving and will enable delegates to understand the profound healing powers of empathy. More info:valeriesinason.co.uk
SCREENING OF 'RESILIENCE' AT THIS CONFERENCE
A ground-breaking new documentary on the biology of stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences and its links to major illnesses.
We are thrilled to have been granted permission to screen the film 'Resilience' at this conference, showing only at a few exclusive venues (most screenings are now sold-out' and this film is not available to view online).
RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behaviour.
A wonderful film which presents a message of hope too in terms of what we can do to ensure preventable suffering.
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