Parents who come to our service are often immobilised by their adolescents challenging behaviours. The hope of the parents is often to have this behaviour addressed. Adolescence as a stage of development presents frequent relational challenges between adolescents and parents. Even the most robust of parents can be left feeling hurt, helpless and infuriated. When parents have the added dimension of traumatic family of origin experiences, the capacity of the parent to hold boundaries and respond to behaviour in helpful ways can be compromised. Principles of systemic practice enable us to walk the tightrope of addressing a parent’s traumatic history, while holding the adolescent. This presentation aims to explore ways our team holds this complexity to assist families in the face of multiple hurts and to open up new possibilities in adolescent-parent relationships.
In this workshop Margaret will describe a group used in the Early Childhood Unit at Redbank for carers and children with strained relationships and history of trauma. Children and parents/carers attend
As new understandings about trauma have emerged so has an exciting array of innovative techniques. Until now, the focus of these techniques has remained largely on individuals and exploiting their relationship context is often an untapped resource. What are the best ways to manage relationship dynamics and harness them for good outcomes? Using video tape and case examples this presentation considers how large scale traumatic events affect groups of people and it identifies principles and goals that can also apply to individuals.
The family therapy field has long recognized a common pattern of a soft /hard split that develops in response to parenting a symptom bearing child. One parent adapts to the anxiety about the child with increased nurturing and the other shifts to a complimentary position of increased discipline and limit setting. This reciprocity appears to happen automatically in many families faced with the challenge of a child’s symptoms and gradually intensifies as each instinctively reacts to the other’s interaction with their child.
Many couples present to a session wanting help because of a lack of connection and intimacy with each other. When a traumatic incident has occurred, working through intimacy issues can be more complex and overwhelming for the couple and Therapist alike. At times there can be a dynamic where one person in the couple has higher needs in response to the trauma. Sessions can become easily unbalanced and neutrality can be difficult to maintain.