University of East London Validated course
Duration: 12 days over two terms (weekend days only)
When: Starts April 2018
“Understanding and adequately responding to what happens when people are exposed to overwhelming experiences is a basic requirement of a healthy society.” (Dr Pam Stavropoulos, Consultant in Clinical Research, ASCA (Adults Surviving Child Abuse) May 2012
ABOUT THE COURSE
The aim of the course is to enable people working in education to be trained to respond effectively to the mental health needs of troubled children. It is widely recognised that many children who are traumatised or experience mental health problems are unable to learn. Their troubled behaviour may also become a barrier to learning for other pupils. Furthermore, major Public Health studies have shown that the majority of these children, if unhelped, will go on to suffer severe mental and physical ill-health and even early death. In fact, untreated adverse childhood experiences are a leading determinant of all the main physical, mental and social problems in our society today (Felitti and Anda 2014). That said, if schools become ‘trauma-informed’ suffering really can be preventable for our vulnerable children.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
This course aims to train people working in schools to become effective Trauma Informed Practitioners who are able to:
Direct work with children
Understand the impact of trauma on a child’s body, mind, brain development, relationships, behaviour and ability to learn and so offer interventions accordingly
Relate effectively to vulnerable children and teenagers in the school setting in ways that alleviate their suffering, improve their well being, help them to feel empowered and support their learning
Provide children who’ve experienced trauma and/or mental health problems with vital brain science and psychological knowledge so they don’t feel ‘mad or bad‘ but understand what is happening in their brains and minds, why it’s happening, how relationships can heal, and in so doing offering hope for positive change
Engage vulnerable children in healing conversations about their painful life experiences and mental health issues.
Develop an in-depth empathic understanding of what it is like for a child to live with physical/emotional abuse or neglect, sexual abuse, domestic violence, a parent with mental health problems/addiction, parental separation/divorce, loss of a parent or a family member in jail then find the words and prosody to voice that empathy appropriately.
Employ strategies for early intervention, recognise early indicators of mental health difficulties, know limits of competence and refer on to other agencies as appropriate.
Work with school staff
Enable staff to develop a clear understanding of the brain science and psychology of child trauma and child/teenager mental health problems and how these can impact on learning
Provide staff with strategies for effective trauma informed interventions with vulnerable children through relationship rather than medication.
Support staff to increase the ‘protective factors’ in the school environment which research shows prevent adverse childhood experiences from becoming mental and physical health problems now or in the future.
Educate staff to understand when challenging behaviour is likely to be trauma re-enactment and to respond accordingly
Educate staff about what vulnerable children need to be able thrive so they don’t suffer misdiagnosis, unempathic responses or re-traumatisation in the school environment
Improve the wellbeing of staff who work with vulnerable children, to prevent those staff members leaving the profession because of stress and/or feelings of inadequacy.
Inform staff about the research on ‘why empathy heals’ and how to make empathic responses in instead of questions (with no empathy), lectures or criticism.
The effects of trauma on children: brain, mind, body, behaviour and motivation to learn.
The mental and physical health crisis in society resulting from untreated adverse childhood experiences (ACE study, Felitti and Anda 2014; Bellis et al 2015) and why schools should pick up the baton.
Trauma in relation to conduct disorders, learning difficulties, depression, anxiety, self-harm, attention deficits and other common child and adolescent mental health diagnoses.
School-based Practice: Enabling traumatised pupils to learn (practical skills).
The art of therapeutic conversation, empathic listening and reflective dialogue with vulnerable children.
The assessment of need in traumatised and troubled children in school settings
Helping children make the shift from expressing their trauma through challenging behaviour to thinking about their trauma in conversation with trusted adults.
Thinking psychologically and modelling psychological thinking with children.
Why so many traumatised children get expelled and alternatives to expulsion.
Avoiding the danger of secondary trauma: looking after our teachers.
Whole school approach to trauma ‘informed’ and attachment ’iinfomed’ interventions.
Child Protection Issues, ethics and the law, knowing when to refer on, and to whom.
All candidates must have the following:
Some experience of working with or in schools in a professional capacity
Be able to demonstrate the following capacities and abilities:
Developed capacity for warmth, compassion and empathy
Self-awareness and the ability to be open and emotionally undefended
A good ability to play
A good level of contact with others
An accepting, compassionate, as opposed to judgmental, attitude towards others
The ability to stay stable under stress
A positive rather than frightened of inhibited relationship to use of art media and imaginative ways of exploring feelings
TRAINING STRUCTURE and different awards (all weekend days)
Foundation Award in Trauma Informed schools: days 1 and 2
Intermediate Award in Trauma Informed schools: days 3-6 (Applicants must have completed the 2-day Foundation training and been accepted for entry onto this level. So in effect the foundation award serves as interview for the more advanced levels of training. Where application is unsuccessful it is usually because of a personal readiness issue. Applicants may therefore be encouraged to do some personal therapy or counseling and reapply).
Areas of study for the Foundation Award and Intermediate Award will be selected from course content (see above).
If a participant wishes to attend one of these shorter trainings (Foundation or Intermediate) they can return at a later date to complete the 12-day Practitioner Award, and all the days they have previously attended will count as part of the 12 days. However for the University award Practitioner status, the 12 day route must be attended in full from the start and no exit routes taken.
Practitioner Award: days 7-12 (Non-University route. Must have completed Foundation and Intermediate trainings days 1-6)
Practitioner Award: University of East London award (Pending approval. Subject to additional £350 University registration fee) Certificate in Trauma Informed Schools - For applicants without a level 4 qualification, days 1-6 are a pre-requisite for attending days 7-12 and for obtaining the UEL award.