HfCF Intervention Resources - Working with children and young people: Addressing emotional and traumatic responses
Intervention guide editor: Tara Weeramanthri
This guide recognises that many children and young people exposed to abusive and neglectful parenting show high levels of anxiety and fear, or display aggressive or sexualised responses.
The focus is on working collaboratively with the child, the parent or carer. A toolkit of generic and specific skills helps the practitioner to help the child or young person manage their feelings, thoughts and problems of anxiety, mood and trauma. The guide supports the practitioner to develop a child-centred approach, to provide psychoeducation to the child on the effects of maltreatment and to help the child:
- devise a safety plan, increasing the child’s ability to maintain personal safety when there are known risks in the environment
- develop coping skills, recognising and managing difficult emotions in a way that is helpful and adaptive
- relax and self-calm
- describe and monitor their feelings, giving the child or young person a better appreciation of how they can be affected by events
- select activities which have a positive effect on mood, making the connection between the things we do and how we feel
- develop problem-solving skills, applying them to real problems
- working with children who experience traumatic responses, psychoeducation about the nature of traumatic responses for children and parents, supporting engagement, constructing a trauma narrative, cognitive coping, processing, mastery, enhancing safety, recovery and resilience.
- address anxiety problems, learning to understand what anxiety is and how to differentiate between normal anxiety in situations of danger and excessive anxiety
- address mood problems, learning how mood can be controlled and feelings be changed by how they act and think
- maintain improvement and build resilience.
In addition, the practitioner provides psychoeducation to parents to help them develop skills to support their children to engage in interventions to address traumatic and emotional responses.