Common Thread

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The same is true within the planned structures of daily life. If a child wakes up angry and throws their breakfast at the wall this will create a potentially lively dynamic within the group. It may distress the other children who will need to be consoled and comforted [and possibly protected]. Attention will also need to be paid to the individual who was so angry.

At the same time as they are being held accountable for their behaviour there is a simultaneous attempt to understand what it means and to respond accordingly. This needs to go on throughout the day, being attentive to the needs of the child, trying to understand what they are doing, always being available to their communications no matter how trivial, or bizarre or incomprehensible they may appear to be.

We symbolize our commitment to the care of the child by the quality of the physical space [this does not always mean tidy and ordered, it is children we look after], the way in which we plan, prepare, and produce food [so symbolic of emotional feeding], the way in which we look after their clothes and belongings can give meaning to their lives that was lacking before. Obviously the extent and variety of the events of the day creates exponential complexity and it is the overall structure that contains, directs and coordinates this dynamic. Scroll down for more

Therapeutic Practice
  • "I was quite withdrawn when I first came here, but my worker showed me how to feel good about myself again"
    Young Person - Woodside
  • "Success for our young people therefore lies primarily in the skills, knowledge and expertise of those looking after them..."
    Julie Joseph MD Common Thread
  • ..."Creating a culture of openness and respect, where learning is a day to day activity,."
    Peter Russian Chief Exec IIP (Scotland)

<img src="images/ill/care.jpg" title="Care" alt="Care" />

In what is often a maelstrom of emotional demands it is important that staff are supported and encouraged and that their supervision is not simply managerial but professional, that they are trained and educated in a style and with a content that is directly relevant to the demands made upon them, and that they are encouraged to think critically, creatively, and reflectively about their practice, and to find a safety net when they make mistakes.

The therapeutic [or ‘facilitating’] environment is a place where human beings come together with shared commitments, but wide diversity of character and style, to create an ambiance of acceptance [all that you have and all that you are], tolerance, understanding, and hope. Not forgetting, in fact emphasizing, the therapeutic power of play, fun, and re-creation.