Caldecott Therapy - Working with Trauma
The Caldecott Foundation has a long-standing tradition of caring for children who have suffered pervasive trauma and attachment disruption throughout their early lives. The child’s trauma experiences have often resulted in a fragmented and punitive self-concept, and internal world characterised by fear, anxiety, sadness and anger. These feelings are expressed through distrust in relationships and in the world in general, displayed through a variety of challenging behaviours, including impulse towards flight/fight/freeze behavioural responses to manage overwhelming emotional effect.
Many of the children we care for have missed out on safe, consistent and nurturing relationships to guide them through their developmental progression, often causing them to be cautious in trusting that future relationships can provide the containment and emotional nourishment they require.
To address these trauma symptoms The Caldecott Foundation provides a safe, containing and facilitative therapeutic environment. All staff are trained in attachment informed, psychodynamic therapeutic care theory and practice. They are supported through regular Mentalisation* consultation to understand the meaning inherent in the child’s behaviour, so to respond in an attuned and reflective manner to meet the child’s emotional, psychological and behavioural needs, as they change through their individual therapeutic and developmental process.
To ensure continuity of therapeutic focus across all areas of the child’s life, an individualised integrative treatment plan is completed, to guide intervention, and reviewed every six months to ensure treatment efficacy longer term. This plan is informed via extensive reading of background information, observations of the child in all contexts of their life, and is augmented through a range of assessment protocols/scales relevant to the child’s unique trauma experience, behavioural presentation and assessed therapeutic needs.
* What is Mentalisation?
Mentalisation is being able to reflect on our own state of mind as well as another person’s.
It’s a form of mindfulness that is being mindful of another person’s thoughts and feelings, as well as our own thoughts and feelings. Keeping another’s mind in mind is being aware that he or she may think and feel very differently from how we feel about the same situation. That person’s history and experiences are different from our own, therefore he or she may perceive interactions and scenarios very differently from how we do.
Why do you do it?
It is important that our young people feel understood and keeping their minds in mind supports this. It also heightens our awareness of our own role within relationships.
Having a mentalising attitude encourages openness and inquisitiveness about what is going on in another person’s mind, while also being aware of our own state of mind. The capacity to mentalise contributes to developing and sustaining nurturing relationships. That’s why it’s so important to our work at the Caldecott Foundation.