Overcoming adversity in work with mothers and children – part 2
This episode is the second in a two-part series exploring work with women and children who have experienced trauma and disadvantage throughout their lives (you can find the first episode here). In this episode, we speak with Lisa Hofman and Gaby Munro, who work with mothers and their children (under the age of eight) while they undergo treatment for substance use.
Many of the children who attend the Jarrah House residential treatment service have experienced child protection involvement and past trauma, and are affected by developmental or behavioural issues. In this conversation, Lisa and Gaby explore the impacts of significant adversity and child removal on mothers and their children, and share examples of ways children may behave following experiences of trauma.
Lisa and Gaby also share how they strengthen and rebuild the mother-child relationship and reduce child protection risk by:
- increasing the mother’s emotional availability to her child
- transforming how mothers think about and understand their children
- helping mothers to respond better to their children’s cues; and
- showing mothers how to delight in their children
Gaby describes how she uses reflexive practice and modelling to help parents consider what their child is feeling, in order to better understand and respond to them. Lisa discusses how mothers are supported with emotional regulation and distress tolerance, and how this growing ‘mindful awareness’ helps them to respond to their child from a calmer space.
In this episode you will learn:
- about the developmental issues that affect many of the children at Jarrah House, as a consequence of past trauma, domestic violence, or parental substance use [2:59]
- how Lisa and Gaby used the Key to Interactive Parenting Scale to help a mother recognise her child’s cues and the ways that she offered her child warmth and recognition, so that she could replicate that behaviour more consistently [6:03]
- the importance of treating the child as a client, as well as the mother, in services like Jarrah House, and the difference this can make for a child [10:32]
- how Lisa and Gaby use the Circle of Security approach to focus on the importance of routines and help children and mothers feel safer and more confident [16:05].
Further information and resources: