David Tully has been a therapist, supervisor and manager for 25 years. In his role as Practice Manager at Relationships Australia SA, he uses trauma-informed care principles to support children and families affected by sexual abuse and physical trauma.
In the first episode of this two-part series, David talks about how children make meaning of their experiences of trauma and sexual abuse, and how perpetrators can manipulate children into believing they were complicit in the abuse. He discusses the practitioner’s role in bringing power and protest into focus, in ways that begin to challenge children’s feelings of shame and self-blame. And he describes how being curious about the small acts of resistance that children demonstrate throughout traumatic experiences can help to honor their resilience, connections and courage.
David unpacks the ways in which secrecy operates in the lives of children who’ve experienced trauma and abuse, and how practitioners can help children access new understandings of their experiences. He provides some practical examples of ways to engage with children in your work, to increase the likelihood that your sessions are purposeful and useful and can support children’s recovery.
In this episode you will learn:
- why it’s important to understand the ways in which children make meaning of their experiences of trauma and abuse [03:17]
- how David helps provide children with an overt context of power [10:17]
- the importance of establishing purpose from the earliest possible stage of engagement [15:50]
- how David makes his foundational beliefs about the unfairness of abuse clear in his early conversations with children [19:26]
- how to include more generative accounts of children’s stories of resistance, protest and care for others in your practice [22:28]
Further information and resources:
Supporting children who disclose trauma (online course)