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Trauma and conflict in families and professionals in safeguarding systems: finding understanding and breaking down barriers

Date:28 SEP 2022
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Dr Kate Hellin Consultant Chartered Psychologist

There is often an implicit assumption that the origins of family conflict and breakdown lie in parental pathology and that it is therefore parents who must make the necessary changes to achieve family stability.  It is also the case that recommended interventions are often scarce or absent costly or out with the children’s timescales.  Parents even if willing cannot access recommended interventions and therapies and make the changes required.    In this paper I explore a systemic approach which reframes family disturbance within its broader context and points to interventions in the wider system rather than with the parents themselves.  I consider how working relationships between parents and professionals are often coloured by parents’ formative experiences of neglect and abuse by those in authority and how professionals can unwittingly respond in ways which perpetuate family conflict.  I consider psychological interventions with professionals which enhance their psychological understanding of such dynamics and shift their working relationships with parents to improve family functioning and enable parents to care for their children safely.  Finally there is consideration of the impact of...

Read the full article here.