Families Helping Families starts with the recruitment of ‘communities’ of up to eight carers of children with additional needs.
We particularly welcome those whose children are presenting challenging behaviour.
Each community then meets weekly (normally for seven consecutive weeks) for two and a half hours.
An experienced psychotherapist acts as the facilitator of each weekly session and, throughout the programme, carers work together to resource each other with new ideas and strategies and to generate insight into what challenging behaviour means.
This short video clip explains more:
Families Helping Families is an intervention underpinned by Attachment Theory (Bowlby), developments in neuro-psychology, insights from systemic family therapy and from systemic constellations work.
This theoretical framework does not stand as a ‘curriculum’ for community meetings; rather, community members are gradually introduced to theoretical concepts as they become relevant in terms of generating insight into real life experiences.
The community dynamic is carefully observed and used to offer direct experience of how behaviour and emotion are related. Carers support and challenge each other - and the community quickly becomes a safe vehicle in which to explore personal anxieties.
The theoretical basis helps behaviour that has previously seemed completely incomprehensible to have a meaning, to be understood.
If behaviour can become a communication, rather than an assault on understanding, parents are enabled to respond to the emotional need being expressed.
"I cannot express well enough in words how much good it has done me, sharing wisdom, companionship, experiences, strategies, grief, fears and laughs in such a close, open, honest, nurturing and safe environment"