I expect you are wondering what the
TRC is? We are here to help you when you feel sad, cross, annoyed and frustrated with yourself, or with school or with an adult. Some children come to see us when they feel so scared or so angry or so confused and we are trained to help you make sense of the muddles!
Young People &
TRC is here to help.
You may be feeling anxious or angry; fed up or sad; full of rage against others or yourself or you may have behaviours that frustrate you. We can help you.
We are a diverse group of therapists - music therapists, art psychotherapists, play therapists or creative counsellors. We all work well together because we all share the same vision that we want kids and young people to be able to enjoy life, have dreams for their life and not weighed down by the negative experiences that they’ve had. We love nothing more than seeing young people make sense of what’s happened and feel less confused, angry, sad, frustrated, upset, cross, depressed, anxious or any other emotion that is hard work to live with 24/7.
We look forward to you coming… make sure you come ready to tell us what you want to play with first! Paints, craft, puppets, toys, musical instruments or books?
We have different rooms where children just like you come each week to work with a trained adult so that life isn’t so full of strong emotions. We have paints, toys, art stuff, puppets, musical instruments and lots of other fun stuff! You’ll have one therapist who you’ll get to know as you use the equipment!
The adult who brings you will wait with a cup of tea in a group for parents or carers where they chat about the best ways to support you.
You will find the adults here at the TRC are warm, friendly, kind, not judgemental or impatient but fun and curious about you. They are especially trained to help children who are feeling frustrated or muddled or sad.
We don’t tell others what you say and do in your sessions (unless we are worried about you hurting yourself badly and then we’ll have to tell the right adult) so you can trust us that we NEVER gossip or laugh at you or think you’re silly. We respect your feelings and muddles and always believe the best about you!
At the TRC we think working with the parents and carers is essential and is not just an added extra. We know that as adults we need support from each other and from professionals, in a culture where no one feels shame or blame, where we can explore how we feel about traumatic experiences and the children or young persons behaviours and challenges.
It’s tough looking after traumatised children and young people.
While the children and young people are having their therapy sessions, the parent/carer have a group session with a parent support worker that explore issues around the neuroscience of trauma, parenting when children deeply challenging behaviour, parenting when emotionally exhausted etc. They are led by experienced, trauma informed practitioners who model empathy, kindness and support and won’t let shame and blame be part of any atmosphere.
Betsy de Thierry's book 'The Simple Guide to Child Trauma' is used as the handbook for the parenting course.
The feedback is that parents really value this space as a safe space to meet other adults who are facing similar challenges and a place to learn strategies and tools to help their family life.
During the Coronavirus Pandemic we have also added some private facebook groups so that parents and carers had somewhere to ask questions.
Our value in working with the parents/carers alongside the child receiving help:
Here is an excerpt from Betsy de Thierry’s book The Simple Guide to Collective Trauma, which was published in May 2021 about the power of parents and carers being supported.
‘When we are thinking about collective trauma, the adults involved are usually as submerged in the trauma as the younger people, if not more, and yet only sometimes do they feel equipped and ready to help navigate others through that which they themselves also feel so overwhelmed by. However, we know that when the parents and carers understand the impact of trauma and realise how important their role is, they can feel equipped and empowered to make a difference to lives around them, despite their own distress. In fact, although it demands emotional energy and strength to support others when we are ourselves feeling overwhelmed, it can be life changing in its benefit to both the children and ourselves as we work to navigate the children through the collective trauma. The most extraordinary power of the primary caregiver has been evidenced in different research which is mind blowing and yet rarely shared with parents and carers.’
Parents need support themselves
We recognise that when parents feel supported, listened to, valued and trusted that they can show more resilience and also be a protector in their child’s life. If they are supported, cared for, listened to and feel emotionally safe then they are more able to be a support to their children. When there are cultures of shame and blame around parenting, parents may take longer to trust other adults and be honest about their difficulties and so the journey to a family being strengthened can take longer. Shame and blame are the opposite of a trauma informed approach. Research has evidenced that ‘the presence of social support for primary caregivers is a very important protective fact while the lack of it is a risk factor for the development of adult PTSD.’ Brom et al; (2009). p53. Caring for the children and young people without giving time and space to the adults makes little sense in the long term because we hope that the support will lead to long term healthy relationships’
What will happen?
You’ll be allocated one therapist who you’ll get to know and you’ll have the choice to keep coming back every week, although we usually have a good idea of how many sessions could be really helpful. It's usually between 12 and 36 sessions for one hour a week that is the best length of time to ‘sort out’ the issues that are holding you back.
Your parent or carer (if you’re 16 and under) will be waiting in the parents group for you where they learn about how trauma impacts a person’s brain, behaviour, emotions and relationships whilst being served a cup of tea and biscuits! Don’t worry – anything they say in the group is confidential to the group and we are used to guiding any adult if they ‘say too much’ as we want all that happens in the centre to respect you and your needs.