Q&A with Dr Dan Hughes
Ahead of the Family Futures annual conference in October, Dr Dan Hughes chats to us about his new book The Neurobiology of Attachment-Focused Therapy and what to expect at the conference.
1. What will professionals learn from attending the Family Futures annual conference?
Professionals will understand the importance of neuropsychological and attachment research in both the development of children and the nature of the relationship between children and their caregivers. The brains, hearts and bodies of these children have developed to cope in a world where they need to mistrust, rather than a world where they are able to trust. The implications of this research for the treatment of children who have experienced trauma and multiple placements, and their care, will also be presented.
Starting school – managing change
We hope you have had a great summer holiday with your family. With the holidays coming to a close soon, we’ve consulted with our Education Specialist again, to give you some advice and tips on how to manage the transition back to school. This is particularly important for those starting primary school and those moving up from primary to secondary school.
For most children, and even more for adopted or looked after children, the prospect of doing something new and different can be perceived as scary. For children and young people with a history of early loss or trauma any transition experienced may be frightening. They are likely to feel stressed and anxious about the prospect of returning to a familiar school or a new one as both of these events involve change and uncertainty. Going back to school may trigger feelings of insecurity and worry. In your role as parent or primary carer, it’s important to understand that your child may be feeling stressed and how it’s affecting them, and recognise the emotions which they may communicate through their behaviour or how they present.
New directions for adoption support
At Family Futures we are constantly developing and refining adoption support to families. In the past year we have made two new enhancements to our family support and therapy service.
- Therapeutic family support
We are conscious that one of the short comings of “therapy” is that sometimes what is therapy stays in the therapy room. What is therapeutic is what parents do with their children day in and day out. In order for parents to feel supported in taking what they have learned from the therapy sessions into their home we have employed the first of what we hope will be several Therapeutic Support workers. Their role is and will be to go into the home and support parents in the day to day routines of caring for children and to support the parent in their developmental re-parenting approach. Many parents have said to us what they really value is practical help and practical suggestions as to what to do when their children’s behaviour becomes challenging. We know already from parents that having a therapeutic family support worker working alongside them in the home has been really effective and supportive. Our first Therapeutic Support Worker is Mocushla O’Shea.