Help Me Reach My Teenager: Building Connections with Teenagers who Present as Resistant, Angry and Coercive

Delivered by

Christina Enright


Format options

In Person | Online

Duration options

3 hrs | 4hrs | 6 hrs (1 day)


This training can be adapted to a diverse range of contexts, and further bespoke elements can be added on request.

Content Summary:

Adolescence is a unique stage of development, bringing with it both opportunities and challenges. It is a time of significant progression with a radical reorganisation of the brain and tasks around the psychological development of separation, autonomy, and power. When a teenager has also experienced Developmental Trauma all of the features and challenges of typical adolescence are magnified and compounded. For many adults supporting vulnerable children, the teenage years are also frequently the most challenging to work with. This training is designed to support practitioners and carers to reflect on some of the above themes and to consider ways that they can support and respond to adolescents to gain their trust and cooperation.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of completing this training attendees can learn about:

  • A brief overview of the impact of Developmental Trauma on brain development, information processing, perception and defensive behaviour
  • Brain reorganisation during adolescence- issues of identity development, risk taking, power and autonomy
  • Trauma and issues of power and control
  • The importance of how power is managed by parents/carers through a child’s ongoing development, particularly during adolescence
  • Ways of responding in the face of adolescents who are presenting with avoidant, resistant, angry or coercive behaviour that will enable the adult and the adolescent to feel empowered, and which will more likely gain the adolescent’s cooperation.

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Bespoke Training

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Training delivered by

Christina Enright

RN, BSc Psychology, Dip in Family Therapy, MA Child Psychotherapy, Dip Clinical Supervision.

Over the past 17 years, Christina has worked as a psychotherapist with children, adolescents, birth parents, foster carers and adoptive parents. This followed on from 20 years working as a nurse in the NHS. Her experience includes the development of a multidisciplinary clinical service for families experiencing trauma and attachment problems who were reluctant to engage with main-stream social care and mental health services. From 2015-2017 Christina provided trauma consultancy to the clinical team developing a children’s service within the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) in the UK.

She also delivers training on child development, trauma and attachment both within the NHS and other education and social care systems across the UK and Ireland.  Her special interest is in early childhood development and the impact of trauma on a child’s developing capacities, functioning and behaviour. From her experience working with children who have endured developmental trauma characterised by neglect and abuse, she has found it necessary to use a comprehensive integrated approach in order to address the multiple complexities which such children present with.

Christina returned to live in Ireland in 2016 and currently works as a Developmental Trauma and Attachment specialist providing training, assessment and clinical interventions on behalf of Tusla Child and Family Agency and in independent practice with birth and adoptive families.