A child’s healthy development is dependent on a number of factors, not least conditions during pregnancy, the child’s physical health, family environment, how the extended family, wider culture and socio-political structures support parenting, as well as the child’s experiences at school.
Children develop along a timeline mastering various milestones as they grow. It is clear from over fifty years of research, if a child’s experience is of being protected, nurtured and supported to develop healthy independence and resilience, they will be well prepared for the challenges of adolescence and adulthood. Having said that, not all children who struggle will have experienced adversity or trauma. A child’s temperament can also influence challenges that they may experience through the course of development.
In this training course the facilitator will support participants to learn about milestones of healthy development from pre-birth to adolescence outlining conditions that enable their maturation, particularly around cognitive, social and emotional development. Adversity from neglect and trauma as well as the impact of temperament on a child’s development will also be covered.
As a result of completing this training participants can learn about:
- How milestones of infant development are foundational for all later development right through to adulthood
- What are the necessary conditions for healthy brain and body connection and organisation
- What is temperament and how does it influence a child’s development, functioning, and behaviour
- How although not all children develop at the same pace, there are reliable indicators about what is typical and what would be a cause for concern regarding a child’s development
- The research on the impact of neglect and trauma during infancy and early childhood on a child’s healthy development
- The circle of security and the importance of attunement or tuning in and co-regulation for the development of secure attachment
- Social referencing and the development of epistemic trust as important facilitators of how babies and toddlers need to learn to use parents/carers as a source of information to learn about safety and the world generally
- Toddlerhood – the function of resisting and saying ‘NO’ and the socialisation of shame
- Milestones of early and middle childhood
- Adolescence as a unique stage of development- brain reorganisation and psychosocial and psychosexual development
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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.