Working with or supporting children and young people who seem to have shut-down can be hugely challenging. Being with long periods of silence, avoidance of eye-contact, difficulties in showing affect, purpose or even words can be enormously difficult and likely to evoke a very negative countertransference or reaction.
Frustration, boredom and feelings of incompetence that hard to reach children can evoke can make it really hard to maintain interest in such clients and they may be dismissed as unready or unsuitable for therapy, additional support or even emotional investment.
The early roots of unreachable states, including neurobiological and attachment problems, will be discussed, as well as how to work to redevelop more hopeful states, and how this needs to be informed by the practitioner’s own felt embodiment and its use in sessions / meetings.
This training will use a slide presentation with video clips, as well as creating space for experiential exercises and group discussion.
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Graham Music is Consultant Child Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Centre and adult psychotherapist in private practice. His publications include Respark: Igniting Hope & Joy after Trauma & Depression (2022), Nurturing Children: From Trauma to Hope using neurobiology, psychoanalysis and attachment (2019), Nurturing Natures: (2016, 2010), Affect and Emotion (2001), and The Good Life (2014). He has a passion for exploring the interface between developmental findings and clinical work. A former Associate Clinical Director at the Tavistock, he has managed and developed many services working with the aftermath of child maltreatment,. He works clinically with forensic cases at The Portman Clinic, and teaches, lectures and supervises in Britain and abroad.