Sunday, April 20, 2008

RICH Relationships with Each Other

A central tenet of Risking Connection® trauma training is that trauma survivors are healed through relationships, and that the characteristics of a healing relationships is that it is RICH- containing Respect, Information, Connection and Hope. In my most recent training we began to discuss the idea (which I strongly believe) that we cannot have any better relationships with the children than we have with each other. So we began to consider- what can we do to establish RICH relationships among staff on our teams?

Respect involves (among many other things) treating each other politely, listening, assuming good intentions, not talking behind people’s backs, discussing concerns directly, and not undercutting each others’ decisions.

Information could include sharing events and happenings, communication across shifts and among disciplines, teaching each other, not keeping secrets, sharing schedules, and discussing clinical events and formulations.

Connection can be formed through social and fun events together, pot luck lunches, sharing stories about our lives, discussing common interests, sharing our emotional reaction to the work, and laughing together.

Hope can be created through pointing out small gains and changes, remembering other clients who have succeeded, sharing small victories, and pointing out each others’ strengths.

When we began doing this exercise in the training, we made two columns: one, what can you do to create these things with the clients; two, what can you do to create them within the team. But guess what- the column merged because they turned out to be the same things! What we want and need from each other is exactly what the kids and families want and need from us!

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