Sunday, August 14, 2011

Change a Brain… Change a Life….

We are beginning to implement some of Bruce Perry's new brain science on one of our units. This is a document I prepared for staff on that unit.

You are the most important source of change for this child. You can create this change through your every day relationships.

Your most essential job is to change that child’s expectations of relationships from:

Relationships bring me pain and can’t be trusted


Relationships bring me pleasure and can help me get what I need.

You do this by providing pleasurable experiences for the child, and participating positively in these activities. Since “what fires together wires together” the child will begin to associate pleasure with adults.

You make it possible for the child to get better at feeling happy, safe, noticed and connected by providing opportunities for him to feel this way, offering him opportunities to practice feeling good.

You have the chance to build the child’s brain and increase his bodily regulation by involving him in rhythmic, repetitive, rewarding activities. By establishing a rhythmic back-and-forth interaction with the child you form a connection and help the child take advantage of your regulation to build his own. In times of stress you can use this attunement and rhythmic interaction to help the child calm down.

Since this work you are doing is the most important work in the world; and since you can only teach the child to feel pleasure if you yourself are genuinely engaged; it is essential that the team take good care of each other and that each of us take good care of ourselves, including being aware of and sharing the pain of vicarious traumatization.

No comments: