The Therapeutic Parenting Podcast

Welcome to the Therapeutic Parenting podcast brought to you by this UK based Centre of Excellence in Child Trauma.  

This weekly podcast is intended to support people whose lives are being torn apart by the consequences of early life trauma and neglect. 

 Are you a deeply concerned adopter or foster parent, birth parent, special guardian or kinship carer? Maybe you are someone who suffered trauma in your early years. Perhaps you’re a supporting professional looking for ways to help traumatized children and struggling families.

 We believe this podcast could just be a lifeline for you if you are struggling and have no idea where to turn.

 This podcast is being brought to you by the  COECT and we are committed to providing people living and working with child trauma with proven strategies to achieve the best possible outcomes for families. 

 The Therapeutic Parenting podcast will feature in-depth conversations with  the COECT professionals and other experts who understand your problems, because they’ve experienced them themselves. But they know a positive future is possible and they want to show you how.

Season 1

 

 

Episode 1:
Where Struggling Parents Can Go To Find Therapeutic Parenting Help

The Therapeutic Parenting Podcast welcomes parents, children and supporting professionals to this first edition.

Meet Sarah Naish, CEO and Founder of the Centre of Excellence in Child Trauma and the author of best selling books on Therapeutic Parenting.

She and her team have built up an impressive array of services to help those whose lives are being torn apart by the consequences of early life trauma and neglect. 

You can find out where to go for immediate help and advice here on the podcast or here on the website. 

Sarah also explains the significance of our penguin logo and why it is such a relevant image for those parenting children who suffered early life abuse or traumatic experiences even before birth.

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 

Episode 2:

How to identify Developmental Trauma Disorder in your child

Developmental Trauma Disorder is a little known phrase that is only now beginning to gain traction with health authorities.

Why is it important?

As this week's guest, Sarah Naish, explains -  it is the right term to describe the behavioural characteristics displayed by children due to neglect and trauma or by those who experienced serious pre-birth problems.

All too often, their symptoms are diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder complex. But this is not the correct diagnosis and can lead to wrong assumptions by professionals that end up with the child being misdiagnosed.

As Sarah says, "it's time we woke up and smelt the coffee and recognise developmental trauma for what it is". 

As mentioned on the podcast, you can find Sarah's book "The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting" here

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

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Episode 3:

How to Understand your Child's Malfunctioning Internal Working Model

You may be puzzling over why your traumatised child's behaviour around birthdays and festivities becomes even more challenging and difficult than normal.

Our expert guest on the podcast this week,  Glynis Hough, is a Foster Parent with decades of experience, a parent of multicultural children, a former social worker and a parent coach.

She’s been been involved with the National Association of Therapeutic Parenting (NATP) since its inception.   

Glynis explains in detail why your traumatised child's ability to trust adults - profoundly undermined by their early life experiences - makes them question their own sense of self-worth.

This leads to all sorts of complicated and unexpected behaviour patterns at any time, but particularly during family celebrations.

Here Glynis talks about her own experiences and effective strategies for coping.

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

Episode 4:

Top Tips for Helping An Adoptive Child Join Your Family

First meetings and moving your child in to join your family can be among the most important in helping a child, especially a traumatised one, settle well.

 

COECT expert Jane Mitchell knows from personal experience about the pitfalls and gives clear and essential advice in this podcast on how to handle both these important occasions.

 

Her words of wisdom centre around understanding what is going through the mind of the child based on their previous experiences - which might have taught them to be very wary indeed of adults. But parents also need to understand their own mindset and how they might need to take a step back and reduce their expectations.

 

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 

Episode 5:
Why Your Traumatised Child "Behaves Badly"

Sarah Dillon, spent much of her childhood in care.

 

Now a child and adult therapist, she is an internationally-recognised expert with experience on both sides of the therapeutic parenting fence.

 

In this episode, she speaks to parents who all too often feel judged when their traumatised child displays regressive behaviours in public – such as screaming tantrums in the supermarket or shoplifting.

 

As she says, it’s one thing dealing with small children in such cases, quite another with a much older and bigger child.

 

Listen to this podcast episode to discover why parents have absolutely no need to feel failures but why developing “a skin like an elephant and a heart like a marshmallow” are necessary coping strategies.

 

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 

Episode 6:
Why a Child from Trauma Fears Adoption

Rosie Jefferies, the Managing Director of COECT, talks frankly about the fears and emotions she experienced as a small child at the start of her adoption journey.

 

Rosie’s profound early life trauma meant she was understandably distrustful of all adults. Indeed she viewed them as dangerous to herself and to her four younger siblings.

 

In this podcast she gives a moving description of the fearful emotions she felt on moving in with her adoption family for the first time.

 

She contrasts the dark of her past with the bright light of the new family home which eventually came to represent safety and security to her.

 

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 

Episode 7:
How to Help a Traumatised Child go to Sleep

In this episode, Jessica Jackson, an academic and practicing social worker as well as the adopter of two sibling boys joins us to advise on how to help a traumatized child go to sleep. 
Wherever childhood trauma occurs, sleep will be impacted. 

Nightime might well be associated with bad memories and it is well known that traumatized children are more susceptible to nightmares and night terrors. 

Jessica knows what she talking about from a professional and personal point of view. Here she advises us on:
Why sleep is disturbed for traumatized children 
How to establish key bedtime routines  
What kind of food to give to help children feel sleepy
How to make your child’s bedroom conducive to sleep 
How to respond to their emotional behaviour and to reassure them 
How to cocoon and make a child feel safe
Why parents shouldn’t feel guilty if things don’t always go to plan.
 
Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 

Episode 8:

Therapeutic Parenting: The Kind of Dad I Need To Be

Our first male guest of this series joins us on this podcast edition to talk about a father’s experience of therapeutic parenting. 

Kinship Carer, Iain Fogg and his wife have cared for the daughter he refers to on the podcast as “kiddo” (not her real name), for the last two years.   

We learn about the so-called honeymoon period and its aftermath, secondary trauma and compassion fatigue. 

Iain also discusses the grief he underwent for the loss of the idealized vision he imagined life as a foster father would be like. 

He presents a stark but ultimately hope-filled story not of the the kind of dad he wanted to be but of the kind of dad he needed to be. 

                                                         *

In this episode Iain talked about the film “Instant Family” as the one that originally inspired him and his wife to investigate fostering further. 

Iain’s Instagram account is called “TherapeuticDad” and he welcomes all new followers.

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 

Episode 9:

The Anguish Behind Understanding How the Family Courts Work

"Bazza" is a professional social worker with in-depth experience of working in the family courts protecting the rights - and the futures - of children. 

For good professional reasons, she has to remain anonymous. 

But on this podcast edition she provides us with an invaluable insight into how the family courts arrive at their decisions. 

Decisions which make fundamental differences to people's lives and most especially, to traumatized children's lives.

"Bazza" explains about the research, the soul-seeking, and the genuine desire to do the right thing that goes into the court's pronouncements.  

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 

Episode 10:

Therapeutic Parenting for Children Traumatised by Domestic Violence

The damage inflicted on a child as a result of domestic violence - be it physical or emotional - can have a catastrophic effect on their young lives. 

In this episode, Rachel Cawthorn, helps us to understand why this is the case and what physiological changes take place in a child as a result of this abuse. 

Rachel is a social worker with 15 years experience in the profession. She also experienced domestic violence as a child and, as a result, entered into two toxic relationships as a young adult which took their toll on her four children. 

All this is now firmly in Rachel's past but no one could be better placed to understand the damage inflicted by this kind of abuse. 

This is why her advice on how to apply therapeutic parenting's kind and gentle techniques is worth heeding. 

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 

Episode 11:

Therapeutic Foster Care Versus Standard Foster Care

As a trailblazer in the field of therapeutic parenting, COECT founder Sarah Naish has made a profound difference to the lives of many struggling foster and adoptive parents.

She also runs fostering agencies in England and Wales where her effective strategies are applied.

The agencies empower families to make a success of fostering even when things appear to be at their most difficult.

This week Sarah tells us what defines a therapeutic fostering agency and how her own ones provide wraparound support when problems arise.

Learn about how the True Fostering Agency and the new SAfER Fostering Agency in Wales   successfully guide parents through difficulties that include false allegations, compassion fatigue and mental health issues.

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

Season 2

 

 
Episode 1:

 

The Isolation Experienced by Adoptive Parents

In the first edition of Series 2, you’ll hear plenty of therapeutic parenting strategies for coping with the inevitable loneliness and isolation experienced by the parents of traumatised children.

COECT’s CEO Sarah Naish talks about her own challenging experience bringing up five siblings from a traumatised background on her own after the break-up of her marriage.

She tells us how other mums distanced themselves from her family because of her adopted children’s difficult behaviour. Sarah became increasingly isolated and desperate for empathetic listeners willing to simply listen to her troubles.

All this eventually prompted her to found what has become COECT and the NATP to provide all kinds of training and empathetic help for troubled adoptive and foster parents.

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below.

 
Episode 2:

 
Therapeutic Parenting's Super Strategies and Solutions

Raising a traumatised child to adulthood is fraught with challenges.

But if you get Jane Mitchell's Super Strategies in place from the very start, you'll find them a great support.

They form a template that help you face up all the problems that come your way in a consistent, predictable and reliable way that ultimately help your child feel safe.

Above all they help your child to learn that they matter to you.

We're talking about Super Strategies such as:

Pausing

Being Playful

Showing Acceptance

Being Curious

Expressing Empathy

Practising Parental Presence

Relationship Repair

You can find out more about our training, listening circles and support here.

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below

 
Episode 3:

 
Parenting Traumatised Siblings: Making It Work

It is often really difficult for the professionals involved to know if a group of traumatized siblings should be kept together or separated once they've been removed from their birth families. 

There are so many factors to weigh in the balance such as:

  • Do the siblings depend on each other and have they formed an unbreakable bond? 

  • Or is there intense rivalry and jealousy between them?

  • Have the boys been encouraged to think they are more important than the girls? 

  • Will learned patterns of behaviour make re-parenting and learning new cultural norms an uphill battle?

  • Is an older child violent to a younger one? 

  • Does one child show highly sexualised behaviour to another?


How can a parent meet the different needs of each individual child within a sibling group?

And how can parents successfully raise traumatized siblings so that they retain happy memories of their childhood?

Social worker, academic and mother of two sibling boys, Jessica Jackson, talks from her own challenging experience with plentiful advice on how to overcome problems.

(Jessica recommends using Theraplay techniques for therapeutic games the whole family can play and enjoy)

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below

 
Episode 4:

 
How Can You Help Your Hypervigilant Child?

If your child is from a traumatised background you may be asking yourself why they are seem so super sensitive to everything.

Why are they so watchful and guarded? What are they afraid of?

Why do they seem to focus on matters of peripheral importance when they should be concentrating on their lessons or simply on going to sleep?

Why can't they just relax?

Our expert guest this week, Glynis Hough, makes a welcome return to explain what is happening in a child's mind to make it hypervigilant and to make its behaviour disregulated.

She tells us to practice P.A.C.E. (patience, acceptance, curiousity and empathy) until we're blue in the face.

And she suggest a number of other excellent coping strategies.

To help preserve your sanity, she suggests joining one of the NATP's Listening Circles where parents can seek advice and share their stories.

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below

 
Episode 5:

 
School Transitions for Traumatized Children

Remember the child in your school class who was the fidgety one?

Or the one who always had their hand up but was ignored by the teacher because they made apparently stupid remarks? 

Or the one that seemed to know exactly what was going on everywhere else but was paying no attention at all to the lesson? 

You wouldn’t have known it at the time, but this could have been a sign of a traumatized child experiencing extreme stress. 

Making the transition from home to school or from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 can present enormous difficulties for children who have suffered adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

In this episode, senior teacher and adoptive mother Sami Byrne – who’s also a Therapeutic Lead for the National Association of Therapeutic Parents (NATP) - helps us understand what they are going through.  

She gives preparation and coping strategies to prepare children for all the different stages they have to confront during their school lives.

These are tried and tested methods that she has used successfully with her own children and which form part of the document she co-authored with Jane Mitchell entitled The School Transitions Pack available on request from COECT (see below for contact details).

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below

 
Episode 6:

 
Dealing with Relationship Strain for Parents of Traumatized Children

This week COECT's CEO Sarah Naish talks from personal experience about the strain placed on a relationship when a couple adopts or fosters traumatized children.

Parents can quickly experience isolation within the relationship itself. This is especially the case if one becomes the main carer and the other is not around enough to witness the difficulties that arise.

About 1 in 3 relationships fail in such families unless help is sought.

As Sarah says, raising traumatized children can test relationships to the limit but she presents three effective strategies to combat the problem.

COECT also holds workshops and webinars to help couples put these strategies into practice.

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below

 
Episode 7:

 
Successful Strategies for Parenting a Violent and Aggressive Child

Little else could be more destructive to a family unit than a child who is violent and aggressive towards their adoptive or foster parents.

In this week's episode,  our expert guest, Jane Mitchell,  tells us that children can show superhuman strength when their fears are adrenaline-fuelled.

The result can be harm to the parents and costly damage to the family home.

As Jane explains, this behaviour is a symptom of the child's sense of overwhelm triggered by traumatic memories. They're not conscious of what they're doing and parents need to put into place careful plans and strategies to cope. 

There's plenty of good advice here on effective de-escalation  techniques and Jane also refers to two courses* provided by the National Association of Therapeutic Parents (the NATP) as well as to the non-violence resistance courses available through many local authorities in the UK.

The vast majority of children who behave this way learn to control their fears with the right kind of therapeutic parenting - and to move forward into a more settled way of life. 

Listen to this Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or download below