Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

1 UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH THE ABUSED AND/OR NEGLECTED FOSTER CHILD FRANKLIN R. SMITH, MFT MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING AND CONSULTING SERVICES (310) 294-0434.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "1 UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH THE ABUSED AND/OR NEGLECTED FOSTER CHILD FRANKLIN R. SMITH, MFT MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING AND CONSULTING SERVICES (310) 294-0434."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH THE ABUSED AND/OR NEGLECTED FOSTER CHILD FRANKLIN R. SMITH, MFT MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING AND CONSULTING SERVICES (310) 294-0434 (cell) Web site: www.franksmithmfttraining.com

2 2 UNDERSTANDING THE ABUSED AND/OR NEGLECTED FOSTER CHILD WHAT HAVE THEY GONE THROUGH? 1. Severe neglect and abandonment 2. Emotional abuse: “You’re stupid…ugly…dumb…or you’ll never amount to anything” 3. Physical and sexual abuse 4. Domestic violence – witness their mother being beaten 5. Medical neglect – e.g.; infrequent medical/dental care, lack of food/nutrients 6. Inconsistent and unsafe environment – dangerous, squalid conditions

3 3 The Abused/Neglected Child: What do they suffer from? PSYCHOLOGICAL: a. Feelings about themselves: Low self esteem, lack of confidence, worthlessness b. Mood problems: angry, sad, irritable, anxious c. Relationship problems: Belief that they are not worthy of positive and healthy relationships – especially with adults d. Impulsivity: can’t wait their turn; don’t think before they act; can’t tolerate being frustrated or “stressed”

4 4 The Abused/Neglected Child: What kind of behaviors do we see? BEHAVIORAL: a. Temper tantrums, screaming, yelling, etc. b. Provoking: taunting, purposeful humiliation, insults, derogatory comments c. Physical aggression toward peers, self-injurious bx: passive or active thoughts of hurting self d. Manipulation: lying, stealing, negotiating, bargaining, “playing the victim”

5 THE CAMP COUNSELOR: BUILDING SELF AWARENESS Being self-aware will greatly help with your awareness of the campers So what do I need to do? Start with an understanding: “What qualities do you bring to camp? Key qualities: ability to be understanding, impart unconditional love, humility, gentleness and respect Empathy: defined as the ability to put yourself in the camper’s “emotional shoes” Active listening: being patient and understanding – show them that you are listening Are you a good role model? – Important! Why are you “called” to work with abused and neglected children? Understanding your “calling”, etc. will help you with your own self-awareness

6 THE CAMP COUNSELOR: BUILDING SELF AWARENESS We can be at risk for becoming more like children ourselves… Why? Because if the counselor is inexperienced – you can react to the acting out child by becoming “mean” In this context – “mean” is an instinctual or “automatic” reaction to a camper due to not understanding why the child is acting a specific way, etc. Out of anger and frustration….camp counselors can make inappropriate comments…or give direction with an angry/frustrating voice tone, etc. When counselor responds like that….we will have a problem from the camper

7 THE CAMP COUNSELOR: BUILDING SELF AWARENESS KEY: understanding your own issues “Owning them” and learning from them in terms of how to work with kids If you have your own painful childhood experiences (don’t we all?)… I can be effective if… A. I have worked through my childhood pain B. I do not project my own experience onto the camper C. I don’t try to impose a healing agenda on the camper – remember they are there to HAVE FUN!!! – and not have counseling or therapy

8 DEALING WITH YOUR “OWN STUFF” Know what “pushes your buttons” Separate what is “your stuff” and what is “their stuff” How do I know who “stuff” it is? The “Emotional Hot Potato” – abused children will toss their uncomfortable thoughts and feelings onto us When child “tosses the emotional potato” onto us: they feel relief from their thoughts and feelings So….”don’t play catch with the hot potato…” – i.e.; do not engage with dialogue that will result in you getting more frustrated If you “catch” the hot potato….child’s behavior can get reinforced

9 9 CAMP COUNSELOR ESSENTIALS: RULES OF THUMB Utilize active/reflective listening – it’s essential that they “be heard” HIGHLIGHT THE POSITIVE – even when it is greatly outweighed by the negative! Maintain eye contact – you and the child Verbal: less is more – think clarity and brevity Ask child if they understand what you are saying: instruct them to say it back in their own words Treat them with respect – and indicate you expect same from them Refrain from lecturing – becoming their parent – keep it brief! Listen to their concerns, issues, etc., - and if indicated: make changes

10 10 CAMP COUNSELOR: DO’S AND DON’T’S DO : Maintain calm and assertive voice tone Utilize your team members for assistance If you “don’t know what to do” – get help! When you are being challenged by their inappropriate behavior – remember that they are not reacting to you – they are reacting to WHO YOU REPRESENT General rule of thumb: if you don’t know what to do – just “maintain your position” – don’t do ANYTHING…

11 11 CAMP COUNSELOR: DO’S AND DON’T’S » DON’T Try to be a strict parent – rather be a caring mentor, role model, etc. Regularly use statements such as “You should” – stay away from “should” – as such statements may trigger a “you’re not my parent" response Interrupt them when they need to be validated

12 12 ACTIVE/REFLECTIVE LISTENING Look at the person, and suspend other things you are doing. Listen not merely to the words, but the feeling content. Restate what the person said. Ask clarification questions once in a while. Be aware of and monitor your own feelings and strong opinions – these are your “hot buttons”. If you have to state your views, say them only after you have listened. Do your best not to interrupt – it will model for them to do the same

13 13 ACTIVE LISTENING RULES Active Listening Rule #1: Listen conveys that you’ve understood what the camper is saying. Body language can also communicate either positive or negative things to the child Active Listening Rule #2: Reflect, Review It lets the child know that their communication has been received in the way they intended It also lets the child know that you’ve understood what they have communicated

14 14 ACTIVE LISTENING RULES Active Listening Rule #3: Replay: say it in another way If you further state your point or voice a disagreement, doing so is actually counter-productive to communication Active Listening Rule #4: The Art of Understanding shows child that you are paying attention and are invested emotionally in the process produces a feeling of validation for the child communicates that sharing sensitive thoughts and feelings with you can be done without fear of criticism or attack

15 15 USE OF POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT Simple rule of thumb: use verbal praise at all times Celebrate strengths – help child to identify positive behaviors – regardless of how small they are…or big and dramatic…

16 16 CAMP COUNSELOR ESSENTIALS Remember: clarity, consistency, and appropriate candor/self- disclosure Use sense of humor to relieve tension and help child to cope when under stress CRITICAL: Try not to Start off “loose” and without clear expectations: when you try to change your approach – you will likely not be successful – because it’s “too late” Maintain boundaries – you are the adult! Team work: consult w/ other counselors to assist when not sure of how to handle a particular situation If you don’t know what to do or say: don’t say or do anything – but maintain active/reflective listening, etc. AVOID POWER STRUGGLES – stop yourself from “going back and forth”

17 DEALING WITH COUNSELOR EMOTIONAL REACTIVITY Why does it exist – it only starts with the camper Why? The camper reacts to staff with negativity/hostility, etc. – because the staff often reminds them of someone they were abused by, etc. Typical Staff “Buttons”: Staff perception: “My child is not connecting with me – we don’t seem bonded”. Staff response: Maintain consistency and a calm assertive tone – just be genuine, empathic and treat campers with unconditional positive regard

18 ROLE PLAY SCENARIOS ROLE PLAY #1 “IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE TWO PLACES AT ONCE?” Two campers can become conflicted – and at times argumentative – when they can’t come to a consensus re: what activity to attend Goal: find a solution

19 ROLE PLAY SCENARIOS ROLE PLAY #2 “ A verbal or physical fight between two campers” Goal: break up the verbal/physical fight and problem-solve the conflict

20 ROLE PLAY SCENARIOS ROLE PLAY #3 “When I’m at home – I get to go to bed whenever I want” A camper does not want to follow the rules at bedtime Goal: Resolve the conflict

21 ROLE PLAY SCENARIOS ROLE PLAY #4 “Aren’t rules really meant to be broken?” The campers have arrived and the counselor has some alone time with them: this is the first time the counselor can “set the tone” for a good week: setting up rules, boundaries and consequences for the week Goal: begin to develop/define relationships and importantly: “set the tone” for the week

22 ROLE PLAY SCENARIOS ROLE PLAY #5 “ A camper is out of control: having a serious temper tantrum” Goal: de-escalate the situation….


Download ppt "1 UNDERSTANDING AND WORKING WITH THE ABUSED AND/OR NEGLECTED FOSTER CHILD FRANKLIN R. SMITH, MFT MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING AND CONSULTING SERVICES (310) 294-0434."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google