A central tenet of a systems approach to human difficulties is that the person experiencing the problem is embedded in a web of relationships each of which either act to perpetuate or disrupt the problem. Logically, this means that the practitioner engaged to ‘solve’ the problem will either become part of the system in a way that mirrors others and ensures the difficulty continues unchallenged or be a force for change.
In working with participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme this is an important principal to keep in mind. These people often present challenging difficulties that have drawn both family members and the helper system around them in ways that fail to disrupt unhelpful patterns that exacerbate the difficulties. For example a young person may present with extreme social isolation and inability to form relationships in the context of a family where domestic violence silences. Individual support may be appropriately offered to increase social and community participation.
However if the family are reluctant to engage with a therapist to explore the family dynamics which fuel secrecy, the risk is that the problem remains firmly located in the young person and the family is unchanged and continue to support their silence. Whether the participant is receiving support to develop skills and increase participation in their community, therapy to address past trauma or a group or family based service it, is crucial that all those involved in service provision regularly check that their involvement is disrupting old and unhelpful patterns and promoting change or replicating the system that has produced the difficulties.
Upcoming workshop – Emotional Dysregulation
“A neuro-political approach to therapy with emotionally & behaviourally dysregulated children, adolescents & families”
A one-day workshop, combining clinical expertise, knowledge and training within the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic. An opportunity to explore research drawing on live clinical practice.
21st June 2019 – 9.30am to 5pm.
Cost $190 for full day training with Senior Practitioners in the field and Bower Place Directors Catherine Sanders and Malcolm Robinson