Villains and Victims, Parents and Children

Confronted with a terrorized child or a parent forced to leave their home for fear of the injury they may sustain at the hands of their offspring, it is tempting to label one party as ‘bad’ and the other as ’good’. These dichotomies make life easy; we unquestioningly support those in the ‘right’ and condemn the ‘evil doers’ and, in doing so, risk perpetuating the violence.

This thinking fails to understand the truly systemic nature of abuse between parents, caregivers and children. Further, it does not allow us to move towards understanding of the perpetrators of violence, without condoning their conduct or accessing the proper power and authority of those who are maltreated. The inherent power imbalance between adults and children puts the onus of responsibility on the care giver to effect change, either in their role as perpetrator or recipient of abuse. It is the adult who must set different rules and standards for conduct that are acceptable and find ways to protect the rights and safety of both themselves and their child.

As practitioners and members of the wider system around a family we too must find ways to stand firm in the face of violence, support those who oppose it, and develop strategies that are safe, just and effective.


What’s on – Bower Place Knowledge and Training

Children’s rights—Adult responsibility. How to strike the balance?

Upcoming Workshop: Friday 27th March 9:30am – 4:30pm

Working with children and  their families, professionals are often confronted with questions about how to strike a fair balance between the rights of the child and support for the proper authority of adults who care for them.

This one-day workshop will present a framework for assessing and intervening in situations where adult’s authority is continually questioned, leaving children vulnerable and adults impotent. Based on the Bower Place Method and informed by principles of non-violent resistance, the approach helps practitioners clearly differentiate lines of appropriate authority and responsibility which are maximally protective. It proposes intervention that reinforces equitable division of responsibility between adults and children commensurate with the role of the adult and developmental stage of the child.

Theoretical input is complemented by working directly with clients who present with these difficulties, in the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic. Participants will be invited to work in the room as assistants or as members of the therapeutic team allowing direct application of the ideas that are presented.

This workshop is suitable for those working with children and their families in multiple settings including, schools, child care and early learning centres, mental health and human services and medical and health settings. An opportunity to explore research drawing on live clinical practice.

Cost $190 for full day training with Bower Place Director, Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist Catherine Sanders.

Call (08) 8221 6066 or email for bookings and further information.