International Centre News – 1st February 2022

Wishing a prosperous 2022 to all our readers, and a warm welcome to our February 1st edition of the TCJ. In this issue we publish several papers on the theme of developing school and residential care cultures that offer an appropriate ‘holding environment’ for emotionally troubled and traumatised children and young people.

We start this edition with the paper ‘Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder’ by Bridget Glenshaw from the Community Therapeutic Day School in Lexington, MA, USA. Since its founding in 1974 by Bruce Hauptman MD, the goal of the school has been ‘to provide a consistent, gentle, and supportive environment for young children with neurological and emotional disabilities’. This paper offers a collection of clinical vignettes on therapeutic work with children placed at the school where the underpinning theory is based on the work of Child Psychoanalyst  D.W. Winnicott. These vignettes are drawn from their diagnostic consultation service for families, and each is related to a founding principle of the school based on the Winnicottian concepts of ‘the holding environment’ ( 1960), the ‘play or potential space’ (1971), and the ‘set situation’ (1941). 

The importance of ‘the holding environment’  is also picked up in our next paper ‘Never Mind Anti Bullying Week What About Anti Assessment Week’ by Sean Williams who is Headteacher at ‘The Forge’ an educational ‘Alternative Provision’ in Redditch, England. Sean offers a critique of the current ‘assessment of progress’ regime used within multi-academy trusts, from which the pupils he works with are often excluded. For those young people who do not fit into this model of assessment, their own social and emotional difficulties are often exacerbated by a culture which leaves them feeling further ‘alienated, disconnected and ashamed’. In this paper he calls for school cultures to ‘hold and sustain life, safeguarding the condition for growth and development for all’   

Our next paper ‘Preparing For Adult Life Whilst A Child Or Young Person In Residential Care’ is by childcare academics Norman Cooke and Professor Ewan Anderson. They reflect on the importance of developing residential care cultures that can equip young people for their transition into adulthood. This is the third paper in a series on the strategic role of residential care that they have written for the TCJ. The paper covers the role of residential care in providing  appropriate access to education, medical care and welfare, and opportunities for the personal and social development of young people.

The first of Keith White’s regular two articles, 
‘The Windermere Children (The Windermere Project)’ is a moving reflection on the themes of the healing power of relationships and recovery from the trauma of the holocaust. Keith writes about the 2020 film ‘The Windermere Children’ directed by Michael Samuels. This film is about the ‘Windermere Project’ which in 1945 rehabilitated 300 children and young people via the Kindertransport system, who had been liberated from the Nazi concentration camps in Poland. Again the theme of an attuned ‘holding environment’ that enabled children to recover in their own time through a range of therapeutic interventions is highlighted.

Keith’s second paper is ‘Returning To The Place We Started’ in which he reflects on the value of Mill Grove as providing a familial ‘secure base.’    

As we move into February as LGBT history month, Debra Doggett of the Mulberry Bush Planned Environment Therapy Archive writes her regular article based on archive collection material. In ‘Daring To Be Different – Being Young And Gay In 1987’. Debs captures the struggle for young people to find mutual support and understanding during the 1980’s, in what could be then ( and in some places remains so) at times a very hostile, bigoted and confused culture towards LGBT people.      

Finally, Dr Chris Hanvey reviews the recently published book ‘It’s A Privilege When A Child In Care Is Delighted It’s You’ by Sean Cameron and Colin Maginn of ‘The Pillars of Parenting Ltd’, read Chris’s review here.

With warm wishes,

John Diamond.

The TCJ ‘My Home’ Creative Media Competition

We are offering a competition open to all adults and the children and young people you live and work with. The theme of the competition is ‘My Home’, and we invite you to capture in any medium – a drawing, photograph, short story, poem or reflective piece about what it is that you value in your home or place of work. The maximum length for written work is 1000 words – that is about 2 sheets of A4.  We will publish your  piece in a future edition of the TCJ, as well as offering a prize.

All entries should be sent via email to [email protected] by March 15th. The TCJ editorial board will meet to decide the winner.

Upcoming Events and Dates For Your Diary…

Leadership for an Emotionally Aware Environment

A series of online, practice development workshops running from March to August 2022

This series of online workshops from The Mulberry Bush Outreach team are aimed at education or residential care senior and middle leaders or practitioners who are interested in developing their leadership and management abilities in this important area of their work.

Find out more and book your place here.

Stories from The Archives – Upcoming Events from The Planned Environment Therapy Archives

We’re excited that the Archives team will be continuing their popular ‘Stories from The Archives’ series throughout the year ahead. Join the team at their upcoming events as they delve into the Archives to share their favourite stories, characters and events from our unique and nationally important collections.

  • Stories from the Archives: Life at The Cassel Hospital. Monday 28 February 2022 from 1pm – 2pm, online via Zoom. Find out more and book your place here.
  • Stories from the Archives: Celebrating Women in Therapeutic Childcare. Monday 28 March 2022 from 1pm – 2pm, online via Zoom. Find out more and book your place here.
  • Stories from the Archives: Radicals, Activists and Anti-Psychiatrists! Monday 25 April 2022 from 1pm – 2pm, online via Zoom. Find out more and book your place here.

50 Years of Early Years Provision

Friday 4th and Monday 7th March 2022 – online via Zoom

An online conference in partnership with The Mulberry Bush Child Care History Network and the Dartington Centre for Social Policy.

These two half day events will highlight and discuss the range of early years provision over the last 50 years, with emphasis on the history of services for BAME communities.

Special offer for readers of the TCJ, use code EYP10 to receive a 10% discount on all tickets for this event.

Find out more and book your place here.

Upcoming Events from The Mulberry Bush and Orb8

We’re delighted to be working alongside Orb8 again this year to continue our series of monthly, online events for foster carers and residential workers.

The first two events in this series for 2022 are:

  • A Trauma Informed Practice Community.  Friday 25 February 2022 from 11am – 1pm, online via Zoom. Find out more and book your place here.
  • “Delinquency is a Sign of Hope” – Turning on the Light in the Darkest of Times. Friday 88 March 2022 from 11am – 1pm, online via Zoom. Find out more and book your place here.
Other Events and Training Opportunities…
Head to the Events and Training section of The Mulberry Bush website by clicking here to discover our full calendar of upcoming events and training opportunities.

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