Therapeutic Foster Care

The brain uses ‘Clusters’ of ‘experience’ associated senses to navigate the world.  If a child or young person, however, has experiences of THREAT, for example in a dangerous bath experience, the ‘Bath Cluster’ of association will have a THREAT associated member. As the brain associates the ‘day to day’ cue of the sound of the bath being drawn, with past THREAT, the child or young person becomes lost to words – beyond reach and reason. The THREAT alarm will be ringing loudly, danger is imminent and the child or young person functions from their brain stem, where there is only sensation and reaction. There are no words. Connect B4 Correct work with foster and adoptive parents to break these now ‘unhelpful’ associations through exposure of repetitive new experiences through PLAYFULNESS, ACCEPTANCE, CURIOSITY, EMPATHY (PACE),  (Hughes & Baylin, 2012) and creating new files of associations, as well as reducing ‘overgeneralisation of trauma-related associations’ (Perry, 2006), such as the sound of all running water as THREAT, for a child or young person who has been held under water.

Hughes, D. & Baylin, J. (2012), Brain Based Parenting: The Neuroscience of caregiving for Healthy Attachment. W. W. Norton & Co. NY.

Perry, B., (2006), Applying Principles of Neurodevelopment to Clinical Work with Maltreated and Traumatized Children: The Neuro Sequential Model of Therapeutics. In N.B. Webb (Ed.), Working with Traumatized youth in child welfare (pp. 27-52). The Guildford Press.


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