Development supportive dialogue with children        Inge Nordhaug & Dag Nordanger                         Dag Ø. Nordange...
Focus for these daysChildren in particularly difficult circumstances:  Exposed to violence  Witnessing violence  Sexual ab...
What is developed in these children?Not the ”Learning brain” …  Exploration, curiousness, interest  Balance between the th...
The ”alarm centre” of the brain                                              is kept a state of constant alert            ...
Different kinds of conversations  To explore  To understand  To disclose  To help            www.tentsproject.eu
Disclosure versus therapyTherapy has much to learn from thedirectness and exposure in disclosureconversationsTherapy can b...
Some communication theoryAll behaviour is communicationOne cannot ”Not communicate”Communication concepts:– Synchronised c...
Centrals aspects in dialogue with children  Congruence  Position  Eye contact  Voice tone  Body posture and movements  Mim...
Frame factorsThe adults’ preparation  Information about the childPhysical arrangements Furniture Tools Presence           ...
Facilitating/inhibiting communicationFacilitating:                              Inhibiting:Open questions                 ...
What facilitates and what inhibits?Active listening                          Passive listening   Repetition               ...
Disclosure conversations       www.tentsproject.eu
General principles of disclosure conversations  Show interest, receptivity and neutrality  Invite to dialogue based on the...
Methodical approachThe conversation focuses on the child’s realityThe conversation is in the form of dialogueThe purpose i...
The phase structureEstablishing contactOpening proceduresIntroduction of the topicFree speechIn depth explorationClosure  ...
When do we need disclosure conversations? When children in different ways signal that they are not ok When these signals m...
Worries can be based signals from:Something the child has saidSomething the child has shown:– Aggressive behaviour– Withdr...
Sexualised behaviourStop it, and ask:- Where did you learn that?- Have you seen someone else do that?- Have someone done s...
Why do we not talk to kids about difficult           experiences?  Our view of children’s credibility  Ethical reasons  Ad...
And why do not children talk about it?Memories about it are unreal and ”split off”Fair of adults’ reactionsFair of consequ...
What does it take for children to tell?An occasion must be createdThere must be a purposeThere must be a thematic connecti...
These phrases are the model in a “nutshell”!       You look so sad to day...       What happened?       Tell me ….        ...
Drawings and other productsKeep them. Comment when they are unusual: What did you draw? Tell me about this drawing… What i...
Opening of disclosure conversationStart with the child’s signals …Generalise: ”I know many children who tell/do/drawjust l...
Secrets and frightsTalk to kids about good and bad secrets:  That children are afraid of to telling bad secrets  They fear...
Practicing disclosureconversations in groups      www.tentsproject.eu
Therapeutic conversations(With emphasis on affect regulation     and affect consciousness)          www.tentsproject.eu
The ”alarm centre” of the brain                                              is kept a state of constant alert            ...
Identifies the following key challenges:Help children to regulate affectHelp children to become more conscious abouttheir ...
Some ways we have experience with:Affect consciousness:  Being sensitive, intonation: Let the principles of good  care and...
Ways we have experience with (continued):Affect control and regulation:  Identify the pre-warning signals in the child’s b...
Thank you!Hope to see you again soon!       www.tentsproject.eu
Development supportive dialogue, Timisoara, January 2011
Development supportive dialogue, Timisoara, January 2011
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Development supportive dialogue, Timisoara, January 2011

  1. 1. Development supportive dialogue with children Inge Nordhaug & Dag Nordanger Dag Ø. Nordanger RVTS West, Bergen, Norway Norwegian TENTS partner www.tentsproject.eu
  2. 2. Focus for these daysChildren in particularly difficult circumstances: Exposed to violence Witnessing violence Sexual abuse Drug abuse in families Orphaned www.rvts.no
  3. 3. What is developed in these children?Not the ”Learning brain” … Exploration, curiousness, interest Balance between the the safe/known and the new The ”attaching brain”…But the Survival brain” Defensiveness, supsiciousness, identification of danger Mobilisation of resources for protecting onselfskyttelse The ”detaching brain” www.rvts.no
  4. 4. The ”alarm centre” of the brain is kept a state of constant alert Releases stress hormones which stimulate instinctive reactions and inhibits more higher cognitive processingUnderdeveloped connections Inhibited:between limbic system and Affect regulation and abilityprefrontal cortex (which runsreasoning, self reflection, to learn and integratecontextualising – cognitive new informationcontrol) www.rvts.no
  5. 5. Different kinds of conversations To explore To understand To disclose To help www.tentsproject.eu
  6. 6. Disclosure versus therapyTherapy has much to learn from thedirectness and exposure in disclosureconversationsTherapy can be ”anti-therapeutic” ifcentral stressors in children’s lives arenot disclosed www.tentsproject.eu
  7. 7. Some communication theoryAll behaviour is communicationOne cannot ”Not communicate”Communication concepts:– Synchronised communication– Counter communication– Uneven power relation between adult and child– Message sent – Message received www.tentsproject.eu
  8. 8. Centrals aspects in dialogue with children Congruence Position Eye contact Voice tone Body posture and movements Mimics and facial expressions Emphasising sounds www.tentsproject.eu
  9. 9. Frame factorsThe adults’ preparation Information about the childPhysical arrangements Furniture Tools Presence www.tentsproject.eu
  10. 10. Facilitating/inhibiting communicationFacilitating: Inhibiting:Open questions Closed questions Imperative form Yes/no questions Descriptive form Causal form Wide, general formNon leading Leading Key questions, and Leading questions to references to what has expected answers the child has told Choice questions before Projections www.tentsproject.eu
  11. 11. What facilitates and what inhibits?Active listening Passive listening Repetition Ignore Confirmation Doubt or deny Sum up Switch of topic Pressure/negotiationClarification Exploring questions Blurring, making it wage Personal form Interviewing Child language ”You” form Metacommunication/mirroring Adult language Pauses More questions www.tentsproject.eu
  12. 12. Disclosure conversations www.tentsproject.eu
  13. 13. General principles of disclosure conversations Show interest, receptivity and neutrality Invite to dialogue based on the child’s own signals Be present, close, and have time Do not push, but make a ”room” for children to talk Remember; It is the child who discloses, not the adult www.tentsproject.eu
  14. 14. Methodical approachThe conversation focuses on the child’s realityThe conversation is in the form of dialogueThe purpose is to get qualitative and descriptiveinformation through free speechThe conversation is a interpersonal interactionThe conversation is focusedThe conversation is non-leading www.tentsproject.eu
  15. 15. The phase structureEstablishing contactOpening proceduresIntroduction of the topicFree speechIn depth explorationClosure www.tentsproject.eu
  16. 16. When do we need disclosure conversations? When children in different ways signal that they are not ok When these signals make us worry When we want children to tell about concrete events they have experienced www.tentsproject.eu
  17. 17. Worries can be based signals from:Something the child has saidSomething the child has shown:– Aggressive behaviour– Withdrawal– Sexualised behaviour www.tentsproject.eu
  18. 18. Sexualised behaviourStop it, and ask:- Where did you learn that?- Have you seen someone else do that?- Have someone done such a thing to you?- Who?...when it happened, how was it like to be you? www.tentsproject.eu
  19. 19. Why do we not talk to kids about difficult experiences? Our view of children’s credibility Ethical reasons Adults protect themselves We may think we protect children that way Cultural taboos We are afraid that of being wrong Afraid of parents’ reaction Afraid of spoiling possible investigations www.tentsproject.eu
  20. 20. And why do not children talk about it?Memories about it are unreal and ”split off”Fair of adults’ reactionsFair of consequences and punishmentFair of not being believed, understood and helpedShame, guild and feeling dirtyBeing threatened to keep quietChildren intuitively understand they must not tellTaboosNothing happened www.tentsproject.eu
  21. 21. What does it take for children to tell?An occasion must be createdThere must be a purposeThere must be a thematic connectionAn inner feeling of “permission” www.tentsproject.eu
  22. 22. These phrases are the model in a “nutshell”! You look so sad to day... What happened? Tell me …. www.tentsproject.eu
  23. 23. Drawings and other productsKeep them. Comment when they are unusual: What did you draw? Tell me about this drawing… What is this? Who did you draw? What does he/she do? What does he/she think? www.tentsproject.eu
  24. 24. Opening of disclosure conversationStart with the child’s signals …Generalise: ”I know many children who tell/do/drawjust like you, and they have experienced things they donot dare to talk about. I have wondered if there arethings in your life you have not dared to tell anybody?Talk to the child about good and bad secrets, andabout what typically stops children from telling things. www.tentsproject.eu
  25. 25. Secrets and frightsTalk to kids about good and bad secrets: That children are afraid of to telling bad secrets They fear nobody will believe them They are afraid of threats They are afraid of what will happen if they tell it www.tentsproject.eu
  26. 26. Practicing disclosureconversations in groups www.tentsproject.eu
  27. 27. Therapeutic conversations(With emphasis on affect regulation and affect consciousness) www.tentsproject.eu
  28. 28. The ”alarm centre” of the brain is kept a state of constant alert Releases stress hormones which stimulate instinctive reactions and inhibits more higher cognitive processingUnderdeveloped connections Inhibited:between limbic system and Affect regulation and abilityprefrontal cortex (which runsreasoning, self reflection, to learn and integratecontextualising – cognitive new informationcontrol) www.rvts.no
  29. 29. Identifies the following key challenges:Help children to regulate affectHelp children to become more conscious abouttheir affects and bodily statesHelp children to make connections betweenaffect and languageGroup work: Ways to help children with this www.tentsproject.eu
  30. 30. Some ways we have experience with:Affect consciousness: Being sensitive, intonation: Let the principles of good care and healthy early interaction with infants be the model Comment on signals of affect in the child’s voice tone, body posture, mimic, and other Ask where in the body the child can feel what he or she is telling us www.tentsproject.eu
  31. 31. Ways we have experience with (continued):Affect control and regulation: Identify the pre-warning signals in the child’s body Discuss alternative ways to cope with those signals (counting techniques, relaxation techniques, and more) Stop destructive behaviour, with own affects controlled Regulate the child’s affect through own affect Use such situation as examples for learning Reward changes www.tentsproject.eu
  32. 32. Thank you!Hope to see you again soon! www.tentsproject.eu
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