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On the last track, we discussed The Five Minutes Continued. The track included questions that several clients asked me regarding their experiences with The 5 Minutes Technique and my responses to them.
How effective do you feel your communication style is with children?
Have you found... as I have, that a lot of the communication techniques taught to teachers and child therapists, like the Collective We, referring to oneself in the third person and the softened authoritarian tone can actually blur the boundaries of agency and responsibility? I have realized in my own practice that I need to be more specific and clear.
First, obviously, if a child is unable to follow directions due to a handicap, educational or clinical techniques and expectations must be adapted to that child’s condition. However, when a child appears not to understand, remember or do something requested of him or her, I feel that if I accept that behavior, I will start to define the child in deficit terms.
I want to clarify that I don’t advocate being confrontational or telling a child that his or her symptoms aren’t real. If I had told Tanya that I thought she really did remember her birth parents, that would have been like saying Tanya wasn’t sick when she had a fever. What I do mean that it can be helpful to test a child out. With Tanya, I did this simply by changing my communication style from an empty statement or questioning approach to a polite command style.
A second way to promote maladaptive behaviors can be allowing a behavior to persist in order to create extensive records. Instead of allowing the behavior to persist to create extensive records, I used the 20-item Child Dissociative Checklist, or CDC. The CDC checklist is located at the back of the manual that accompanies this course.
#2 Not Forgetting Why I Work with Children
Do you have a Tanya... with pathological behavior who could benefit from a CDC checklist?
Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Brown, D. A., Lewis, C. N., Lamb, M. E., Gwynne, J., Kitto, O., & Stairmand, M. (2019). Developmental differences in children’s learning and use of forensic ground rules during an interview about an experienced event. Developmental Psychology, 55(8), 1626–1639.
Canfield, C. F., Miller, E. B., Shaw, D. S., Morris, P., Alonso, A., & Mendelsohn, A. L. (2020). Beyond language: Impacts of shared reading on parenting stress and early parent–child relational health. Developmental Psychology, 56(7), 1305–1315.
Schuldberg, D., Singer, M. T., & Wynne, L. C. (1990). Competence-enhancing communication by parents of high-risk children. Journal of Family Psychology, 3(3), 255–272.
Williams-Reade, J., Lobo, E., Whittemore, A. A., Parra, L., & Baerg, J. (2018). Enhancing residents’ compassionate communication to family members: A family systems breaking bad news simulation. Families, Systems, & Health, 36(4), 523–527.
Wong, S. L., & Talmi, A. (2015). Open communication: Recommendations for enhancing communication among primary care and mental health providers, services, and systems. Families, Systems, & Health, 33(2), 160–162.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION 8
What are two ways to clean up communication between a therapist and a child? To select and enter your answer go to CE Test.
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