I’m Chelle (Michelle) Taylor and I’m a Clinical Psychologist and have been practicing for around 16 years now, specialising in the treatment of children and their families. Much of my career has been spent in the Child Protection &/or Youth at Risk Sectors, in direct clinical or roles of team leader/management.
For the past 10 years I have had the undeniable privilege of working for Berry Street in their Take Two Program. Take Two is a developmental therapeutic service for children who are clients of Child Protection in Victoria Australia.
In the last three years with Take Two I have been coordinating and supporting our certification and implementation in the ChildTrauma Academy’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT). NMT is an assessment model developed by Dr Bruce D Perry of the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston, Texas. NMT is not a specific therapeutic technique or intervention, rather it is a way to organise information about a child’s history and current functioning to inform and guide the therapeutic process. NMT helps to plan treatment that is developmentally sensitive and promotes self-regulation by improving brain functioning. http://childtrauma.org
In late 2013 I received the honour of being awarded a Creswick Foundation Fellowship. The Creswick Foundation was established in 1952 to facilitate study by Australians into emotional, social and psychological conditions affecting children and young people and to give guidance to those involved in treating or preventing those conditions. Using income from investments to fund its activities, the Foundation has mainly achieved its goals by awarding fellowships. These enable practitioners in relevant fields to travel within Australia or overseas to expand their knowledge and experience.
For more information visit: http://www.creswick.org.au.
My Creswick Foundation Fellowship affords me the opportunity to travel to the United States of America and Canada in May and June 2014 to study neurodevelopmentally informed interventions for infants, children and adolescents. What does that mean? In a nutshell modern advances in neuroscience and neurodevelopment have demonstrated that trauma experienced during childhood impacts the development and organisation of the brain, effecting the functions and behaviours the brain is responsible for. These theoretical advances have resulted in a shift in the way we think about and approach therapy with traumatised infants, children and adolescents.
NMT allows us to identify the areas of brain function that are compromised and develop a therapy plan that heals the organisation of the brain in a developmentally appropriate way. It would take a whole science lesson to explain this in more detail, but the bottom line is that for a lot of these infants, children and adolescents they are not ready for traditional models of therapy. Instead what is required is to repair and reorganise the neural pathways in the lower parts of their brains to better regulate them and get them into a position to benefit from traditional models of trauma and attachment therapy. Neuroscience and neurodevelopment suggest that activities to promote and develop sensory integration and self regulation form the foundations of trauma treatment. The questions is what are those sensory integration and self regulatory activities?
So stay tuned, follow my blog and see what sorts of neurodevelopmentally informed interventions other services in the United States and Canada are using to begin the healing process and trauma recovery for infants, children and adolescents.