Supporting children who have disclosed trauma

Supporting children who have disclosed trauma

Kate Headley, Clare Klapdor, David Tully and Dan Moss
8 June 2022

This webinar will explore ways that practitioners can support children who are experiencing self-blame after sexual or physical abuse.

Register for this free event

8 June 2022 13:00 to 14:00 AEST
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Communication session of school psychologist and girl 9, 10 years. Child tells psychotherapist their experiences, mental health of children

Self-blame is a common experience for children who experience mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, following sexual or physical trauma. This self-blame can be exacerbated when a child has a pre-existing relationship with the perpetrator.

Without the language to help them move past a story where the abuse was their fault, children may develop ‘loser’ or ‘failure’ conclusions that have negative effects on mental health, safety and the ability to live connected or meaningful lives.

Practitioners have an important role in safely introducing strategies that help children and parents to make sense of their experiences, in ways that challenge self-blame. There are many aspects of children’s stories that contradict self-blame, or that can uncover examples of resilience, strength and hope. Developing a relationship with a child and parents or caregivers that supports the development of these stories is a key skill in helping children to move beyond negative or self-blaming conclusions about themselves.

This webinar will explore:

  • how self-blame operates and how perpetrators may manipulate children to blame themselves 
  • how to help children challenge feelings of complicity in their trauma experiences by focusing directly on the power difference between children and adults
  • children’s stories of protests or choices they have made throughout their experiences that kept themselves, or their loved ones, safe, to acknowledge that no child is a passive recipient of trauma.

This webinar is of interest to professionals working specifically with children who have experienced trauma or who work with infants and young children, and/or their caregivers, across early learning and care services, maternal and child health and other family support services.

About the presenters

Kate Headley

Certified Practising Speech Pathologist and Clinical Educator

Communication is a currency within our society. It is a means through which we connect with others, understand our experiences and express our thinking. Across my career I have had a passion for assisting people to be heard. This often requires us as service providers to modify our own communication style or to think about different ways to create shared meaning. I am looking forward to sharing and collaborating on ideas for how we can support children in order to maximise their participation in therapeutic relationships.

Clare Klapdor

Social Worker and Manager of Counselling and Education Services for Centacare Catholic Family Services, Adelaide

I worked in NSW Child Protection and Counselling for child protection for over a decade. This included working in partnership with NSW Police and Health in response to allegations of sexual abuse of children. I also managed a Child Sexual Abuse Counselling Service. I am looking forward to learning from the other panel members and hopefully providing some useful information for those unfamiliar with this area of practice.

David Tully

Practice Manager for the Specialised Family Violence Services at Relationships Australia SA

David has worked in the field of domestic violence and childhood sexual assault for over 20 years. David’s role at RASA focuses on developing organisational practice approaches to working with perpetrators of domestic and family violence. He has participated on the research advisory panel for the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault and is a Peer-Assessor for Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety around perpetrator research.

Dan Moss

Manager of Practice Development at Emerging Minds

In this role I have worked with practitioners to understand more about their skills in supporting children who have disclosed trauma. Having worked for many years with children and their families affected by abuse, including a doctoral thesis in men’s violence, this topic is one which has long interested me. I look forward to hearing more about how Kate, Clare and David have developed their practice in providing support to children.

Register for this free event

8 June 2022 13:00 to 14:00 AEST
Register to attend