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The Connection Between Behaviours and Internal Working Models

We understand the profound impact of trauma on a child's internal working model, which shapes their beliefs about themselves, others, and the world. In this post, we explore the crucial connection between behaviors and internal working models and how we nurture healing within our homes.

Understanding Internal Working Models:

Internal working models are the mental frameworks through which children interpret and understand their experiences. These models are formed based on early relationships and interactions and significantly influence a child's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Children who have experienced trauma often develop negative internal working models that can manifest in challenging behaviors.

The Cycle of Behaviors and Internal Working Models:

Behaviors and internal working models are intricately connected, each influencing and reinforcing the other. Traumatic experiences can lead to negative self-perceptions, mistrust, and distorted beliefs about relationships and the world. These internal working models then shape a child's behaviors as they try to navigate and cope with their environment.

For example, a child who has experienced neglect may develop an internal working model that they are unworthy of love and attention. This belief can lead to behaviors such as seeking negative attention, acting out, or withdrawing. On the other hand, a child who has experienced abuse may develop an internal working model that others cannot be trusted, leading to behaviors such as aggression or hyper-vigilance.

Nurturing Healing at My Tribe:

At our children's home, we recognize the critical importance of addressing the underlying internal working models, rather than simply focusing on behaviours. Behaviours are ultimately symptoms and not the root causes. Make progress on a child’s internal working model through love, building self-esteem and a sense of belonging and behaviours will automatically change.

1. Creating a Safe and Nurturing Environment:

We prioritise creating a safe and nurturing environment where children feel secure and loved. By establishing trust and consistent boundaries, we help reshape their negative internal working models and foster healthier beliefs about themselves and others.

2. Trauma-Informed Therapeutic Interventions:

Our team of trained professionals utilizes therapeutic interventions to help children process their trauma and develop healthier coping strategies. We provide therapy sessions, coaching sessions, life story work, art and play therapy, and other evidence-based interventions tailored to each child's needs.

3. Building Healthy Relationships:

Positive relationships play a pivotal role in reshaping a child's internal working model. Our dedicated staff members serve as nurturing role models, offering unconditional support, empathy, and understanding. We foster healthy connections among peers and encourage the development of secure attachments.

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