Therapeutic Parenting “Tool Kit” Workshop

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2023

We are excited to tell you about our new therapeutic parenting workshop for adopters in the assessment process. We have listened to the voices of adoptive families who told us they wish they had known more at an earlier stage in the process and so have made the workshop more trauma informed and more reflective of adopted children’s lived experience.

The workshop is a one-and-a-half-day course for all our adoptive families to attend in Stage 2 of the assessment process.

Part 1 – the brain

This is a half day workshop exploring the impact of trauma on the developing brain. We explore concepts of Sensory Memory, attunement and regulation and we look closely at how a child’s experience leads them to have a ‘lens’ on themselves and on the world.

Part 2 – the toolkit

This is a full interactive day based on Dr Bruce Perry’s 3 R's of therapeutic parenting – Regulate, Relate and Reason. In the workshop we look at how we can help children regulate through sensory activities (based on BUSS model) how we can help children relate through relational play activities (based on PACE and Theraplay®) and then we do some really important work on parent self-care, before thinking about reframing behaviour, language and reason.

Picture of two people holding another person in an orange sling with a picture of a tree in the background


We “went live” in July and the feedback from those attending has been overwhelmingly positive! Here are some of the comments we have received:

  • "The information regarding the 3 areas of the brain, sensory memories and developmental trauma was a new concept for me and helpful to understanding behaviour."
  • "It has taught us that we need to think about how their early life experiences, even in pregnancy, may be triggering certain responses so that we can recognise it and help them to feel safe and cared for."
  • "The window of tolerance exercise and the importance of self-care will help us to keep ourselves regulated so that we’re able to remain calm and rational when we’re responding to challenging situations and behaviours."
  • "Reframing language around behaviour gave us another important tool…This behaviour is actually them expressing that they feel scared, unsafe or dysregulated and we as parents need to reassure and comfort them."
  • "I really liked the regulate, relate and reason method….this made us understand the importance of helping the child come back to a regulated state before you move on to empathising and reasoning."
  • "I feel better equipped and more confident that together as a couple we have the skills and abilities to make our child feel loved, supported, understood and safe."
  • "I liked the suggestion of the ‘wobble bag’ full of tools and items to help the child regulate themselves when you’re out and away from the home if they become dysregulated."
  • "Rayleigh’s story was upsetting in many ways, however it was a really useful aid to think about developmental trauma and the different ways it can have a lasting impact."
  • "It will help me have conversations with family and friends about why I am to adopt a therapeutic parenting approach."
  • "The sessions have given me practical examples of therapeutic parenting and how I can use this to interact with my child, make them feel safe and help my child to be more dependent on me."
  • "Children have been brave for long enough and now it’s time for us as parents to make them feel safe and I feel that from doing the therapeutic parenting toolkit, all the information I have learnt will help me parent our child to the best I can."
  • "We learnt a lot about therapeutic play and useful strategies which would help parent an adopted child. Also learnt a lot more of an understanding on how the brain works and different ideas to help the child when they become dysregulated."

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