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Top Takeaways from 2018, Our Visit with Dr. Bruce Perry.

January 28, 2019  |  Comments Off on Top Takeaways from 2018, Our Visit with Dr. Bruce Perry.

Last November, Alexander Youth Network was one of the many trauma-informed care providers to participate in the Mecklenburg Resilience Symposium. Dr. Bruce Perry, founder of the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), was the keynote speaker for the event and our own Dr. Kamilah McKissick presented in a break out session on Intergenerational Trauma.

Following the symposium, Dr. Perry visited Alexander to sit with clinicians and staff throughout the agency and discuss ways to continue the work within our programs and communities. Staff also attended a Q/A session with Dr. Perry to learn how his work inspired Alexander’s Model of Care. 

Both the symposium and our sessions with Dr. Perry gave us a chance to reflect on the year and what we had accomplished but also think prospectively on how we will continue to build upon the Alexander Model of Care to develop relationships with children, families, and staff.

The Alexander Model of Care focuses on a relationship building strategy to aid children in developing the skills needed to manage their emotional and behavioral health disorders. This model is incredibly time intensive, spending dedicated time in rebuilding positive relations and teaching children instinctive skills like trust, empathy, and sensitivity. Our reflection of 2018 and our time with Dr. Bruce Perry is an inspiration for 2019 reminding us of our purpose, specifically why it’s important to stop and think about each interaction we have with children daily.

1.    A 5 second intervention could change a child’s perspective. Every short interaction you have with a child gives them a chance to recognize a positive relationship. Children need time to process each interaction to build trust and become vulnerable. Our integrated service array provides children with seamless care without disrupting developing skills and relationships.

2.    Recovery is more successful when supported beyond our walls. The concepts of NMT can teach us more about children and families – not just those affected by trauma. When we (at Alexander) focus on improving the lives of children, we are looking at all relationships in their life. Connecting and building trust with families, support systems, and communities reinforces the positive interactions that children see. The integrated service model at Alexander connects support systems and services for children to manage their recovery and care.

3.    Be an active part of the community. At Alexander, we want to be an integrated part of the community to discuss how we can improve mental and behavioral health at all levels and not just for children. We recognize that some traumas stem from inter-generational stressors. Getting involved to build a resilient community is important to Alexander in creating successful futures for kids. Through supplemental programs like parenting classes and our some of our integrated therapies such as therapeutic foster care program we are helping the community support and promote success for children and families. These opportunities are further supported by advocacy and teaching events like the Mecklenburg Resiliency Symposium.

4.    Building a relationship is about building the glue to make a team feel connected. At Alexander, we are a team between kids, family, community and staff. Our goal is to help kids heal. We build relationships and teach children the skills needed to manage their emotional and behavioral health. We do so with the intention of them being successful outside of treatment. Our intent is create relationships with children that will help them discover about themselves and reflect positively on their time at Alexander.

We want to empower children with the skills to manage their own emotional stressors and be able to provide them with the strong support systems to do so. Our visit with Dr. Perry at the end of 2018 reminded us of the power of relationships and how important our work is to our community. At Alexander, we are committed to bolstering the children, families, and the community around us.

 (Images from Q&A session)


Written by Emily Gordon.


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