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Committee Room 2, House of Lords

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We are delighted to send you an invitation from the Earl of Listowel, our Patron to attend the next Best Practice Forum of the IRCT on the 18th March 2018 followed by our AGM at the House of Lords in Committee Room 2 from 11.30 to 15.00

There is no charge for the forum, but members will be given priority. Membership for individuals is £20 and for organisations is £60. Both types of membership give you priority access to all BPFs and a reduction for a regional forum. To

The Institute of Recovery from Childhood Trauma Best Practice Forums are renowned for having high calibre speakers who are experts in the field of trauma and recovery. We are pleased to announce that we are privileged to have Dr Chris Nicholson as our next speaker.

Dr Chris Nicholson is the Deputy Head of Department of the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. Chris is a Senior Lecturer and Course Director for BA Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisations, and BA Therapeutic care. He has devised a new degree – BA Childhood Studies – commencing Oct 2018.

Before joining the Department, Chris worked in a range of children's services for over ten years. Among other roles he was the Admissions and Assessment Manager at the Jacques Hall Foundation and Therapeutic Services Manager at Donyland Lodge, both therapeutic communities for traumatised adolescents.

Chris gained his doctorate in 2007, having researched life and key writings of the poet Robert Graves in the light of his traumatic WW1 experiences. This work is currently under development for Palgrave Macmillan under the title: The Exorcism of Traumatic Memory in the Work of Robert Graves, T.S. Eliot, Sassoon, and Hemingway. His book, Children and Adolescents in Trauma: Creative Therapeutic Approaches, co-edited with Professor Michael Irwin and Dr Kedar Nath Dwivedi, was published in 2010.

Chris sits on the Community of Communities Advisory Group for Children and Young People at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Chris also provides training, consultation and supervision to therapeutic services in and the UK, Greece and India. His papers and reviews are published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, Psychodynamic Practice and Gravesiana, the Journal of the Robert Graves Society for which he sits on the Editorial Board.

Chris will be presenting "Turn and Face the Strange: Looked After Children in Transition"

For looked-after children living in children’s homes, therapeutic communities or foster care the experience of leaving care, to return home, to move to independent living or aftercare services, means leaving known relationships and environments. Leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar, the known for the unknown stirs up conscious and unconscious processes in care leavers which are often expressed through increased behavioural and emotional pressure ultimately felt by carers. These processes, if unrecognised or poorly addressed, often reopen, widen and sustain the ‘relational ruptures’ that were established during their earliest years and decrease the likelihood of achieving successful outcomes.

In the presentation, we will explore how developmental and psychoanalytic ideas can be used to understand and suggest alternative ways of addressing care leavers’ needs. Work undertaken with care leavers at Donyland Lodge in Essex is described.

In the workshop, participants will move closer to a true identification with care leavers experiences and will have the chance to further explore the issues raised by the presentation.


11:15 Arrival

11.30 – 12.30 Presentation – Relational Ruptures: The Psychodynamics of Leaving Care

12.30 – 12.45 Questions

12.45 – 13.00 Break

13.00 – 13.45 Leaving care workshop: home is where we start from

13.45 – 14.00 Discussion, Review and Feedback

14.00 - 14.10 Break

14.10 - 14.55 AGM

14.55 - 15.00 Close

At the Institute of Recovery from Childhood Trauma we believe that all children and young people who have suffered trauma and abuse should have the opportunity to recover from their experiences and to go on to live happy and fulfilled lives. To this end the Institute is committed to campaigning at local and national levels, spreading knowledge, building awareness and developing the children's workforce.

Capacity is limited so please reply early to ensure your place, we recommend prompt booking to avoid disappointment.

If you are already a member, this event is free of charge. If you book a place and cannot attend please inform us as we often have a waiting list.

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Committee Room 2, House of Lords

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