ACEs Recovery Toolkit Blog – Week Five

ACEs Recovery Toolkit


14th May 2018



‘Just Emotions, Taking Me Over…’

This week, the topic was Emotions and Attachments, and how the impact of ACEs can disrupt and dysregulate us.

We had 11 parents through the door again, which I was extremely happy about. I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised that retention rates have been brilliant since Week 1. I’d normally expect a significant drop out rate, given that it is a new programme, and fairly new concept for parents to be discussing. However, I think this is testament to the wonders of Rock Pool’s programmes. The material is engaging, it’s relevant and is simple for both practitioner and parent to understand.

We started the session with a video clip from a popular children’s film, and got parents discussing what happened in the clip, and what was going on for the child and parents individually. Given that we’d learnt about ‘Five F’s’ in group already, parents were immediately able to identify what was going on for the child, which was really positive, and confirmed for me, that parents were taking on board the information.

Group discussion around what emotions and attachments are were really interesting…

Parents shared things…

such as ‘not showing emotion may make you look heartless, but actually you may not feel safe to express your feelings’ and were linking hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, to feeling stressed and anxious, which again indicates that parents were beginning to link material together. Parents were quick to identify that problems in our early years, impacts our ability to form meaningful attachments and connections, which is one of the key factors in resilience.

One parent, who is currently undertaking the programme, with the potential risk of her children being removed, found it difficult to focus on ways to improve her own resilience, when for so long, she has been told that the children come first. Through discussion we helped her understand that, children may take priority, but her own needs and her own resilience are just as important as the children’s. We helped her make a plan, using the ‘Resilience Checklist’ of ideas that she can do to improve her own, as well as the children’s resilience. She came up with the idea of registering for a leisure pass, which would support her in learning how to swim, as this is something she has always wanted to do, but would also mean she could take the children swimming, and spend quality time in the pool with them.

Given that we are only on Week 5, the visible differences in parents from Week 1 is breath-taking…

Parents are smiling when they enter the room, they’re talking more with each other and engaging with the programme, they’re asking questions to improve their understanding, contributing ideas and discussions, which is being reflected at home. They’re making time for daily meditation with the children after school, creating ‘special time’ where the family talk about how their day has been, and how they’re all feeling, and making changes that are ultimately going to improve their own and their children’s lives.

This is the magic of Rock Pool programmes…

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