PATHWAYS TO HEALING PARTNERSHIP
Pathways to Healing Partnership (PTHP) is a team which works to support the needs of vulnerable moms and families who have a history of adversity/toxic stress, and may be pregnant or currently caring for young children who are living with the outcomes of developmental trauma.
PTHP recognizes the critical importance of early life attachment experiences, and that children who develop in adversity may face later functional difficulties such as caregiver attachment challenges, poor impulse control, aggression, emotional reactivity, sensory processing issues, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, attentional difficulties, and difficulty at school/daycare. The team also recognizes the impact which early relational adversity has on experiences throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood. PTHP works to support systems in understanding and responding to the needs of these families, in order to provide the most effective trauma-informed, and family centered care possible.
Being grounded in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT), PTHP works with children, families, and involved community partners, to create an individualized therapeutic plan which meets their clients’ unique needs. Through the use of various assessment tools (which investigate brain development, attachment, caregiver stress vs. capacity, and childhood stages of development), PTHP clinicians determine how their clients may benefit from the extra support they offer in collaboration with a wider family and community web of support. The results of these tools will are used to advocate for client parents and their children in a variety of support settings, such as school, daycare, and in applying for additional services. One of the most powerful roles PTHP has, is in helping people see parents and children who are living with the outcomes of early adversity, through an empathic and developmentally-informed lens. This understanding can help the systems supporting a family, to compassionately understand why members of that family may be experiencing certain current life challenges, which could otherwise be misinterpreted in more negative and discriminatory ways.
Through PTHP’s training in Dr. Bruce Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics and Brazelton Touchpoints, they aim to provide interventions which target specific brain areas from lowest to highest. As these lower brain areas are healed, upper parts of the brain are more accessible, becoming new targets in the sequence of therapy. This therapeutic approach works by increasing the number and quality of healthy, relational experiences which clients have in one day, in order to provide healing strategies which are Rhythmic, Repetitive, Relational, Relevant, Rewarding, and Respectful. Some of the goals of PTHP’s therapy, are individual regulation, parent stress-reduction, Promotion of parent-child attachment, increased parental competency, and the community system change necessary to accommodate and support the realization and maintenance of these goals.
PTHP Project Partners:
Project partners include the BC Ministry of Health, Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island, and BC Ministry of Children and Family Development. The PTHP project director is Jan Ference, Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellow.