Current practice with children who have experienced developmental trauma tends to focus on psychological and relational therapies. Whilst these are undoubtedly important, they can be complemented by an approach looking towards the earliest developmental stages in children, understanding the role that good bodily regulation and functioning plays in enabling a child to engage in relationships and thinking. The BUSS model brings together sensory integration theory (how the brain and central nervous system develop in response to movement), attachment theory and a neurodevelopmental understanding of the impact of trauma on the developing brain. Bringing these models together within the context of a nurturing relationship offers the potential to fill in the gaps in the child’s movement experiences that have been left by early adversity, thus allowing them to grow into themselves on a bodily level. This in turn offers a stable platform for the development of social skills, emotional skills and learning.
The course takes place over the course of one day. The morning section introduces the BUSS model, increasing understanding of the development of the foundation sensorimotor systems in typical development, and exploring the impact of early neglect and adversity on a child’s development. Participants are encouraged to think about the development of a child on a bodily level, tuning in to how they move and the information this gives about their foundational sensorimotor systems.
The afternoon session varies according to group size. With smaller groups, usually up to 24 participants, it is possible to spend part of the afternoon session in workshops. This gives participants the chance to practise some of the games and activities that the BUSS model uses to rebuild underdeveloped sensorimotor systems, as well as seeing examples of children and families who have used the model and the impact it has had on their lives.
With larger groups, the afternoon session will use case examples of children and families who have been through the BUSS model, coupled with small group discussion, to illustrate the model’s practical usage. We will also explore how BUSS is being applied in a variety of settings.
We try, with all our training sessions, to involve parents who have experience in using the model, so that participants can gain an understanding of the theory and practice of the model .
This course is suitable for all professionals working with children who have experienced developmental trauma; from health, education and social care as well as adoptive parents and foster carers.
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