Double Resilence Forum session: First: ‘Building resilience alongside vulnerable young people in a technological age’ and then: ‘Working with teachers, parents, and children with complex backgrounds in Greece: a resilience, ecosystemic, and psychodynamically oriented partnership model’

Topic 1: Building resilience alongside vulnerable young people in a technological ageClaire StubbsAngie Hart and Becky Heaver

Resources: You can download the slides.

Social media is changing the way young people interact with each other. Using social media is amongst the most common activity of young people, with one research poll demonstrating that 22% of young people access social networking sites more than ten times a day. For vulnerable young people, social media has been identified as another challenge they have to face posing risks to their psychological, emotional and physical safety.

This Resilience Forum highlights the risks to young people’s resilience through social media and explores ways of dealing with them. It considers how the Resilience Framework developed by Angie Hart and colleagues can be applied in practice. We will discuss how this might help equip parents, practitioners and young people themselves with mechanisms to foster young people’s resilience despite the challenges of growing up in a social networking culture. Be prepared to get stuck in with any ideas you have to support young people better in this tricky terrain.

Biography: Claire has recently completed her clinical doctorate in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy on the mechanisms that support young men’s resilience to reoffending.  She has six years’ experience working with young people in a psychotherapeutic capacity, supporting young people to work through a range of issues including addictions, self-harming, relationships, loss, bereavement, anxiety and depression. Claire also has extensive experience of managing services that target disadvantaged young people, has managed a health programme within the Youth Development Service, managed the Pulse project, and was the Teenage Pregnancy & Pulse Development Manager in East Sussex. Practice and personal experience prompted the interest in the resilience research field in an attempt to understand what can be done to nurture young people’s resilience. Angie first became excited by resilience in 2004, and started applying it as a child and family psychotherapist. As an academic she’s researched loads of issues, but she’s especially passionate about what resilience can do for people who have been dealt bum cards. As the adoptive parent of three gorgeous children with complex needs, she finds resilience ideas very useful at home. Becky has been researching resilience since 2010 and enjoys working in an area that is accessible and can make a real difference. She has a background in psychology and is particularly interested in resilience from an Asperger’s perspective.

Most interested: Parents, practitioners, researchers, academics, policy makers, young people.

Topic 2: Working with teachers, parents, and children with complex backgrounds in Greece: a resilience, ecosystemic, and psychodynamically oriented partnership model – Prof Elias Kourkoutas, Department of Primary Education, University of Crete

Resources: You can download the slides.

Session summary: In this seminar we will firstly present findings of a series of studies and action research projects regarding the inclusion in Greek schools of students at risk (e.g. displaying various forms of social, emotional, developmental, or learning problems). Furthermore, the methodological and epistemological issues forming the theoretical rationale and background of our approach will be presented and analyzed. Specifically, we will discuss the main concepts/ideas of our “inclusive, resilient, and systemic-psychodynamic” framework in terms of theoretical and practical issues of working with teachers, students, and their families.

In addition, we will present data from studies showing how family and school dynamics /relationships of typically developed and SEN students with their parents and teachers have critically deteriorated during the recent years, thus, increasing the risks of self-isolation and of the social exclusion and marginalization of these students. These findings will also be discussed in the context of the recent, mainly social-political, economical crisis in Greece which seems to burden /affect the most disadvantaged families and children, with already worrying outcomes in their intra- and interpersonal school life. In this perspective, projects such as the Resilience Communities of Practice (CoPs) developed in Brighton might prove very useful in assisting a wider range of families and students at risk who otherwise might remained unsupported and exposed to significant risks of psychiatrization and medicalization of their difficulties.

Biography: About Elias (he’s also a good laugh and knows his way around Crete): Elias E. Kourkoutas is currently a full Faculty member (Associate Professor of Psychology and Special Education) in the Department of Primary Education at the University of Crete. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Department of Psychology at University of Liege, Belgium. He is also trained in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Practice at the University of Liege and at the Freudian Institute (“Section Clinique”) of Brussels-University of Paris-VII. He is a member of many International Scientific and Professional Societies and Associations for Psychology. He taught for several years at the Technological Educational Institute of Larissa (Greece), as well as in many European Universities, as Visiting Professor or invited Professor and through European Community-funded programs. He is Vice President of the in-service Teachers University Institution, as well as the Scientific Director of the Department Master Program in Special Education, the Students Practicum Program for supporting Students at risk, funded by the EU, and the Department Students Practicum Program in Special Education.

Most interested: Academic boffins, practitioners and parents who are all cordially invited to scold Elias at any point if he goes off on one too much in a jargonistic frenzy… He’s a very friendly chap and is used to being interrupted mid flow.

This session took place on Friday 12 April 2013.

Resilience Forum for ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research!