They are sometimes called “lightbulb moments”, epiphanies, “aaa-ha moments”. Those times when you learn, see, or experience something that forever changes the way you understand a person or situation. From a parenting perspective nothing has provided more of these opportunities for me than seeing my children thru the trauma lens.
Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) is the renowned work of Dr. Karen Purvis that has extensively studied the relationship of trauma and behavior. Her work is becoming more and more recognized among those in foster/adoptive communities. Research has measured great success in the utilization of strategies developed within the TBRI system and it is gradually finding its way into broader conversations regarding kids from hard places.
While many of us were parented under the assumptions that “bad” behavior stemmed from an innate rebellion that needed to be quelled, TBRI assumes negative behavior is a symptom of a trauma based strategy that children have developed in order to cope and survive the complexity of their situations. For example – a teen is caught shoplifting. An easy thought path to follow is that he/she is thrill seeking, disrespectful of others property, and in need of some swift justice. TBRI looks for what’s behind the behavior and often finds, in a case like this, that abuse and neglect, lack of food and resources, are behind the surface actions.
This week on the Mama’s Well Podcast we visit with Shanna Redwine, foster / adoptive mother and Assistant District Attorney, Chief-Special Victims Division, Montgomery County, Texas. She shares how becoming a TBRI Practitioner has changed the way she sees the cases that come thru her department. And possibly, most importantly, how she and her colleagues benefit from TBRI strategies they have learned to use for their own well-being as they handle some of the most serious crimes committed against those most vulnerable in the community.