Belonging Book Cover - by Sian Phillips, Deni Melim, Dan Hughes© Rowman & Littlefield 2020


A Relationship-Based Approach for Trauma-Informed Education

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“The call for trauma-informed education is growing as the profound impact trauma has for the children’s ability to learn in traditional classrooms is recognized. For children who have experienced abuse and neglect their behavior is often highly reactive, aggressive, withdrawn or unmotivated. They struggle to learn, to make positive relationships or be influenced positively by teachers and school staff. Students become more and more at risk for mental health difficulties. Teachers become more and more frustrated and discouraged as they attempt to teach this vulnerable group of students.

Even though it is relationships that have hurt students with developmental trauma, it is known that they must find safe relationships to learn and heal. Forming those relationships with children who have been hurt and no longer trust adults is not easy. This book outlines how Dyadic Developmental Practice can be used as a model for developing the relationships and felt sense of safety children with developmental trauma need. Integrating what is known from attachment theory, intersubjectivity theory and interpersonal neurobiology, the reader is helped to understand both why children behave in the challenging ways they do and how to invite traumatized children into more successful relationships and learning. ”

© Rowman & Littlefield, 2020


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“Please read ‘Belonging’ and pass it along to everyone you know who wants to make school a safe haven for all children.”
— Jonathan Baylin, coauthor of The Neurobiology of Attachment-focused Therapy

“…invites parents, stewards, practitioners, and allies to work in concert with schools and educators to co-create a trauma-informed path toward posttraumatic growth of children. This is a brilliantly crafted call to action!”
— Jennifer Shaw, Gil Institute

“…’Belonging’ is a must read for educators, principals, teachers, educational assistants, administrators, parents and social service professionals. It offers a hands-on, how-to guide for transforming a classroom and school into trauma-informed safe-spaces for our vulnerable children. All day treatment and small behavior classes need to adopt this model. I have had the privilege of attending the Belong classroom on several occasions and am always amazed at the wonderful relationship the classroom staff has developed with these children who have attachment/trauma issues. Their method is tried and true.”
— Duane Durham, Program Manager Therapeutic Family Care, Cobourg Ontario.

“‘Belonging’… is an exciting contribution to the growing, international emphasis on neuroscience-informed schooling. The ways of “doing school” outlined in this book will benefit not only children and young people living with the outcomes of trauma but also their classmates and all the wonderful people working hard to educate them. The authors have drawn from the real worlds of students and translated vital areas of theory in a way that can be incorporated easily into any classroom and any school. I look forward to sharing this work with our schools in Australia!”
— Dr Judith Howard (B.Ed, M.Ed, Ph.D), Senior Academic Queensland University of Technology.



Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield (Aug 2020)

ISBN: 9781538135990, 9781538135983

Website: Belonging

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