Logging into Twitter today, we have so much access to what's 'trending'at that moment. We can see what others are posting and saying about the latest social or political issue, or hear about how controversial Kim Kardashian's make-up line is. These 'trends' gain enough exposure to be seen and heard on the surface, but I'd be curious to know how thoroughly people look into these issues and contexts outside of a variety of social media perspectives.
This concept can be far too easily transferred to helping professions. In our experience, we discovered that 'buzzwords' describing the latest evidence, approach, and research are passed down the grapevine between professionals. How are we sure that what we are learning from those around us is enough to develop a true enough understanding of these interventions from medical doctors, psychologists, and researchers?
Not to mention the large amount gray areas exist in the practice of helping professionals. In some ways, consistency can be more easily applied in some workplaces where paperwork is processed using the same method objectively. Essentially, consistency is easier applied in environments with a right and wrong way of completing tasks.
"This processing number has to be on the front and the back for it to process properly"
"It's procedure to ask for two types of identification, and then check both these fields once complete"
In these scenarios, the employee has a clear understanding of how actions must be completed in order for their role to be completed properly.
Yet, humans are a bit more complicated. No A+B formula to refer to when addressing their needs exists. Sometimes the explanations from coworkers can sound more like this:
"I usually give him space when he acts like this, because it's too dysregulating for him when people keep talking at him"
"If he takes too much space he usually does not come back to the room, so I set a timer for him and explain he has to come back when it goes off, then I give him reminders"
"When I tell him I care about what he needs, and want to help him it helps him regulate. I then keep a collaborative focus to hear his concerns"
"Once she has a relationship with you, she'll probably open up more. Until then, just offer her support and let her come back to class when she's ready"
The interesting part is that none of these approaches are wrong, and they are all helpful when helping young people. Helping professionals are educated on a variety of ways to intervene and help clients, and based on their experiences with clients it can help them decipher which techniques work well with their clients. Since our clients are humans, and humans are complex, a variety of factors effect whether a technique works or not.
It could be as simple as the tone of voice, the person talking to them, the words spoken, or anything.
This is why we at Limitless Youth Ottawa are constantly aiming to expand our knowledge on concepts such as 'trauma informed', 'dysregulated', ' collaborative, 'wellness', 'empathy' and more. These terms all have valid, but subjective meanings to each practitioners experience with clients. Many of the people we work and interact with everyday all have had their own baseline education and experiences with these buzzwords, and have an understanding of what they are and how to apply it.
We believe that by understanding these buzzwords for how researchers and doctors of practice intended, we will get a step closer to achieving consistent practice for our clients.To achieve this goal we will be committing to future blog posts examining these 'buzzwords' we've come across on our corners of the Child and Youth Care Community. We'd love to hear what buzzwords you've heard or use in your practice, so we can keep learning and building with you!
One small step for two child and youth care practitioners, One large step for the world of social innovation.