Howick local, Paula Taylor, moved to Australia to complete her masters in Humanistic Psychotherapy. While overseas she worked for the Department of Family Services as a case manager dealing with child abuse, drug abuse, mental health, and other social issues. Eighteen months into this two-year practical application season Paula was overwhelmed and about to burn out but she chose to push through and complete the contract.
Complete exhaustion led Paula to question whether she could work in this profession at all, feeling unskilled and out of her depth she recognised her own deep need for childhood trauma therapy and began a two-year healing journey. She sought to heal her own experience of loss, lack, and abandonment. Paula chose to work through these emotions alongside an incredible Australian therapist who had previously been her lecturer at university.
This result of this watershed experience is Paula’s development of ‘Tackle the Feelings Before the Behaviour’, a parenting approach that aims to regulate or manage children’s emotions and build healthy attachments/bonds between parent and child. Paula sees that children’s behaviour is often very misunderstood.
Paula believes that families and teachers can benefit by understanding that before age 5 children cannot process words, their neocortex area is not developed enough for them to reason through language. Therefore, for children, early childhood communication is limited to what they see repeatedly– they respond to their parent’s and teacher’s actions, the tone of voice, body language and all levels of emotion which are physically expressed. This combined with the fact that our planet is seeing the arrival of a growing number of highly intelligent and highly sensitive children means more children are experiencing depression and anxiety than ever before.
Paula can guide parents and teachers through the different emotions and feelings in a variety of contexts and would like to share several helpful tips to provide the knowledge and support required to manage children’s emotional needs. The world can only benefit if we teach our children how to cope with difficult emotions and situations.
If you find this interesting, read Paula’s personal story (click here) and you will understand better why she is determined to work to end childhood emotional neglect!