In nursery the term “the Thrive Approach” was something we had been hearing a lot from the different professionals that support us. When we looked more into what the Thrive Approach was all about we found that it complimented perfectly the attachment focused work we had started at Trevi House.

“Thrive is a dynamic, developmental approach to working with children and young people that helps adults to interpret their behaviour and address their emotional needs”

When I found out that I was one of two members of staff chosen to train in the Thrive Approach I was really excited as I knew that it would bring so many benefits to the work we do with the children in nursery. As the time drew closer to start the course in September 2014 the feelings of anticipation and excitement were growing and I was really keen to get started although there was also a hint of apprehension as I wasn’t completely sure what to expect!

The nervous feelings quickly settled when I arrived and was introduced to the course leader Sally and all the professionals from different settings across Devon and Cornwall, everyone was very welcoming and they were just as keen to learn all about Thrive as we were.  The great thing about going to the training days were that I was able to learn a lot from the different settings we were able to share ideas with each other and seeing how other settings were implementing Thrive was very inspiring. After each training day, we left excited to tell our colleagues all about what we had learnt and the ideas we had about how the Thrive Approach would fit with the work we do with the women and children.

During the training days we learnt about a variety of topics from children’s brain development, therapeutic stories and children’s emotional needs at different developmental stages. We were also taught how to create individual action plans for the children. These action plans are specific to each child, they allow us to set a target and provide strategies and activities that will support the child to reach the target. We are able to review the action plans regularly in order to ensure that the targets are achievable.

To become a licensed Thrive practitioner we had to complete 8 full days of training (and a nerve wracking final presentation on the last day!) over 6 months. For me the biggest part of Thrive that has influenced how I work is the idea that we should allow children to feel what they feel and how we shouldn’t distract them from these feelings….which at first was sometimes easier said than done and took a bit of practice! Instead of distracting the children from their feelings, Thrive has taught us a different technique that involves validating, attuning, containing and regulating the emotions that the children in our care can display.

It has been great to see how our colleagues at Trevi House, especially the nursery team, have embraced the Thrive Approach and it has definitely changed the way we work for the better!