Reflective Therapeutic Intervention (RTI) ©
New Reflexions has developed its own behaviour management model which focuses on Think – Feel – Do with the goal of developing the young person’s ability to take positive control. This is achieved through the values and principles of the responsible parent combined with a structured environment, training and support.
The aim of RTI is not only to provide immediate emotional and environmental support to young people in times of stress or risk but also to educate both the young person and the Carer to recognise how they can influence the positive and negative aspects of their interaction and to then practice self-management to achieve the positives.
Whilst RTI teaches Carers the necessary skills to positively interact with young people and respond appropriately to situations of pro-active (goal driven) and reactive behaviours fuelled by emotional outbursts; RTI is borne from the simple concept that all human interaction is influential and that positive relationships provide a sense of physical and emotional safety.
Young people are often unable or too mistrusting to verbalise their feelings and “speak” to us through their actions which are often missed or misinterpreted and mismanaged leading to emotional flooding and outburst.
Therefore, an important element to developing and maintaining a positive relationship is to recognise the personality we are interacting with. Given the stress factors of our young people, it is crucial to understand a person’s normal level of functioning (baseline behaviour) in order to recognise the subtle changes that may indicate the potential for escalation if the carer’s response is not appropriate.
The “normal level of functioning” is the baseline behaviour we all exhibit as individuals and will be specific to us alone. This may well mean that one person will normally function at a calm level whereas another person may appear excitable.
The presenting behaviour of both individuals is their “normal level of functioning” and so it is important to recognise this to identify the required response to sooth the situation.
The ability to relate and respond appropriately is crucial to supporting young people to gain insight and understanding into the reasons they react in a certain way and then develop the necessary coping skills to better manage difficult feelings. This is further facilitated through a Reflective Therapeutic Interview, which helps identify the feelings, or emotions that the young person was displaying at any given time and then connecting them to their behaviour.
The aim is to help them recognise their relationship with the outcomes by developing consequential thinking with the focus on applying this thinking at the trigger and escalation phases and taking control of self rather than relying on others to manage them.
This will allow the young people the opportunity to develop internal mechanisms of control over their emotions and feelings, which will create change in the behaviour displayed and the outcome. Over time, this can become an empowering experience that can be drawn upon in stressful situations.
Equally consequential thinking is explored with the staff who undertake a Reflective Incident Review after any notifiable incident to better understand how their own responses influenced the outcome. This is a very useful tool to develop their practice and is central to reducing the potential for and severity of incidents.