TRM-related books…

Easy access to books recommended during our training!

I’ve been training a lot on the Trauma Recovery Model recently and frequently get asked for further reading and pointers to good books…

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/damedeeso

So I thought I’d put together a quick guide to some of the main ones so that folks can easily get through to them for a nosey – and buy them if you wish.*

Check these out…

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A model for helping troubled kids to recover…

The Trauma Recovery Model...

Ever felt lost for what to do next with a child or young person? Wondering what on earth you can do to make a difference?

Wouldn’t it be great to have map to show you the way?

TRM schematic ©Jonny Matthew & Tricia Skuse

TRM schematic ©Jonny Matthew & Tricia Skuse

Well now there’s a model which brings together needs, behaviour and interventions. It also takes account of development and suggests the sequence in which interventions should be applied.

Back to the drawing board…

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Why the brain matters in youth justice…

Neuro-disability: what it is & what to do about it...

The very first youth justice case I had, involved brain injury.

It took me the best part two years to discover this, by which time it was too late. The lad went to custody. Needlessly.

Sketch - Brain matters in YJ

Image courtesy of ©123rf/likewise

So it’s crucial that those working with all troubled teenagers know a bit about neuro-disability…

Here’s a summary of the issues…

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Nature or nurture? Finding balance…

At family gatherings, in the pub, chatting with friends – sooner or later it’ll come up: are we the product of nature of nurture?

Image courtesy of ©123rf/pixelbliss (adapted)

Image courtesy of ©123rf/pixelbliss (adapted)

We all have a tendency towards one or the other. But do we really have to choose?

How to re-balance the nature/nurture equation…

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Why kids’ brains really matter…

Every now and again something new comes along that changes things significantly.

In my view, right now that thing is our new understanding of how brain function is affected by abuse.

Sketch - why childrens brains matter

Photo courtesy of ©123rf/kasza (adapted)

We now know that children who have suffered maltreatment in their early years, have a lot more than bad memories to deal with.

Why you need to know a bit about brains…

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Introducing the TRM website…

I’m delighted to introduce you to a new website – 

Myself and my colleague, Dr Tricia Skuse, have finally set up an online place for our model, The TRM.

TRM diagram - white with text large@2x

For those of you who work with troubled young people, in whatever field, this is for you…

To visit the site click here. There’s space for you to enter your email if you want to subscribe for future updates.


"Jonny" signature...


Putting attachment theory to work…

Book review...

Clarks book

Photo courtesy of ©Pavilion Publishing

Great for working with TEENAGERS

Attachment-Based Practice with Adults: Understanding Strategies and Promoting Positive Change, Pavilion Publishing, Brighton, UK. ISBN-13: 978-1908066176

In recent years I’ve come to really appreciate what attachment theory has to offer. And I find it fascinating!

But theories by themselves don’t offer much. Particularly to those of us involved in direct work with troubled people.

We know that these folks have a messed up development. And we know that attachment is a huge part of it.

But one nagging question just won’t go away:

How do I practice in an attachment-based way?

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What everyone should know about childhood brain injury…

Acquired brain injury (ABI)…

Bandaged brain - iStock_000011517001XSmall

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/DebbiSmirnoff

“In one moment, every year, approximately 50,000 children and young people’s lives will change forever. They will acquire a brain injury through an accident, illness/tumour or poisoning. It is not their fault and they do not expect it to happen.”

Lisa Turan – Chief Executive, Child Brain Injury Trust

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The Developing Mind…

The Developing Mind

The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (second edition), by Daniel Seigel, ISBN-13: 978-1462503902

A number of years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the National Adolescent Perpetration Network (NAPN) conference in Portland, Oregon. There I bought this book!

I first met Kevin Creeden at a NOTA conference in Cardiff. During that event, he gave a keynote address all about the neuro-developmental impact of childhood trauma. In the interim period since we met, I had started something of an obsession about reading everything I could lay my hands, in order to try and build on the material Kevin had shared.

During one of our conversations following his original address, I had asked him what was the one book he would recommend for someone new to the subject, but keen to dig deeper. Without hesitation he recommended The Developing Mind by Daniel Seigel. Browsing the book stall at the NAPN conference, I saw the book and immediately bought it.

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Brain Injury – Implications for Criminal Justice…

Shattered lives

Professor Huw Williams’ report, “Repairing Shattered Lives” summarises the nature and implications of brain injury in three parts:

  1. brain systems and development
  2. implications for offending; and
  3. key action points

This report is an important addition to recent reports on health issues in young people.

For those who are interested in learning more about the brain and the impact of traumatic or acquired brain injury, it’s a brilliant reference resource.

© Jonny Matthew 2013

A Gaping HOLE in the WHOLE System Approach…?


As anticipated in my previous post, the make up of the new Criminal Justice Board (CJB) is missing vital ingredients – anyone speaking for offender needs and perspectives.

After well over 20 years of working with young offenders, it’s clear to me that whilst some seem to be “hardened” and resistant to change, many would welcome more help to turn things around, put things right and get on track towards a crime-free life.

Even a cursory read of the various aims and mission statements of the organisations sitting on the CRB would reveal that their aims are exactly the same – to reduce offending, particularly re-offending.  So we’re all agreed: less crime is a good thing.

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