Holly Meegan has taken on the role of Children’s Counsellor delivering the Holding Children Together program at Murrupurtiyanuwu Catholic primary school in Wurrumiyanga on the Tiwi Islands.
The Holding Children Together program is an evidence-based program, which focuses on working with children who have experienced trauma and supporting the capacities of parents to nurture the child and help them heal.
The counsellor works with the child to improve arousal regulation, nurture relationships and improve their adaptive capacity. Improvements in these areas result in improved behavioural outcomes and learning capacity as well as improved engagement with school. The counsellor also creates a strong therapeutic relationship with the child to foster safety and help children feel safe to tell their stories.
The program has been running on the Tiwi islands for over a decade and has strong foundations thanks to Holly’s predecessors. Over the years, the makeshift counselling room has been transformed into a safe space where children could feel comfortable and able to tell their stories. Our staff have been able to build strong relationships with the teachers, parents and children in the Tiwi community.
Holly is looking to continue the work of the previous Children’s Counsellors, who have used creative therapeutic practices, including art and sandplay therapy in their work with children. Holly is excited to bring her unique approach and skills to children’s therapeutic work.
“I have a background as a musical theatre performer, so I’d like to highlight creative therapeutic interventions such as role play, movement and drumming in my work with the children,” Holly said.
She has felt welcomed by the parents and school staff and looks forward to supporting them to best meet the needs of the children and their families.