The Solihull approach was initially developed as an evidence based training approach for Health Visitors to enhance understanding of parent-child relationships.  This has been extended over time to a number of practitioners within health, care and education. Concurrent with this, its application has evolved beyond parent-child interactions to considering practitioner interactions with families and interactions within professional teams.  The theoretical approach supports a way of practitioner thinking and considers the development of children’s emotional well-being within their everyday relationships. It has three core concepts; containment, reciprocity and behavioural management.

Containment refers to the process whereby one holds and understands the others’ emotional content without feeling overwhelmed. By effectively conveying this understanding, one calmly supports the person to explore the issue and arrive at their own solutions).

Reciprocity describes the attuned and appropriate interaction by understanding where the other person is ‘at’.

 Behaviour management is based on the principles of behaviourism which hold that behaviour can be shaped through the use of positive and negative reinforcement.

 Within this theoretical framework if the principles of containment and reciprocity are successfully applied then the need for a behaviourist approach diminishes significantly.

In addition to the 3 main strands of the Solihull approach (reciprocity, containment, behaviour management), training focuses on developing a better understanding of how the brain develops based on its experiences with environmental and contextual factors. 

 Fife Educational Psychology Service can offer a range of courses based on the Solihull materials, ranging from a full day training course adapted to the particular audience to awareness raising courses for managers which can be delivered in a twilight. The maximum no of participants in a course is 20 to allow an interactive model of training and reflection and discussion about how it relates to their own working practice


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