Our Theoretical Base

The following are our Theoretical Basis and Guiding Principles:

1.    Attachment theory is at the very core of all we do. World literature no longer has any doubt that uninterrupted attachment and bonding gives the best outcomes in mental health. This positive process is typically not present with Aboriginal mothers, who often leave their babies, going to other places, losing contact, and not resolving whether the family they leave their children with wants them. A wide range of issues that arise around poor attachment create mental problems for the future. Our work will mitigate powerfully against neglect, abandonment, disappointment, and exhaustion at the role of being a mother; its design specifically work for the kind of maturity motherhood requires.

2.   Parenting skills, knowledge and understanding

3.   Psychoanalytic theory guides the program. Modern psychoanalytic theory pays special attention to the emerging understanding that early trauma in infancy or childhood, as well as severe adult trauma, can lead to an autistic cut-out or even a psychotic pocket where emotion can’t be experienced, pain can’t be suffered, meaning is lost, and there is a concretisation of experience and loss of capacity for reverie and empathy. This syndrome is particularly destructive in some individual Aboriginal people where it is compounded by cultural disintegration; it parallels the loss of meaning and resilience experienced when the support of the Dreaming culture is lost. Psychotherapy and Group Therapy offered to mothers is cognisant of the connections between cultural destruction and individual pathology, which are linked and lead to an intergenerational cycle of trauma.

4.    Social leadership theory. This element recognises that leadership is essential in all relationships with others. When young mothers succeed in improving their use of leadership practices, they enhance their contributions to their families and communities as well. Eventually they will be helping others to liberate the leader in themselves, too.