Challenges Facing Practitioners: Keeping an Emotional Balance

It seems that in my country, Ecuador, people don’t know much about the concept of resilience. However, people do talk about been strong and resist when facing problems, but, being resilient is more than just resist. Being resilience, means also to learn lesson while facing adversity.

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The Importance of Keeping an Emotional Balance

I was invited to give a presentation last week, this was addressed to practitioners that support vulnerable children at risk. I took this opportunity to talk about resilience, as I thought that it might be a subject of interest to them.  The room was full, so I thought the topic was really of interest to practitioners.

When analysing the social and political landscape of my country and the promulgation of children’s rights, we might say that things are going well and that important advances have been made on that field. Nonetheless, is really the implementation of laws enough for enabling children to develop resilience? The weak link, is precisely, during the implementation and enforcement of those laws. There are still some practices accepted by many, such as the believe that children are better off living apart from their families – this may be the best option in some cases, but not in all of them.


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It seems that to include the families as part of the solution to the problems that children face is a very complex matter, since the prejudices against their parents are very strong. As a result, the solutions often don’t take into account the causes that led the parents to act the way they did. In order to approach these causes, it is often required to talk about emotions and feeling which may be difficult to understand and handle, and so, practitioners in charge of those cases tend to avoid those topics.

Teachers and professionals working on those cases also face difficulties when handling children’s emotions, as they own emotional state may be influenced by children’s needs and feelings.  Therefore, it is important for practitioners to keep an emotional balance, so that they can be objective when doing these interventions, and also, to act in a sensible way.

Being resilient then is to have that balance!


Martha Espinoza

Martha is the Executive Director of JUCONI Ecuador and has worked for the organisation for over 17 years. As an experienced child psychologist and practitioner, Martha brings technical knowledge to the project. She is working with Merli Lopez. Coordinator of their Working Child and Family Programme, to deliver the project in Ecuador.

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