The foundation of our practice is the belief that all human beings are inherently worthwhile and important: Individuals who engage in harmful and criminal behaviour are members of our community who need to be encouraged and supported to live in the community in a responsible and safe manner. We believe all people have the capacity to change in response to a therapeutic approach that balances accountability, limit setting and a goal orientation with nurturing support and genuine caring.
The treatment delivered by Aistear is cognitive-behavioural in its orientation and follows a self-regulation model. However, we emphasize a holistic model of intervention in attending to the cognitive, behavioural, interpersonal and emotional dimensions of our clients. Additionally, the therapeutic approach recognizes and attends to the context and various needs in an individual’s life (e.g. connection, self-efficacy, belonging), rather than focusing exclusively on the individual’s acting-out or criminal behaviours in isolation.
The approach at Aistear attends to the individual’s behaviours within the greater understanding of his/her history, family environment, life circumstances as well as the needs they may have attempted to meet through destructive, ineffective and harmful means. It is our contention that this more holistic approach facilitates healthy development in children and adolescents and supports individuals to manage their risk and remain offence-free over time. This in turn assists them in becoming productive, contributing members of the community with an enhanced quality of life.