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CHIBOW researcher heads stateside to get to grips with ‘reflective functioning’

Kimberley Anderson member of the European Union’s Marie Curie Initial Training Network, “Children born of war – past, present and future project,” from Psychotrauma Centre South Netherlands, has attended a training course on Reflective Functioning, hosted by City College New York in Harlem NYC.

The training course, developed for researchers and clinicians to gain an in-depth understanding of the Parental Development Interview on reflective functioning (RF), took place last week and was described by Kimberley as “a submersive 3 days with fantastically experienced professionals from all walks of life. At times I felt incredibly out of my depth, but this is all part of the learning experience. I will work hard to achieve reliability!”

Reflective Functioning is described as:

Mentalizing as a function of the caregiver’s attuned reading and modulating of the child’s internal state heralding the ability of the child to understand himself as separate from the caregiver with desires, feelings, thoughts and wishes that are distinct from those of the other. That is, the child’s ultimate capacity to make sense of his internal experience depends upon his parents’ reflective capacities”

Kimberley Anderson, of Psychotraumacentrum Zuid Nederland, will be assessing reflective functioning in refugee mothers who have children born of rape, but this assessment tool first requires 3 days of training to be able to interpret answers given by mothers.

Dr Arietta Slade and her team of psychologists run this training in conjunction with the Anna Freud Centre in London, with individuals attending from all over the world, and many diverse disciplines. Kimberley must now spend some time reviewing material from the course and scoring practice interviews, before she embarks on a test of her reliability, which must exceed 80% in order to be assessed a reliable.

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