Guest Blog

Practitioner Support for How to Argue Better

17 January 2019

Our guest blog post this week is brought to you by Pauline Banks, co-facilitator of the HRP How to Argue Better workshops and the HRP Practice Development Sessions.


As practitioners when we go on new courses or learn new skills we can often come away being really enthused about the ‘new tools’ that we have to place in our tool kit.

However, after leaving the training and going back into our day job, some of us may think “I’ll jump straight in and try using this technique”, or we may think about it and then leave the resource pack sitting on our desk and we begin to ponder on whether that activity would really work when working with Couple X, Family Y or Mr or Mrs T.

As our day gets busier and days roll into weeks, we then forget about the training or the resources shared.  When it does pass through our minds, ‘Eh, I’ve got those resources from that course…. but would they work?’ Then, does that mind chatter come into play and we talk ourselves out of trying the new techniques… do we not feel confident to use the materials or have we forgotten how they could be used?

I think it’s fair to say most of us have done this probably more than once, the buzz that we had from the training has ebbed away and then we feel stuck or unsure about how to use the materials, or it may be that we’ve just completely forgotten and need that gentle reminder that they’re there sat on our desk, probably under a pile of paper by now.

I can hold my hands up and say, “Yes this is me.”, I’ve missed opportunities when working with couples. I could have used a resource that would have really moved things forward to enhance their understanding of what was happening for them and I didn’t, probably because I may have not been as confident about asking a difficult question, or I was already pre-empting what the outcome may be. This is the picture in my head of an uncomfortable situation playing out in front of me and me being there thinking, “Oh no! What am I supposed to say or do now?”

Sometimes when this happens it’s good to know that that we can go back and ask for clarification, support or a refreshed understanding of the materials.

Here at the Healthy Relationships Partnership, we are aware that many practitioners sometimes like to check in with the trainers or have the opportunity to chat with colleagues about how things are going when adopting new ways of working or introducing new strategies.  Often when we have done training there’s not the opportunity for follow up support. Well there is now!

We are committed to supporting you to enable you to be creative and develop the materials so they can be used as a helpful resource as part of daily practice. We want you to have the opportunity to make every interaction count and provide ways which lets you discuss and document the individuals or family’s challenges in ways which are useful for them and you.

Richard Wrighton, myself and members of the Healthy Relationship Project team will be facilitating regular Practice Development Sessions. I also have some availability to offer one to one practice support or even if you are co- working a case with a colleague and want to chat through the case together that’s fine too. I’m here to help support you to help parents think about how they can improve their communication when conflict has been destructive and is impacting upon their children and themselves.

If you’ve got a case that feels stuck, a bit tricky or you think that the family need some help recognising how their conflict is impacting. Give me a ring, Pauline Banks on 01429 891444 or drop me a line at and we can see how we can help support you to move things forward.

Changing Futures