Therapists working with the WKS Model



The model within health services

In a nursing home, the central kitchen provides all the meals. Mrs. Brady is not happy with this and said so on many occasions. She is an expert in making tomato soup, and really would like to keep doing so. Every time she asks, she gets the same answer: “Dear Mrs, we have a good kook here, and he makes a lovely tomato soup. You deserved your rest, enjoy it to be pampered”. Mrs. Brady does not like this explanation, she does not like the food, even though it is healthy (pampering).She starts a fight with the staff and her co-residents. The atmosphere around the table gets poisoned by this. Staff find mrs. Brady to be a very difficult client. She also found a way to keep people busy, she drops her cutlery on the floor, and then rings someone to pick it up for her; this way she expresses her disagreement. 
It can work differently. In the solution of the nursing home, where the cook Is the only person allowed to provide meals, Mrs. Brady is not been taken seriously. She will keep trying to get her way. The carer could put down a framework, and keep following the process. Mrs. Brady could cook soup for co-residents and feel valued and wanted. An atmosphere of belonging would start to happen. It means less work for staff, because more residents could get involved in the preparation of the meals and support one another.
When people, depending on others, can keep or hold direction over their lives, they often are very able to keep responsibilities. In practice the starting point usually is one of caring for, rather than caring with. Carers mostly don’t ask the clients whether that is what they want to. In the WKS model, developed by Willem Kleine Schaars,  a person gets the support of a key worker and a process supporter. The process supporter supports the individual on his way to self-determination and balance. He will negotiate and structure where needed, to prevent overwhelming. The process supporter supports the process between client and key worker, and makes sure it is transparent. In practice he will check the power relation between the key worker and the client. He will give feedback, without interfering with the problem

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The model within schools

A big part of its youth, a child is in education. Gathering knowledge is central here. The children get support from their tutors. The more the child knows, and the more skills it has, the better the school results will be, and the better his socio-economic goals will be reached. But there is one skill that does not get enough highlighted in education, and that is communication.

The structure of the courses often does not leave space for this. Teachers, trained didactic, are on their own in front of big class groups; they have to transfer knowledge, and also watch interactions. That is very difficult; bullying is happening in nearly every class room, and physical aggressive behaviour is not uncommon. When introducing the WKS model in the school system, this will reach handles to give space to social skills. Students will get a better self-esteem, to be strong in difficult circumstances; this will enable to develop important skills, as important as knowledge. The model reaches handles to teachers to keep direction over their class group; and to centralise the developmental process of the children, as much in a didactic way, as in a communicative way. The teacher, or mentor, is the key worker and follows the process of the children. He checks solutions and will decrease responsibilities if something is not going right. The process supporter is a teacher who is not involved with the problem, but who is actively involved in the support of communication between teacher and child(ren); and between children themselves.

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The model with children

Each person has his own framework. This is different from person to person. A framework defines the abilities of someone. If someone has a bigger framework, he has more abilities. As a child grows, his framework becomes bigger.

When parents and children fight, they defend what they believe. They often don’t listen to what others believe. A child recognises two people, his parents, against him, and not listening to what he has to say, or thinking differently. Communication then becomes difficult. When you post a framework with a child, it will get the space to find a solution.  By checking his solution, you get an insight into his experiential world. This way one can follow his developmental process, and prevent pampering or overwhelming. Even if you don’t name it like this, people are using the model at home, and it gives more value. If there is a conflict between parents and a child, according to the WKS model, one parent should confront the child, and the other should follow the process. It is important that one of the parents stays out of the problem, and supports the communication between the other parent and the child. One will get a better insight into the experiential world of the child, and will be able to better understand it.

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