In the decade Tiran West has worked at Home Places, he has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to develop therapeutic alliances with virtually all program youth. Tiran embodies the Re-ED principle “Trust is essential.” His demeanor and presence attracts kids to him and makes them feel safe and able to trust him. Though most of our youth have experienced traumatic events in their lives that affect their capacity to trust and let others in, Tiran is a staff who does “whatever it takes” to genuinely get to know our youth on individual levels and let them know that they can, indeed, trust him.
One youth in particular exhibits behaviors that many have had, a difficult time learning how to de-escalate. Tiran, on the other hand, relies on his strong relationship with this youth in order to help her manage and cope with life’s daily struggles. In addition to this, he takes the time to model to less experienced staff positive ways of developing relationships with Home Places youth. Tiran is seen by his peers as someone they can go to when they need insight or a fresh perspective in understanding a youth’s challenging behaviors. His willingness to teach and mentor other staff illustrates that “Intelligence Can Be Taught” and motivates staff to employ therapeutic techniques in order to teach our youth intelligence as well.
Tiran works in all program houses and does not shy away from getting to know and working with any program youth, no matter what challenging behaviors he/she displays. Because of the experience he has gained in doing this, Tiran is extremely helpful during crisis situations. At the drop of the hat, Tiran can be called into emergencies that many would find overwhelming. Though Tiran may feel perplexed himself, his ability to maintain his composure provides evidence that “Self Control Can Be Taught” and that our youth respond well to self-control as well. On several occasions Tiran has been observed using his self-control and “Time as an Ally” to speak with a youth who is upset and needs someone to listen to him/her. It is almost unreal to witness Tiran, through a brief conversation, de-escalate a youth who has been upset for the most of the day. This speaks to his ability to relate to our kids and the relationships he has developed with each one.
Tiran is an asset to the Home Places program. Whether he is de-escalating a youth, showing that “The Body is the Armature of the Self” by giving some of the boys a haircut, or cooking a pot of his famous green beans for a program dinner, Tiran works hard to show the Home Places youth that he cares for them. As a result, each one has developed a level of respect and trust for him that is worthy of recognition. In many ways Tiran truly exemplifies what it means to be T/C of the Month and press on towards Pressley Ridge’s vision of seeing all kids thrive.