Blog Archives

Rupture and Repair: Emotions, Attunement, and Attachment

“Why do some children become sad, withdrawn, insecure, or angry, whereas others become happy, curious, affectionate, and self-confident?” developmental psychologist Edward Tronick, Ph.D. asked in a 1989 paper called “Emotions and Emotional Communication in Infants.” The answer lies in large part with the quality of emotional communication,

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7 Ways to Help a Child Deal with Traumatic Stress

Humans are wired for connection and thrive in conditions of safety and security. When safety and security are compromised, we must do everything we can to restore a child’s felt sense of safety and security as fast as possible.

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5 Enlightened Ways to Think About Mental Health

Mental health problems should be thought of no differently than physical health problems. In fact, they are related: mental health problems affect physical health and physical health problems affect mental health.

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Saying NO When You Feel SO Guilty

Note from the blog manager

The “big” holidays are over, but the holiday season is not. Families with children affected by early trauma and attachment disorders still find themselves struggling to maintain structure and connection in the midst of all of the celebrations, which for us may mostly feel like chaos.

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Triggered by the Holidays?

From the blog manager

Many of us raising children affected by early trauma and attachment disorders know holiday stress all too well. Even the most well-meaning relatives can inflict additional pain, sometimes because they simply do not understand, other times because they cannot help but judge. Our decisions, our families,

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Groundhog Day on Thanksgiving

The problem? Thanksgiving didn’t feel the same

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I have a relatively small family and since I wasn’t raised with religion, Thanksgiving was the main holiday where everyone all came together for a festive meal. This gave me a sense of family deep in my heart.

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ACEs and Toxic Stress: How We Can Heal Children’s Brains

As a trauma and emotion-centered psychotherapist, I am relieved that children are now being screened for toxic stress. Thinking about mental health as a byproduct of a child’s environment is an important addition to current thinking on how to improve children’s wellbeing. Rushing to diagnose a child with a potentially stigmatizing label,

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Stopping a Bully: How Learning About Attachment and Emotions Can Help

Richard, a former patient of mine,* used to bully kids when he was in high school. When I asked him to share what bullying felt like, he told me intimidating kids was the only time he felt powerful and strong. His father beat him. He showed the world his tough side,

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Five Nuggets of Emotional Wisdom for Mothers of Children with Trauma

Being a mother is the hardest job in the world when things go smoothly. When you have a child who suffers symptoms of trauma, the hardest job becomes exponentially harder. At my worst moments, when I despaired and felt like I could not go on, I was grateful for the education in emotions that I received in my training to become a trauma therapist.

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It’s Not Always Depression, Sometimes It’s the Holidays

–by Hilary Jacobs Hendel

There are many myths and “shoulds” about how families and holidays should be: Families should love each other. Families should get along. Holidays should be fun…To name but a few. The fact is: Many people do not have happy families,

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