The story By now you may have read the headlines such as “YouTuber Myka Stauffer Reveals Adoption Dissolution 2 Years After Welcoming Son Home from China.” You may have even viewed the original adoptive parents’ tearful YouTube video about the …

Rehoming: Who’s to Blame? Read more »

Last week on the blog, I told you a little about what life was like with my son with complex early trauma. I talked about the lying, the stealing, the fear, the things we did to protect ourselves and him. …

A New Phase, Part II: Moving On Read more »

I have moved into a new phase in life, especially my parenting life. My last child has moved out of the house. Another child visited for the summer, so we didn’t experience a true empty nest immediately. Yet it is …

A New Phase in Life–Part I Read more »

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 …

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

[original version published on Parenting with ACEs on June 5, 2016] There are many adults with low ACE scores who parent children with high ACE scores. These parents are often feisty and fierce advocates who tirelessly seek out support, strategies and …

Trauma-Informed Parenting: What Adoptive & Foster Parents Can Teach About ACEs Read more »

1) There are (at least) 2 kinds of being brave. One is an illusion in which we tell ourselves a version of events that we would like to be true. The other is the real deal. It involves facing our …

What I Learned -or Remembered- when I Read Brave Read more »

–by Laura Dennis Therapist and author Hilary Jacobs Hendel has blogged for ATN several times this past year, including popular posts such as “Head, Heart, Repeat” and “What Mad Men and Don Draper Taught Us about Power and Shame”. She …

Maybe It Isn’t Depression? Read more »

–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD Every adult knows that there are triggers in life. We often know each other’s triggers, and in toxic relationships, we talk about how we push each other’s buttons. We know those buttons exist, but we often …

Triggers: Providing Emotional Safety in the Classroom Read more »

By: Gari Lister

Mom and daughterUntil today, my first blog was going to be uplifting. I have three girls affected to varying degrees by their early trauma in orphanages in Russia and Ukraine, and things seemed to be going really well. We just finished a wonderful vacation with the two younger girls, and the third had returned home in October after years of living “on-her-own-traumatized-child-style,” which means she dropped out of high school and generally could not handle being part of a family. Unfortunately, though, we made the mistake that all of us moms and dads of traumatized children sometimes do. We forgot. We forgot she wasn’t like other teenagers, or us, or even the 11 year old (she’s 21). We forgot how messed up her brain is when she makes decisions – or doesn’t make decisions. We believed that she could handle what seemed so simple – feeding our cats and cleaning up after them. She doesn’t have a job (long story), and we agreed to pay her to feed them so she would have a little spending money. We asked neighbors to keep an eye out on things, and put our dogs in boarding.