Blog Archives

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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Who Do You Trust the Most?

During a session with your therapist, she hands you a paper with three concentric circles drawn on it. They represent relative levels of trust in relationships. The central circle is who you trust the most. She asks you who you would put in that spot. You don’t answer. She pushes. You remain silent. Finally, she suggests your parents. You nod. You know that she needs you to nod.

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That kid must have been raised right

One day as I scrolled through social media, I saw that several different friends had shared a video of a kid doing something sweet, one of those heartwarming things that everyone likes to share. At first I smiled and thought it was nice. Then I noticed something–comment after comment stating that this kid had obviously been “raised right.” As I read dozens of similar comments,

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Those Adoption Books

For years, I felt frustrated by parents and therapists suggesting I just read fill-in-the-blank  adoption books by fill-in-the-blank authors. I’d already read all of those parenting books. I’d highlighted them and made notes in the margins.

But the well-worn copies on my bookshelf didn’t seem to help. Sometimes the most worthy book suggestions even seemed to hurt our family.

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The Lion Sleeps Tonight

–by Carol Monaco

Last night, my 8-year-old son would not go to bed. He wanted to stay up and he wanted us to stay up too. He had a list of things we could do – a very long list. Even as we climbed under the covers, desperately hoping he would follow our lead,

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A New Phase, Part II: Moving On

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. And I told you that once he turned 18,

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Dear Educator, Part II

Dear educator,

In my first letter, I shared some things I didn’t know about kids with trauma. In this installment, I would like to share what some of what I have learned.

Kids with trauma are just trying to survive

Because his brain has been changed by trauma and he feels his very life might depend on it,

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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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What I Learned -or Remembered- when I Read Brave

photo of Brave book cover1) 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 fears head on and living to tell the tale.

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Lost at the Beauty Shop – A Story

–by Anna Gosman, guest contributor
All Karen had said was, “Walk around the corner and grab your iPad from the beauty shop. I’ll wait for you in the car.” Her daughter had forgotten her iPad, and Karen figured the thirteen-year-old could run back to the shop to get it.

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