Helping children from hard places If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you are either parenting a child from a hard place or know such a child in some other way. Sadly, coming from a hard place can mean being the victim of a crime. It may even mean that the child has to […]
Blog Manager’s Note: I don’t know about you, but I know that I have lost count of how many days we’ve been under orders to “shelter in place.” Although absolutely necessary, this isn’t easy, especially as more and more states make the decision to close school doors for the rest of this academic year. Thankfully, […]
Survivor stories matter Here at the ATN blog, we publish a lot of posts written by parents. This makes sense. After all, parents founded ATN, and supporting families constitutes one of our core missions. We also have a fair number of posts by therapists. Again this makes sense. Effective therapy is an integral part of […]
Have extraordinary experiences For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Dena and I’m a parent of two children, now adults, through adoption. I originally started writing this whilst on vacation at Disney World in Florida last summer, but today I sit in my kitchen reflecting on our vacation and why it […]
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.
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.
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.
–by Hilary Jacobs Hendel, LCSW, originally published on the author’s blog, September 14, 2017 “The problem with verbal abuse is there is no evidence,” Marta shared. She came for help with a long-standing depression. “What do you mean lack of evidence?” I asked her. “When people are physically or sexually abused it’s concrete and real. […]
–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 don’t remember how they got there. It is even harder for children, who are not […]
Staring at the analog clock in my therapist’s office, I wondered which hand was the big hand and struggled with my need not to go over my time.
“I can’t read the clock,” I said. It was awkward because I was 62, but I really wasn’t.