Blog Archives

Holding Compassion

Blog manager’s note: Carol sent me these thoughts on compassion a little while back, in the height of “shelter-in-place.” I find it speaks to me now, as we all wonder and work toward whatever’s next in a world forever changed by the coronavirus.

Learning Compassion

One day recently,

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Being a CASA: Another Way to Help Kids

My kids are grown, and while my spouse and I have agreed to be done parenting, we still want to help kids, so I became a CASA. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. In some places, they call this person GAL, Guardian Ad Litem. I, along with my husband,

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Instant Family

The morning after watching Instant Family, I sent this text: “as much as I liked it, it has messed with my head some. I’m a little stabby today.”

Reading online reviews did not help with the stabbiness (let’s be honest–do online reviews ever help?).

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The Greatest Christmas Gift

A few years ago, my parents flew out from Wisconsin to visit for Christmas. Because they only make it out to California to see us twice a year, and we make it to Wisconsin to visit them even less, it was a pretty big deal.

Holidays were hard

When we adopted our daughter through foster care eight years ago,

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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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When The Political Becomes Personal

Last week was just plain emotionally exhausting! As the mom of a child who experienced severe early childhood trauma, a mom who has spent the last two decades immersed in the study of what these early traumas (abuse, neglect, exposure to violence, separation from your parent) do to the developing brains of infants and toddlers,

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Mother’s Day. Beautiful and Complicated.

–by Neeva Carter

The moment I heard my children’s names, my world stood still. I was at work, standing in an empty room on the phone, listening to our social worker run through the highlights of their story. She was reluctant to tell me anything, having only agreed because the children’s social worker had begged,

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The 10 Most Common Myths about Attachment & Trauma

There is so much that society doesn’t understand about attachment and trauma. People don’t “get it” when it comes to how a child can be traumatized, how a child reacts to trauma, and how difficult it is to help a child heal from early childhood trauma. The importance of forming healthy attachments and what can impede attachment are also generally misunderstood.

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