By: Marc Deprey

Perhaps our suffering is a wake up call that our investment in what we call reality—feelings, forms—is misplaced. We are more than just individual life, but life itself. I’m always struck with the limitations of language and the assumptions inherent within. Words relate to the experience of physical reality. Yet much of what words mean is metaphorical. You see a tree and call it such, but what is the reality of a plant that is connected to the ground and the air and sun for food? At an atomic level there is no “place” where the “tree” starts and the “not-tree” begins. Atoms are 99.9% space. What we see are merely vibrations that seem like dense forms.

By: Julie Beem

“You don’t want her labeled for life.” This sentence is usually spoken by your child’s grandparent (out of sheer concern for you and your family) or by a school official (who may be trying to block access to special education services). Either way, crossing the threshold into “labeling” your child is a difficult thing for many.

By: Gari Lister

Four years ago today — May 17, 2009 – my 17 year old daughter broke my heart and changed my life forever. She packed a bag, told her little sister not to tell us, and ran away from home with a boy she’d met a handful of times – a boy who murdered two people within a few months (literally). I didn’t realize what a pivotal moment it was right away; I thought it was just another episode in a series of Katya crises.

By: Julie Beem

It’s nearly Mother’s Day. And thanks to retailers, schools, churches, we hear the message of “celebrating your mom” broadcasted from the rooftops. In a normal world, this would be a great thing. Motherhood is truly one of the highest callings. But what about children for whom their first relationship with a mother didn’t go well, didn’t last, produced trauma?

By: Kathleen Benckendorf

ATN is delighted to welcome Kathleen Benckendorf as a guest voice on Touching Trauma at its Heart. Kathleen, a parent member of ATN’s Board of Directors, is a relentless researcher and seeker of answers. An engineer by education and experience, Kathleen has also trained as a bodyworker and in as many other therapeutic approaches and interventions as she has been able to convince the providers to let her attend. Her website, www.attachmentandintegrationmethods.com , describes these approaches and others.

By: Julie Beem

The argument discussion rears its head every now and then, so I wasn’t surprised to see it come up again in an online group I belong to. Someone in the group took offense over others in the group referring to their children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) as “radishes” or “radlets”. Then others in the group took offense at being “shamed” because they were just referring casually to their children. And a war of words ensued.

ATN is delighted to welcome Carol Lozier as a guest voice on Touching Trauma at its Heart. Carol, a member of ATN’s Board of Directors, is a clinical social worker in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky. Her website, www.forever-families.com, offers a blog, free downloadable tools for families, an excerpt of her book, and a supportive community of adoptive and foster parents.

By Gari Lister

This morning I started off my day with a cascade of nastiness from my usually reasonably-fun-to-be-around fifth grader. “I’m not going to eat those pills. Are you serious? Is that what we’re having for breakfast? Well, of course, we’re going to be late because of her [the sweeter younger sister].” First, I spent a moment thanking my yoga teacher for helping me to understand equanimity.

By: Marc Deprey

This Sunday, my daughter was given a new regime of meds to address her increased oppositional and violent behavior. Unfortunately, the wrong drug was written on her prescription and between that drug and all the other changes made she went into a severe manic episode. Over two days she just got worse and worse. By Monday night she was seeing things that weren’t there, trying to jump out of her window, screaming, and trashing her room.