A new book for trauma-sensitive educators Returning to school this year has been stressful for school leaders, educators, families, and students, whether they’re engaged in face-to-face, distance, or hybrid learning. My new e-book Supporting Students and Staff After COVID-19 is a …

Supporting Students and Staff After COVID-19 Read more »

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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 …

Childhood Trauma Survivors: Living to Tell the Tale Read more »

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Gratitude. I feel it as I sit in front of a softly crackling fire, enjoying the fruity-rich notes of my first cup of coffee as I gaze out on a magnificent Puget Sound seascape. I look forward to another day …

Vacation, Back-to-School, and Gratitude Read more »

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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 …

Therapeutic Vacationing Read more »

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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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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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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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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 »

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–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 »

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–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD I sat on the floor next to her. I understood her fear of abandonment, the trauma she had experienced, and how her mother had been unable to provide any form of comfort. I watched her body …

Trauma without Healthy Attachment: How a Child Feels Read more »

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