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 resource designed especially for administrators, teachers, instructional coaches, and support staff. It provides *right now* […]
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 […]
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 of adventuring on our last get-away before the school year starts. There is a palpable […]
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.
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 still a new phase–the child who moved out last was our child with an alphabet […]
–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 […]
–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 shake uncontrollably and offered a blanket. I knew she would not want me to hold […]