Blog Archives

Childhood Trauma Survivors: Living to Tell the Tale

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.

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Vacation, Back-to-School, and Gratitude

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.

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Therapeutic Vacationing

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 was such a memorable time.

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7 Ways to Help a Child Deal with Traumatic Stress

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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Who Do You Trust the Most?

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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Those Adoption Books

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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A New Phase in Life–Part I

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 soup of diagnoses.

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Triggers: Providing Emotional Safety in the Classroom

–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,

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Trauma without Healthy Attachment: How a Child Feels

–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.

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Everyone Deserves to Feel Safe

“You’re safe now,” my friend said, stroking my hair as I sipped a glass of water.

Some time later, my daughter said nearly the same.

Both times, I curled softly into sleep.

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