Blog Archives

Child Abuse, Coronavirus, and Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Month

Every May, advocacy organizations such as Mental Health America come together to raise awareness around needs related to mental health. These needs have increased during the coronavirus pandemic. Now that we have entered the month of June, we should reflect on the lessons learned during Mental Health Awareness Month so we can better support and advocate for mental health awareness all year long,

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Jeannie’s Brave Childhood – There is Hope

A story of hope

Last week, I wrote about Janyne McConnaughey’s story. This week I want to focus on my own. I could probably write a book of my own on the many insights I gained, but for the purposes of this post, in which I want to give hope to parents and kids alike,

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Jeannie’s Brave Childhood – The Author’s Story

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed ATN board member Janyne McConnaughey’s first book, Brave, A Personal Story of Healing Childhood Trauma, reviewed here in June 2018, I had looked forward to immersing myself in her second, Jeannie’s Brave Childhood: Behavior and Healing Through the Lens of Attachment and Trauma.

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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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When My Son Cries for His Birth Mom

My son’s behavior has been improving. It’s really quite incredible when I think about the progress he has made in such a short amount of time. There has been no hitting. No biting. No long-lasting rages. Very little swearing. Still. When my adopted child cries for his birth mom,

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5 Enlightened Ways to Think About Mental Health

Mental health problems should be thought of no differently than physical health problems. In fact, they are related: mental health problems affect physical health and physical health problems affect mental health.

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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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New Year, New Who? 5 Trauma-Informed Resolutions

Winter break always gets me to thinking, and this time it has me pondering the implications of raising a child diagnosed with RAD. I don’t know if all the things I have done to help my child will bear long-term fruit for him, but I am increasingly aware of just how much they have done for me.

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Groundhog Day on Thanksgiving

The problem? Thanksgiving didn’t feel the same

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I have a relatively small family and since I wasn’t raised with religion, Thanksgiving was the main holiday where everyone all came together for a festive meal. This gave me a sense of family deep in my heart.

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A New Phase, Part II: Moving On

Last week on the blog, I told you a little about what life was like with my son with complex early trauma. I talked about the lying, the stealing, the fear, the things we did to protect ourselves and him. And I told you that once he turned 18,

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