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 […]

Stopping a Bully: How Learning About Attachment and Emotions Can Help

angry bully with fist out

Richard, a former patient of mine,* used to bully kids when he was in high school. When I asked him to share what bullying felt like, he told me intimidating kids was the only time he felt powerful and strong. His father beat him. He showed the world his tough side, but he secretly believed he was […]

What I Learned -or Remembered- when I Read Brave

BRAVE - book review

1) There are (at least) 2 kinds of being brave. One is an illusion in which we tell ourselves a version of events that we would like to be true. The other is the real deal. It involves facing our fears head on and living to tell the tale. In a future ATN blog post, […]

Behavior: Conscious or Unconscious?

Janyne McConnaughey, PhD

–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD The teacher and I exchanged knowing looks as a kindergartener flung herself across the table, scattering crayons and paper in every direction. We understood that intervening at this moment would only make it worse, although it probably was going to get worse anyway. I was a volunteer. I had no clue […]

Oh No…He’s One of “Ours”

Julie Beem

–by Julie Beem I knew it. As the news poured in on that Wednesday afternoon about the shooting at the Broward County high school, my heart sank, not only for the unspeakable trauma of all involved and the loss of so many lives, but for whatever had…or hadn’t…happened before to this young man we now […]

Manipulation and the Inability to Ask for Help

Help Me written in window condensation

–by Janyne McConnaughey, PhD One day, well into my first year of therapy, I caught myself trying to manipulate my therapist. Not that I hadn’t been trying all along, but I hadn’t recognized that what I was doing looked distinctively like manipulation. Suddenly, I found the connection between that and my inability to ask for […]

Residential Treatment: When Holding On Means Letting Go

–by Sara Borgstede This was originally posted on the author’s website, The Holy Mess – Balancing Faith, Family, and Fitness, on June 4, 2017. As we drive through the beautiful rolling hills of western New York, my husband reaches over to grasp my hand. I glance over and see a stream of tears run down his […]

Bad Kids = Bad Parenting?

Blog manager’s note: Due to the sensitive nature of this post, ATN has decided, as an exception to our usual practice, to allow the contributing blogger to publish this post anonymously and without images. We trust that our readers will understand. Most parents hear about a school shooting and cry because they realize their kids […]

That Familiar Holiday Rant: “You’ll never be my real family!”

by:  D. Craig Peterson   Six words. For many vulnerable children, they give context to a complicated history.  For many parents who’ve opened their hearts, they cut to the bone. The words unfortunately rear their ugly head, especially during the holidays – when family gatherings are the norm. I know too well. After years of […]

Stop the Madness – Schools Must Be Trauma Sensitive

by:  Julie Beem I knew it — from the first time this photo and story showed up in my Facebook feed.  The security officer forcefully removed a teenage girl from her math class after she had been using her cell phone — by knocking her chair to the ground.  And then I saw an interview […]